We go in the new crossover Nissan Qashqai, remembering the old.
Seven years later, the postulate “developed in Europe and for Europe” has not changed. The “second” Qashqai was created jointly by three Nissan offices located in London, Cranfield and Barcelona. And the crossover, as before, will be produced in the English Sunderland.
A gentle left corner, a speed bump, a roundabout … I feel like I was deceived somewhere, but where? Maybe at the car pick-up site when you first saw the new Nissan Qashqai live? Or is it all about a better quality interior?
Or maybe I was confused by the redoubts of active safety systems? It’s really easy to make a mistake, because in terms of visible changes, the second-generation Nissan Qashqai has nothing to do with the previous car. But it is enough to drive half a block to feel the direct connection between the past and the present.
Hey mister new Qashqai, we’ve met before?
There is some confusion in the official documents as well. According to a press release, the second generation Nissan Qashqai is the firstborn of the CMF (Common Modular Family) modular platform. So it was developed from scratch?
But the rookie’s wheelbase has been increased by an elusive 16 mm, the suspension schemes have only been supplemented with a simpler design, and the CMF platform differs from the old “C-cart” only by the expanded integration of electronic assistants. Kashkai now has frontal collision avoidance, driver fatigue control, traffic sign recognition and blind spot monitoring. As well as lane and parking assistants.
Complete gentleman’s set!
Nissan engineers are more frank – formally, this is a deep modernization of the previous design. There are more high-strength grades of steel in the body, which made it possible to save about 30 kilograms without losing rigidity. The overall weight gain is even more significant – 90 kg.
Including due to the use of a simple semi-independent rear beam, which will be equipped with front-wheel drive crossovers. The Infiniti Q50 sedan has shared with Qashqai two-piston shock absorbers with amplitude-dependent characteristics. And the flagship of the alliance – Renault – with new engines. There will
be four of them in Europe: petrol “turbo fours” 1.2 (115 hp) and 1.6 (150 hp), as well as two diesel engines 1.5 (110 hp) and 1.6 (130 hp).
Transmission: six-speed “mechanics” or an upgraded Xtronic variator with seven pseudo-steps.
In addition, the interior space has been optimized. The trunk volume has grown from 410 to 430 liters. The new pedal set allowed to increase the useful area of the passenger compartment in the longitudinal direction by 11 mm, and the new seat frames gave passengers another centimeter vertically. Finally, a completely new design inside and out, developed in a London studio, but under the guidance of Japanese Shiro Nakamuro. Yes, the appearance of the “second” Kashkai is like a quotation book – you can find a dozen of repetitions.
But at the same time, the original source is clearly visible here. Do you recognize the triangular window integrated into the C-pillar? And what about the longitudinal ribs on the hood or the pattern of the taillights?
It’s definitely heredity!
At the same time, the coquetry in the guise of a crossover has diminished. And there is an explanation for this. The senior third-generation Nissan X-Trail will be wearing almost exactly the same suit.
They have in common not only the platform and styling, but also some of the turbo engines. By the way, we, the Russians, did not allow us to completely transfer Qashqai to a turbocharger. We will have only two units from the Euroline: the initial gasoline and the most powerful turbodiesel, and the time-tested “aspirated” 2.0 (141 hp) will make the main box office.
In the last generation of the crossover, it accounted for more than half of sales..
The story with the modernized variator is especially interesting. The Japanese tuned it with an eye on the best transmission of this type today – the Multitronic from Audi. And they say that in terms of the relationship with the motor, they even surpassed the prototype. Now Nissan’s Xtronic imitates the work of the classic “automatic machine”, cutting seven fixed scars on the acceleration boom.
And the more aggressive you go, the deeper the marks. And in sport mode, this pressure is activated by default. This effect is due to the new oil pump, which provided increased pressure in the system..
In general, after listening to the reports of Nissan engineers, I was sure that Qashqai had changed beyond recognition. The acceleration has really become more emotional. Even the basic 115-horsepower engine paired with a manual transmission pleases with an easy start and good traction at low revs, and as you accelerate, it also has a vigorous pickup. But on the highway, he still lacks strength: the gas pedal is in the floor, and the speedometer needle is almost motionless.
It is necessary to downshift one or two gears. In addition, those 90 kilograms reclaimed from the curb weight concern only European crossovers with a simplified rear suspension and a first aid kit for a puncture of the wheel. While all Russian Qashqai will be equipped with a rear multi-link and a full spare.
This version will be heavier than the European one by about 50 kilograms. And, as a result, less dynamic.
For whom such an increase does not spoil karma, it is a 130-horsepower turbodiesel – an excellent engine! Consistent traction throughout the entire rev range, almost load-independent. True, the modernized Xtronic slightly restrains the pressure of the high-torque engine – the speed gain is too smooth.
On the other hand, optimal performance is achieved here at medium revs, and the usual variator howl is almost not annoying. Plus a completely believable shift feel that heightens dynamic control. But to say that Xtronic is the best CVT transmission today, I would not be in a hurry. “Multitronic” communication on the gas pedal is still better!
What about the changes in the suspension with the use of Infiniti technologies? Alas, the crossover has become tougher. The former smoothness of the Qashqai is now happy only on the waves of asphalt. But on broken areas, vibration and shock penetrate into the cabin. And the adaptive ability of the chassis is somehow not particularly noticeable.
The other side of the coin is the almost complete absence of body roll in corners. And the crossover now responds to commands faster and more accurately. But, you know, what is the paradox of the new Kashkai? Technically, it has changed in almost everything, according to the driving experience, it remained the same.
If the distance in the car / driver link has decreased, then this is still the same 11 mm, by which you began to sit closer to the steering wheel.
In a gentle left bend, the density of fog enveloping the steering is no less than on an old car. Excessive artificial effort, the crossover still tries to pass off as feedback. And at the roundabout, you remember the weakness of the Kashkayev chassis. In sharp turns, the car, as before, strictly follows the laws of physics, while ignoring the driver’s commands. The former tendency to demolish the front axle is in place.
That is, having become tougher and a little sharper, the “second” Qashqai as a whole rides just as boringly as the “first”.
Apparently, this is also heredity. After all, the Japanese crossover has never been a driver’s car. However, this did not prevent him from winning the hearts of more than two million buyers around the world in six years of production, of which more than 200 thousand are Russians. And there is confidence that the predecessor’s record will be broken.
After all, Qashqai has really become better: more environmentally friendly, more modern, more comfortable, more spacious. And definitely more mature! So if you liked the first generation car, you will certainly love this one. For the rest, in order not to be deceived, a test drive is required.
Half a block will be enough.