Undoubtedly Nissan’s cash cow in Europe, the current Qashqai is getting a bit long in the tooth considering it was launched back in 2013. Carrying a name that’s still a bit tricky to write down and pronounce, the compact crossover is getting ready to enter the third generation. To ease the wait, new teaser images preview the revamped interior of the model also known as Rogue Sport in the US.
Starting from left to right, the new Qashqai comes with a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster configurable in many ways and accompanied by a 10.8-inch head-up display on the high-end trim levels. Nissan says it’s the biggest HUD in the segment and projects various info onto the windscreen within the driver’s line of vision.
Gallery: 2021 Nissan Qashqai teaser images
The most significant change in the dashboard layout is a new nine-inch touchscreen that sits atop the centre console. It has support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the latter of which works wirelessly. Go for a more expensive Qashqai and Nissan will throw in a 10-speaker Bose sound system with a subwoofer mounted in the cargo area for that extra bass.
The list of new tech goodies goes on with wireless charging, front and rear USB ports (including USB-C), along with Amazon Alexa integration and Vehicle Health reports. There’s also a NissanConnect smartphone app to remotely use the horn and lights as well as lock/unlock the doors and predefine alerts for speed, time, and zone.
Beyond the tech, the 2021 Nissan Qashqai has a roomier cabin as a result of an increased footprint needed to distance itself from the now larger Juke. Rear-seat passengers have an extra 28 millimetres (1.1 inches) of knee room, now at 608 mm (24 in), while headroom both front and rear has increased by 15 mm (0.6 in). The compact crossover is now 35 mm (1.37 in) longer, 32 mm (1.25 in) wider, and 25 mm (1 in) taller than the model it replaces, with the wheelbase stretched by 20 mm (0.8 in).
One of the Qashqai’s interior highlights is the new Nappa leather upholstery that takes no fewer than 25 days to make and more than an hour to embroider the 3D-effect diamond-quilted pattern. The range-topping trim will boast massaging front seats with three selectable settings, while the smaller gear lever was possible by switching to shift-by-wire tech. Go for the 4WD-equipped model and there’s a new drive mode selector with piano black and metallic accents.
The bump in size is also reflected in the vehicle’s practicality as the cargo capacity has increased by 74 litres, also made possible by lowering the cargo floor by 20 mm (0.8 in) and tweaking the rear suspension. The boot also has a 12v socket now and lights on both sides for greater illumination during the night.
The diesel-less Qashqai will go on sale in Europe next year with a mild-hybrid 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine rated at 138 bhp for the manual gearbox model with front-wheel drive. Go for the CVT and power grows to 155 bhp and you can also opt for AWD. Further down the line, an e-Power hybrid is expected to deliver 188 bhp to the front axle and use the combustion engine as a generator to feed the battery.
Interestingly, a Nismo-branded Qashqai sporty version has not been ruled out by Nissan.