Saturday 20 January 2018

Nissan Qash-ing in

Martin Brennan

What a way to start 2014. An order book full to overflowing.

As the new Nissan Qashqai heads for the showrooms in January, demand is apparently at fever pitch, with supply a possible issue. And little wonder as the outgoing model was a worldwide hit, selling more than two million since it was launched in 2007, and setting a design trend for crossovers.

The new model shares the same platform as the forthcoming X-Trail, which will go on sale by mid next year. British designed and built, the Qashqai, pictured, is now bigger and comes with improved quality and more hi-tech equipment on board.

Now 49mm longer, 20mm wider, 15mm lower and 40kg lighter, the new look is trendy. The interior gets a freshen up too. A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system will have big driver appeal.

Designers say that the new platform cut production costs by 30 per cent, which allowed the spare cash to be used for upgrades and the more up-market quality finish. The bigger dimensions mean more leg and shoulder room in the rear but it appears that in the future the X-Trail will become the Nissan family seven-seater instead of the Qashqai+2.

Included in the hi-tech list of packages available are a lane departure warning, moving object detection system, driver fatigue detection, stop-start, sports or city mode steering and blind-spot warning.

Owners will appreciate the flexible two-tier 20-litre larger boot arrangement. It can be carved up vertically and laterally to secure items.

Prices start at €24,495 which is a three per cent rise, modest enough considering the big upgrades and safety features. Diesel prices start in the region of €26,500.

The outgoing model notched up 21,680 sales (over 3,000 were Qashqai+2). This year 2,800 models were sold and next year's projections are well over the 3,000 mark.

Sunday Independent

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