Built in Britain and better than ever - the Nissan QASHQAI is being revised for 2010. Nissan's mid-size crossover model will undergo an extensive update in the spring of 2010 to cement its position as the class-leading, pioneering alternative to the traditional hatchback.
Since its European launch in March 2007, the Nissan QASHQAI has exceeded all sales ambitions, with the 500,000th customer delivery scheduled to take place later this month. This has helped the British manufacturing industry through the recession, as all Nissan QASHQAIs are built at Nissan's Sunderland plant here in the UK.
The updates to Nissan QASHQAI and Nissan QASHQAI+2 reinforce its position as a stylish crossover which combines the dynamic driving characteristics of a sporty hatchback with the robust, solid virtues of a compact SUV.
The most notable visual change to the Nissan QASHQAI is at the front, where a complete makeover has taken place. All new bonnet, front bumper, wings, grille and headlamps combine to give the Nissan QASHQAI an air of premium sophistication, presence and quality. The new front-end design is shared with Nissan QASHQAI+2.
At the rear, the overall shape of the lights remains unchanged, but they now include an aerodynamic feature to reduce drag. A more transparent lens design has been adopted, with the upper portion, housing the reversing lights and indicators, being clear, while the lower section with the brake and nighttime running lights, is red. Additionally, the brake and tail lights operate using 12 LEDs for maximum clarity.
Two new exterior colours have been added: Magnetic Red and Mineral Grey. Both colours complement the philosophy of added sophistication that runs through the overall restyling.
Additionally, two new alloy wheel designs will be introduced. Both are five-spoke designs - one 16- one 17-inch in diameter - which both add to the Nissan QASHQAI's understated presence.
As well as the changes to the front of the Nissan QASHQAI, a series of other modifications around the car have had the effect of improving its aerodynamic efficiency, with the coefficient of drag dropping from 0.34 to 0.33.
Inside, the Nissan QASHQAI features a new design to the main dials which give added clarity and legibility. A redesigned drive computer is positioned between the two dials. Its white LCD screen shows instantaneous and average fuel consumption, mileage, time, cruise control and speed limiter settings among others, providing the driver with an easy to understand interface.
Further improvements to the interior come in the shape of low-level lighting around the front footwells, giving a warmer ambience inside.
Additional oddment storage has been created for added convenience, with a new cubby at the base of the central cluster which is ideal for a mobile phone or portable audio player. Additionally on the two-wheel drive versions (where the ALL MODE selector isn't fitted), there is a new space for parking tickets, keys and swipe cards conveniently located between the seats just behind the gear selector.
Life on board the Nissan QASHQAI has been made even more comfortable thanks to improved protection against noise, vibration and harshness. This has been achieved by adding an all-new multi-layer insulation material around the front bulkhead, as well as the fitment of an 'acoustic' windscreen which reduces the transmission of noise.
Occupants will also notice a reduction in wind noise around the A-pillar, achieved by changing the window sealing.
Nissan QASHQAI customer research has shown that drivers love the blend of solidity and agility, but some small but significant changes have been made to the suspension tuning to further improve ride comfort and responsiveness.
One of the most significant changes to the Nissan QASHQAI range is the addition of a new Pure Drive variant. Wearing the badge reserved only for the Nissan models with the most environmentally efficient economy and emissions, this special Nissan QASHQAI produces only 129g/km of CO2.
A weight reduction programme and the adoption of aerodynamic wheel covers, combined with the blanking of the fog lamp sockets, the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres and the lengthening of the final drive ratio all work to maximise the QASHQAI Pure Drive's efficiency. The measures are so effective that CO2 emissions from the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine have been reduced from 137 to 129g/km. The Nissan QASHQAI Visia Pure Drive is priced at £16,795.
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