Next-generation small SUV debuts with new look, overhauled interior, hybrid engines and uprated safety.
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  • 2022 Nissan Qashqai unveiled in full
  • All-new design with LED lights front and rear, sharper lines
  • High-tech cabin with 9.0-inch infotainment, 12.3-inch digital gauges
  • Hybrid and mild-hybrid options for Europe, though Australian potential remains unclear
  • Australian launch confirmed, but timing unclear

The 2022 Nissan Qashqai has been unveiled, with an Australian launch locked in by the brand's local arm – though specific arrival timing won't be confirmed for a number of months.

The third generation of Nissan's pioneering small SUV will arrive with a cleaner exterior design, an all-new high-tech interior, increased interior space, upgraded safety and, in Europe, a range of mild-hybrid and hybrid powertrains.

On the outside, the new Qashqai combines the outgoing model's overall proportions with the Japanese carmaker's latest design language.

C-shaped matrix LED headlights up front sit on either side of a variant of Nissan's V-Motion grille, while at the rear high-set LED tail-lights flank a 'QASHQAI' badge across the upper tailgate.

There's more than a hint of the Ariya electric SUV in the side profile, with flat surfacing, sharp creases and sculpted wheel-arch surrounds.

Alloy wheels up to 20 inches in diameter fill the arches – up from 19 inches on the old model – while 16 exterior colour combinations on offer, five of which are two-tone set-ups pairing either a black or grey roof with an assortment of lower hues.


2022 Nissan Qashqai interior

Inside, a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen running the brand's latest infotainment system features, with wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, satellite navigation, digital radio and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants all on board.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster – the first of its kind on a Qashqai – showing navigation, media and vehicle information sits in front of the steering wheel, with a 10.8-inch head-up display projecting vital information onto the windscreen also available on higher grades.

The various screens also offer support for the NissanConnect smartphone app – allowing users to remotely control the horn, lights, central locking and other parameters – plus live traffic for the sat-nav system, over-the-air updates and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.

White ambient lighting features throughout the cabin, complemented on higher model grades by a 10-speaker Bose premium sound system, USB-A and USB-C ports for front and rear passengers, and a 15-watt wireless smartphone charging pad capable of supporting Apple's largest iPhones.

The Qashqai's interior upgrades aren't limited to a raft of advanced technologies, with Nissan promoting the new model's more premium cabin materials and ambiance.

Premium quilted nappa leather – which takes 25 days to produce, and 60 minutes to embroider – adorns the seats, with the front pews sporting a new design said to improve comfort on longer journeys and support adults from 145cm to 192cm in height.

A heated steering wheel shared between Nissan's latest models sits in front of the driver, while the centre console is home to a smaller automatic gear selector, higher-quality switchgear and, on all-wheel-drive models, a drive mode select dial made from piano black and metallic materials.


2022 Nissan Qashqai size and practicality

Under the skin, the new Nissan Qashqai rides on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's CMF-C platform – the first vehicle sold in Europe to use it – allowing a core body structure (known as the 'body-in-white') that's 41 per cent stiffer than the outgoing model.

For driving enthusiasts: lower-spec Qashqai models employ MacPherson strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension, while models with 20-inch wheels and/or all-wheel-drive upgrade to independent multi-link rear suspension for a sharper drive.

Measuring in at 4425mm long, 1635mm high and 1838mm wide, with a 2666mm wheelbase, the new small SUV is 35mm longer in overall length, 10mm taller, 32mm wider and 20mm longer in wheelbase than its predecessor.

Those increases translate to increased passenger space, with an additional 28mm of rear kneeroom, and an extra 15mm of headroom front and rear.

The boot now measures 490 litres – up 50 litres – thanks to a 20mm-lower boot floor with an adjustable partition.

Features in the boot are understood to include a 'wipe-clean' boot floor, LED lighting, a 12-volt power outlet and storage compartments over the wheel arches.

Despite the dimensional increases, Nissan claims the new-generation Qashqai is lighter than the car it replaces, thanks to a composite rear tailgate, aluminium for the doors, bonnet and front quarterpanels, and "advanced manufacturing techniques".


2022 Nissan Qashqai engines

While the Australian engine line-up has yet to be detailed, two powertrains have been confirmed to be on offer for European buyers – as reported in January 2021.

Of most relevance to Australian buyers – given it's the more likely option of the two engine options to be sold in Australia – will be the E-Power hybrid model, built to rival other hybrid small SUVs such as the Toyota C-HR and Subaru XV.

Unlike a 'conventional', non-plug-in hybrid system where either (or both) the petrol engine and electric motor can power the wheels at once, E-Power drives the wheels through the electric motor only, with the combustion engine used as a generator to power the e-motor.

Nissan promises E-Power combines the "seamless" acceleration and instant torque of a full electric vehicle, without the need to charge it via a plug, or worry about running out of charge on a long motorway journey.

Based on the system debuted in Japan's city-sized Note hatchback, the Nissan Qashqai E-Power pairs a 115kW 1.5-litre engine with a 140kW/330Nm electric motor, driving the front wheels only.

A one-pedal 'E-Pedal' driving mode shared with the Leaf electric hatch allows the SUV to be accelerated, decelerated and brought to a stop in traffic with the throttle pedal alone, while Standard, Sport and Eco drive modes also also available, varying throttle response and regenerative braking.

European customers can also select a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a 12-volt mild-hybrid system capable of recovering and storing energy under deceleration to power the car's electrical systems, providing an electrified 6Nm boost under acceleration, and switching off the engine when coasting under 18km/h to save fuel.

Two states of tunes will be offered: a base 103kW/240Nm version, and a high-spec variant developing 116kW and 260-270Nm, depending on transmission.

The 103kW model is front-wheel-drive and manual-only, while the 116kW tune can be had in front-wheel-drive manual, front-wheel-drive CVT automatic and all-wheel-drive CVT configurations, with the automatic models offering more torque.

Unfortunately, it's unclear whether either of the powertrains will be offered in Australia.

However, while the Japanese brand has yet to confirm it for our market, it's probable the E-Power will make the trip to Australian shores, given Nissan Australia has regularly reiterated E-Power hybrid drivetrains are on its radar for local introduction.

The 1.3-litre turbo four-cylinder appears less likely for Australia, given a non-electrified version of the mill has been offered with the outgoing Qashqai since 2018.

For reference, Australia's Nissan Qashqai is currently powered by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, sending 106kW and 200Nm to the front wheels through a CVT automatic.


2022 Nissan Qashqai safety technology

Nissan's full suite of driver assistance technologies will be offered with the new Qashqai.

It's led by an updated ProPilot with Navi-link system that, on automatic models, combines adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go), lane-keep assist and lane-following assist to automatically accelerate, brake and centre the car in its lane on the highway.

The Qashqai's ProPilot system also incorporates traffic-sign recognition to detect changing speed limits and alter the vehicle's speed automatically, while satellite navigation data is also used to reduce the car's speed for corners and turn-off ramps.

It's also capable of employing the blind-spot monitoring system to apply steering input if another vehicle is detected in the Qashqai's blind spot as the driver makes a lane change.

Other active safety systems on board include autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, a 'flank protection' warning, and the aforementioned adaptive cruise control, lane-following assist, speed sign recognition and blind-spot monitoring – with the blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert systems capable of both detecting and braking for obstacles.

A slew of airbags are standard-fit, including a centre airbag between the front seats to prevent passengers' heads making contact in a side collision – a required safety feature for a five-star ANCAP safety rating.


When will the 2022 Nissan Qashqai go on sale in Australia?

The 2022 Nissan Qashqai will make its way to Australia, however the brand has yet to lock in specific arrival timing.

"The all-new Nissan Qashqai being revealed tonight is an impressive vehicle, with all-new design, technology and powertrain options. We look forward to confirming details about this exciting new vehicle in the coming months", a Nissan Australia spokesperson told CarAdvice.

An Australian launch later in 2021 or early in 2022 appears probable.


Below: The current Nissan Qashqai