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Nissan Qashqai

A flipside peek into the cabin of the new Nissan Qashqai

on January 23 2014 | in Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

This is what buyers can expect the front interior layout of the new Nissan Qashqai to pretty much look like when the new model lands in New Zealand towards the middle of the year.

Nissan has yet to release official images of the right-hooker, so we flipped a left-hand-drive picture of the six-speed manual model, which Nissan NZ almost certainly won’t have in its line-up.

It will instead pick from Nissan Australia’s range, something it has done for many years across a range of vehicles.

New Zealand buyers can expect a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol unit delivering 110kW/240Nm and mated to a stepless CVT transmission driving the front wheels.

Stop/start (the engine shuts down when the car is stopped at traffic lights, for example) helps a claimed town-and-around fuel economy of 5.6 litres/100km, or 50mpg.

The interior design is dominated by an 18cm touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dash and a LCD screen that sits between an analogue speedometer and rev counter.

Nissan says interior style and quality has taken a huge step forward with plenty of plush plastics and nicely finished knobs and buttons. Even the seats have had a rethink, using techniques inspired by NASA researchers.

The new car is 47mm longer and 20mm wider, meaning more leg and shoulder room. It’s also 15mm lower than the old car – but there’s more headroom, thanks to repositioned seats.

There’s more useful storage, too. For example, the electric handbrake frees up the centre console for extra stowage and cup-holders.

Boot space, at 430 litres, is 20 litres bigger than the old car’s, and there’s now a reversible, wipe-clean floor that can be adjusted to sit at two levels to ensure a flat floor when the rear seats are folded.

There’s also somewhere for the parcel shelf to hide underneath if you need to remove it – an example of the handy thinking that’s gone into the car.

The Qashqai was designed and engineered in the UK and has just gone into production at the company’s Sunderland plant in the north of England. It rolls off the line at the rate of one every 61 seconds.

More than 224 suppliers in 22 countries contribute to the finished Qashqai product. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models are exported to more than 130 global markets.

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