CAR Online scooped the super-sized Qashqai last year, so it comes as no surprise. Nissan has stretched the wheelbase by 135mm to free up the extra space for a third row of seats, which fold flat when not needed. Overall the car is 211mm longer and 38mm taller. It’s subtly different from the regular Qashqai – every panel behind the A-pillars is new.
So who exactly wants a bigger, longer, higher Qashqai? Nissan reckons there’s a niche out there who want the utility of an MPV, but in a ‘more attractive, sophisticated design’. We’ll let you make your own minds up on that one.
But there’s no denying the 90-litre jump in boot space, now up to 500 litres.Nissan Qashqai+2: British through and through
The longer Qashqai will be built in Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK, and fittingly will receive its global debut at the July 2008 British motor show. The north-east factory produced a record 353,000 cars in 2007 and demand is so high in Europe, that it's had to divert build for Japanese-market models back to the far east.
Nissan isn’t holding back with the +2 model – it will be available in exactly the same combination of trims and engines as the regular crossover. That means two petrol and two diesel engines, two- and four-wheel drive, and three trim levels.
Expect a slight dent in performance – no surprise, since the +2 model is 100kg heavier than the base car. Nissan claims it has retuned the steering and suspension settings to take the extra heft into account.
The Qashqai will arrive in dealerships in October 2008. Prices will be announced at the London motor show this summer, and standard equipment includes that third row of seats, privacy glass, roof rails and a fixed, panoramic sunroof.
We’ve heard of 2+2s before, but Nissan is taking this numbers game to a whole new level with the Qashqai+2. As its name suggests, this is a slightly bigger version of the crossover with seven seats, up from the regular car’s five.