2021 Nissan Qashqai: New platform, ePower and maybe a hot version

Published: 13 November 2020

► Full debrief on new Nissan Qashqai
► Hybrids only - no diesel
► Hot one maybe on the way

Nissan has teased the new Nissan Qashqai ahead of its full reveal in Spring 2021.

Sensibleness in the form of a new platform (CMF-C), the latest driver safety systems and hybrid engines are the big announcements. But an accompanying Zoom chat with Nissan Europe's vice president for product planning, Marco Fioravanti, revealed that Nissan aren't ruling out hot versions.

Pricing and trim levels are yet to be announced, but we can confirm there will be no diesel engines available.

Hybrids, no diesels

Nissan is following the likes of pretty much every manufacturer around at the moment by not offering a diesel engine. Instead, buyers, leasers and PCP-ers can choose from a 1.3-litre mild-hybrid and a range-extender hybrid called e-Power.

Speaking about the engine options, Fioravantai told CAR: "When we look at the performance the new powertrains can provide, our customers will be more than happy with what's on offer."

The 1.3-litre comes with two power outputs, front or four-wheel drive, and with a CVT auto or a manual.

  • 138bhp manual two-wheel drive
  • 155bhp manual two-wheel drive
  • 155bhp CVT (automatic) two-wheel drive
  • 155bhp CVT (automatic) four-wheel drive

2021 Nissan Qashqai front dynamic camouflage

The anally retentive will have noticed the auto is a CVT - whereas the current Qashqai used a DCT.

Nissan Europe's deputy director of passenger car vehicle evaluation, Peter Brown, tells us that's because CVTs are increasingly getting better and less elastic-band like. He added: "We looked at customer feedback and neither the CVT or DCT was perfect. This new CVT will be the best of both worlds - offering a relaxed smooth seamless drive at low speed, but enough grunt at high speeds.

"There are variable numbers of gears with a CVT depending on speed and amount of demand, not just the standard seven or eight."

The more interesting method of propulsion is Nissan's e-Power system. Nissan remains cagey about the full details, but did say power output is rated at 188bhp. It'll only be available with front-wheel drive.

Nissan's e-Power system is essentially a range-extender hybrid, meaning it offers electric driving without range anxiety. The wheels are driven by an electric motor, while the petrol engine simply charges the battery.

Upgraded tech

Most of the Qashqai's tech upgrades are to do with safety and convenience. The most convenient of which is Nissan's semi-autonomous ProPilot system.

Improvements include: slowing down to 0mph in stop/start traffic and resuming once traffic moves again, a smoother steering system, automatic speed limit adjustments, and intervention if the driver is about to hit something in the blind spot.

2021 Nissan Qashqai side camouflage

There's also a new intelligent headlight system that can turn off small sections of the LED headlights in order not to dazzle oncoming traffic.

Will it fit the kids?

The new architecture means the car is 32mm longer and 35mm wider than the current Qashqai. This means more room for passengers and stuff. Boot will usefully hold another 50 litres over the current model too.

Interestingly, the proportional changes aren't just for practicality. Brown tells us that the changes are also to make the car look lower and wider, giving it better stance.

Any insights on the exterior?

It's a bit sportier according to Nissan bosses. Not that you can really tell from those images.

The front looks decidedly different from the current model thanks to different lights. But the rear and side profile look very similar.

Didn't you mention a hot version?

Yes we did. Fioravanti was remaining coy, but he revealed: "This is our key model in Europe and we aren't closing any doors for now. (The car's) life cycle is long and full of surprises - we're pretty sure we'll surprise you in the future."

2021 Nissan Qashqai rear camouflage

Further reading

Our Nissan Qashqai review

The top crossovers and compact 4x4s

Future electric cars: upcoming EVs to look out for

By Murray Scullion

Bauer Automotive’s finance editor; keeps an eye on finance trends and manufacturer deals. Loves old fast cars