We’ve spent the past several weeks talking about the future of the Japanese car industry, specifically about all the cars and concepts that will be coming to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Well, today we’re going to take a break from Tokyo and talk about a car that won’t debut at the Japanese Motor Show, simply because it isn’t really targeted towards Japanese drivers.
Are you curious? Me too, so let’s jump right in …
Taking the Wraps Off the 2014 Nissan Qashqai (Dualis in Japan)
Ever since its original launch in 2007, the Nissan Qashqai (JDM Dualis) has played an enormous role in the compact crossover craze that’s still alive and well today. And yet, the car remains mysterious because it defies normal categorization.
It’s not quite an off-road vehicle, but it’s more rugged than a city car. It’s smaller than a crossover, but bigger than a stationwagon. It’s rugged, unique, and fun to drive, but not without its flaws.
You see, despite continuing to yield increased sales year after year, the current iteration of the Nissan Qashqai is lacking in several areas. Most importantly, it’s cramped. While the car is smaller by definition than a typical SUV, the fact that it looks so much like one makes it seem like it should offer plenty of space — both for passengers and cargo. But, neither is the case – the current Qashqai actually feels quite confined from the inside.
Furthermore, while the design was innovative several years ago, other automakers are starting to catch up and the Qashqai simply doesn’t stand out like it used to. In fact, now that the CUV segment is so much more competitive than it was in 2007, it’s unreasonable to expect that the new Qashqai will have the same boundary-defying design as the original. But, you can be the judge of that… Here is the official 2014 Nissan Qashqai, wraps removed:
As you can see, this iteration’s design is quite similar to the new Nissan Rogue / X-Trail. It seems that Nissan is trying to bring cohesion to their lineup, which makes sense. All around, the new Qashqai / Dualis is sleeker, more angular, and substantially less “bubbly” than the original.
Technically speaking, the new Qashqai will get four different powertrain options – two gas and two diesel. The entry-level engine will be a turbocharged 1.2L gas with 113bhp, while the upgraded gas option is a 1.6L DIG-T with 148bhp. For diesel drivers, a highly efficient 1.5L dCi with 108bhp will be available with a fuel economy upwards of 60mpg. Alternatively, a more powerful 1.6L dCi with 128bhp will still get an impressive 51mpg.
In addition to the improved powertrain options, the next-generation Nissan Qashqai will also feature a bunch of Nissan’s newest Safety Shield technologies, including Front Collision Avoidance, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Driver Attention Support.
For a more thorough visual tour of all the styles and goodies in the new 2014 Nissan Qashqai, just watch the video below: