Nissan Qashqai 7 Seater

The Nissan Qashqai ‘urban 4×4’ has been received well by both the
motoring public and the motoring press, so Nissan is now capitalising
on this with a new version, with today’s must-have family feature:
seven seats.

Although it is designed to
look like a mini ‘SUV’, the Qashqai is available in both two and four
wheel drive versions. The new seven seater will be one of the smaller
and more efficient seven seaters available, however the fuel
consumption figures of the existing five seater model are good but not
class-leading; the 1.5 dCi 2WD delivers 52.3mpg combined and 145g/km
CO2; the 4WD 2.0 dCi can only manage 40.9mpg and emissions of 183g/km.

However,
there is bound to be a market demand for the new version, called
Qashqai+2, which Nissan describes as the first Family Crossover. It
will also be available in both two and four wheel drive versions, and
will be revealed at the London Motor Show in July, with European sales
starting in October.

Nissan says that
the results of early Qashqai+2 customer clinics showed that potential
customers perceived it as being more family orientated, offering more
independence, being ideal for going on family holidays and offering
more fun than traditional choices.

The
new model is essentially identical to Qashqai from the A-Pillar forward
except for the new grille, but everything else behind has been changed,
which makes the Qashqai+2 subtly different from the original from
virtually every angle. The Qashqai’s wheelbase has been extended by
135mm, and the overall length by 211mm to accommodate a fold flat third
row of seats; there is also a 38mm increase in height.

The
third row of seats, designed for children, can be folded completely
flat to increase luggage space, and Qashqai+2 comes as standard with a
huge panoramic glass roof.

If you don’t
go for front-wheel drive, the ALL-MODE four-wheel drive system –
available on 2.0-litre diesel and petrol models – uses electronics
rather than hydraulic pumps to ensure drive is transferred between
wheels and axles the instant the need arises.

Under
normal conditions, Qashqai+2 operates in front-wheel drive which
reduces energy losses and saves on fuel. When wheel slippage is
detected, a centre clutch in the rear final drive is electronically
activated and drive is apportioned between front and rear axles.

The
system has three modes, selected by a switch on the centre console. In
two-wheel drive mode, the system is permanently set in front-wheel
drive. With the Lock setting, the system switches to permanent
four-wheel drive mode with drive split 57:43 front to rear.

In
Auto mode sensors linking the engine’s ECU with the four-wheel drive
and ABS controller constantly monitor wheel slippage and automatically
send signals to the electromagnetic centre clutch mounted just ahead of
the rear axle to apportion torque correctly.

ALL-MODE
is linked to the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). Using sensors
linked to the brakes, steering, wheels and the body, ESP constantly
monitors the way the car is being driven and recognises whether the
vehicle might skid off course. In an emergency ESP selectively applies
the brakes at each wheel and ‘steers’ the vehicle in the desired
direction.

Qashqai+2 offers a choice of
two petrol and two diesel versions; the petrol choices are a 1598cc
115PS unit or a 16-valve 1997cc engine with 140PS. The diesels are the
106PS 1.5 dCi or the 2.0 dCi with 150PS. Both have a Diesel Particulate
Filter (DPF) fitted as standard.

Transmission
options include a five-speed manual (1.6-litre petrol), six-speed
manual (2.0 petrol and both diesels), six-speed automatic (4WD 2.0 dCi)
or a CVT transmission option on the 4WD 2.0-litre petrol offering a
choice between ‘stepless’ changes or a manual over-ride with six fixed
ratios.