The 2018 version of the popular Nissan Qashqai crossover has made landfall in Australia, bringing with it a fresher face and a more comprehensive suite of safety features. Prices start from $26,490 (excluding on-road costs) and spread over four variants: ST, ST-L, N-TEC, and Ti. And while three of the former specs are available at launch, that final range-topper is only due to arrive in mid-2018.
Nissan aims to move roughly 1,250 new buyers each month while stealing would-be owners from the likes of the venerable Mitsubishi ASX and Mazda CX-3. On the surface, the Japanese marque is trying hard to add some pizzaz to the original design of the second-generation car from 2013, adding its signature V-Motion grille design, updated front and rear bumpers, as well as some funky alloys that reach 19-inches in diameter on the two high grade variants.
Under the bonnet, the 1.6-litre turbodiesel has been ditched a single engine option, specifically a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol that’s mated to either a six-speed manual (ST only) or Nissan’s X-Tronic CVT, either transmission choice provides the front wheels with 106kW and 200Nm of overall thrust. Due to its variable ratio nature, the CVT automatic has the slight edge in fuel economy, claiming to need 6.9-litres of petrol to cover 100km compared to the 7.0-litres that manual needs.
Customers very conscious about safety should really appreciate the fact that all variants of the 2018 Qashqai now come with Autonomous Emergency Braking and forward collision alert as standard, supplemented by front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, lane departure warning, hill start assist, and brake assist.
Depending on which grade is selected, buyers will also access other advanced features such as a 360-degree camera, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive headlights, and intelligent cruise control.
In base ST spec, the new Qashqai comes with 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, a less feature-packed 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, cloth seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The step-up ST-L adds larger 18-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, the aforesaid 360-degree camera system, and part-leather upholstery.
The mid-range and limited edition N-TEC, as the name suggests, brings some technology-focused additions as well as 19-inch wheels, namely automatic LED headlights, interior ambient lighting, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a panoramic roof. Meanwhile the Ti - which won’t arrive until midway through next year, mind you - adds Nappa leather seats, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist.
- Qashqai ST - Manual - $26,490
- Qashqai ST - CVT - $28,990
- Qashqai ST-L - CVT - $32,990
- Qashqai N-TEC - CVT - $36,490
- Qashqai Ti - CVT - $37,990