2014 Nissan Qashqai predicted to match success of previous model

Article by Anita Panait, on January 23, 2014

Nissan's Europe chief Trevor Mann is confident that the second-generation Qashqai crossover will equal the success of the previous model. Mann told Automotive News Europe in an interview that he expects annual sales of around 200,000 Qashqais in Europe.  But, IHS Automotive is skeptical of his numbers.

"We forecast the numbers will fall on competition and the rollout of the [Nissan] X-Trail," IHS senior analyst Ian Fletcher said. The newer and bigger X-Trail SUV will offer a seven-seat configuration for the first time, replacing the already terminated seven-seat Qashqai+2. Also, the market for crossovers in Europe has expanded significantly since Nissan launched the Qashqai in 2007.

Likewise, other carmakers are offering new crossovers that are smaller and less expensive than the Qashqai. Add that to the fact the Nissan Juke may also affect sales of the Qashqai.

IHS expects Qashqai’s European sales to peak at 180,500 in 2015 and drop to 148,000 in 2016. Nissan has commenced serial production of the new Qashqai at its Sunderland site in England. The new Qashqai is more fuel-efficient and more spacious than the previous model. The new Qashqai is also slightly lower to the ground than the previous model.

The Qashqai is the first Nissan to be underpinned on the compact module family platform (CMF) that the Japanese carmaker shares with alliance partner Renault, the company said in a statement.

By 2020, the CMF platform will underpin 11 Renaults and three Nissans – Qashqai, X-Trail and a yet-to-be-named compact hatchback -- according to Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

When Nissan first released the Qashqai in 2007, it defined what would later be considered as the first crossover template. For the second generation of this model, the brand hopes to bring the segment to new heights, considering that it manages to set standards when it comes to crossover design. In addition to the strong design, intelligent technology and cutting-edge engineering are also present.

That extra attention to detail was done is also evident. This latest model from Nissan has a striking new appearance that features elaborate details, clean lines, and the powerful curves. It can even be observed on the alloy 19-inch wheels, despite being an option.

There are also a number of new bold elements like the muscular wheel arches and the raised bonnet. All of these give the Qashqai a feel of dynamic strength. Viewed on the front, this section integrates a number of technologies considered as one of the most advanced to be part of the crossover segment.

All of the Qashqai models will have the LED daytime running lights as standard. However, some variants will be fitted with technology that is even more sophisticated like the use of full LED for the main beam and the dip beam. With Nissan being known for being able to deliver usable technology, the use of LED rather than Xenon is not limited to being a novelty.

Created from scratch, it is wrong to say that the new Qashqai is simply a redesign of the previous generation. Compared to the previous version, this second generation is longer by 49 mm, wider by 20 mm, and lower by 15 mm. While the height is indeed lower, the headroom levels for both the front and the rear are bigger by 10 mm. Nissan also revealed that the raised driving position has been retained.

New from the ground up, the new Qashqai is much more than just a rework of its ground-breaking predecessor. The second-generation model is 20mm wider, 49mm longer and 15mm lower than the current car. Yet despite this reduction in height, front and rear headroom levels have actually increased by 10mm and the raised driving position remains.

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