2020 Nissan Qashqai: closest look yet at upcoming SUV
14 August 2020 - autocar
The third generation of Nissan's class-defining SUV is nearing completion ahead of launch later this year
Nissan is preparing to launch its new-generation Qashqai later this year, and now we've had our best look yet at a disguised prototype.
The Japanese maker is now testing the model, previously seen in heavy camouflage from afar at a top-secret testing factility, on European roads and allowing spy photographers to get images showing much more detail of the car.
The new shots reveal what looks like an evolutionary design approach for the big-selling family model, rather than a total rethink. The rear end in particular is a familiar profile to the current model. However, side on we can see bodywork profile changes, while a Juke-inspired nose features with a new iteration of the brand's V-motion grille.
The third generation of the hugely popular SUV is due to go on sale early next year, and it's set to continue being built at the Japanese firm's plant in Sunderland.
With Nissan planning to trim much of its European model line as part of a cost-cutting restructuring, the new Qashqai will be of vital importance to the firm. It sold more than 230,000 examples of the model across Europe in 2018, and it was the fifth-best-selling car in the UK last year, despite its age and increasing competition in its class.
The new Qashqai will continue to use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's CMF platform, which is also used for the Renault Kadjar and the larger Nissan X-Trail.
While unconfirmed, it is expected that Nissan won't offer any diesel engines for the new model, but will offer an expanded range of electrified powertrains, ranging from 48V mild-hybrid options to a plug-in hybrid powertrain based on that of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
It is unlikely that the new Qashqai will be offered in electric form, with Nissan currently developing a bespoke electric SUV on the Alliance's new CMF-EV platform.
The interior of the car is also expected to be given a radical revamp, with an overhauled infotainment system and new dashboard design.
Under the recent Alliance revamp, the three firms will move to a 'leader-follower' approach, with Nissan taking the lead on development of CMF-platform cars. There are also talks to switch production of the similar Kadjar to Sunderland.
The Qashqai is one of Nissan's key global models and is offered in all of the firm's key markets, although it's branded as the Rogue Sport in the US.