Nissan has given its popular Qashqai small SUV a minor facelift for 2018, bring updated styling, higher levels of interior quality, improved driving performance and the addition of new Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of safety technologies.
On the styling front, the 2018 Qashqai cops a new front fascia incorporating Nissan’s signature ‘V-motion’ front grille, new front bumper with two new horizontal finishers and front fog lamps from the mid-spec ST-L model.
There’s also enhanced LED daytime running lights on the ST and ST-L, and full ‘boomerang-styled’ LED DRL on all higher grades models, including the new N-TEC special edition (below) which heads the range at launch. The N-TEC will be replaced by the range-topping Ti model when it arrives in mid-2018.
The rear of the Qashqai has also been updated to offer two rear bumper designs, depending on grade. The rear ‘boomerang’ LED taillights are more aerodynamic, and with the shark fin antenna, reduces drag. There are also new alloy wheels across the range with 17- and 18-inch wheels on ST and ST-L respectively, as well as 19-inch wheels on the N-TEC and Ti.
Inside, the new Nissan Qashqai is said to offer new standards in quality and refinement with the introduction of a new D-shaped steering wheel that includes redesigned cruise, phone and instrument controls. The centre console armrest includes new stitching, while the air vents and door handles feature finishes that ‘are considered as standard on higher-end vehicles’. The now leather-booted automatic gearshift knob has also been upgraded.
The 2018 Qashqai also features one-touch power windows on all four doors that can be opened and closed remotely. Elsewhere, the ST grade seat benefits from a new and more durable upholstered finish, while seats in all other grades are now monoform in design, providing a more premium seating experience. The ST-L and N-TEC seat have partial leather trim, while nappa leather is also offered on the range-topping Ti.
DAB+ digital radio is now standard equipment from the ST-L model, while the 7.0-inch touch screen sat nav unit has a smarter interface that is more app-like in appearance.
Under the metal, firmer spring rates, stiffer stabiliser bars, new front and rear bumper bound characteristics, plus damper re-tuning, is said to provide a premium ride and handling experience by absorbing the bumps and reducing body motion when cornering. Also, the introduction of Active Return Control means the steering wheel returns to centre more naturally, and a new dynamic damper on the assembly behind the steering wheel results in less vibration through the steering column.
Nissan says its engineers have improved the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) by increasing the level of door and fender sealing, there is more (front and rear) door and fender protection absorption, additional door and floor panel dampening, and the thicker rear glass (increasing 3.15mm to 3.85mm) combines to reduce road and wind noise.
With a focus on safety, Nissan now has Intelligent Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning as standard across the entire range, as well as front and rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, Lane Departure Warning, Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist and an electric park brake with auto hold.
Depending on the variant, the Qashqai also offers Intelligent Park Assist – Nissan’ s self-parking technology, a 360 degree Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Intelligent Driver Alert and Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and High Beam Assist.
New to the Qashqai – and part of the suite of safety technologies that form Nissan Intelligent Mobility – is Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Lane Intervention and the Adaptive Front-lighting System, which will be available on select grades.
All variants feature a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 106kW of power and 200Nm of torque mated to either a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission.
Pricing (excluding on-road costs)
|Nissan QASHQAI ST||6MT||$26,490|
|Nissan QASHQAI ST||CVT||$28,990|
|Nissan QASHQAI ST-L||CVT||$32,990|
|Nissan QASHQAI N-TEC||CVT||$36,490|
|Nissan QASHQAI Ti||CVT||$37,990|