Nissan moves Qashqai upmarket

The new Qashqai is more upscale than its predecessor, which has been Nissan's No. 1 seller in Europe since 2007.
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Nissan is so confident about the new Qashqai that its production capacity is three times that of the first-generation crossover.

Nissan's factory in Sunderland, England, is geared to build up to 300,000 Qashqais a year. When the original Qashqai was launched in 2007, annual output at Sunderland was 100,000. That number was soon expanded.

Nissan built 2 million first-generation Qashqais globally from 2007 to 2013. Of that total, 1.7 million rolled off the UK line.

Global sales for Europe's top crossover and Nissan's No. 1 model peaked at 256,000 in 2011.

Fast facts
What are some of the key changes in the new Qashqai?
The car is 47mm longer (4337mm) and 26mm wider (1806mm) than the first-generation model. Height was reduced by 15mm to 1590mm and drag coefficient was cut to 0.32 from 0.34, which helped slash CO2 emissions to 99g/km from 119g/km in diesel versions and to 129g/km from 139g/km in gasoline variants.
Why offer a 4wd version?
Mainly to strengthen the model image as just 10 percent of first-generation Qashqai buyers chose the option. Nissan expects the same fitment rate for the new model.
New technology?
The Qashqai has two systems that help with parking: Around View Monitor automatically measures the size of an available parallel parking space then Park Assist actively steers the car into the space as the driver controls the direction of movement. The system also can put the car into a perpendicular space in a parking garage with help from AVM's bird's-eye view.

To maintain strong Qashqai demand, Nissan made the second-generation car longer and wider while reducing its height and improving its drag coefficient to cut fuel use. Nissan also moved the new Qashqai upscale by adding high-tech features, all without a big boost to the starting price.

The basics
Launch date: January (UK); February-March (rest of Europe)
Base price: 19,940 euros (Germany)
Where built: Sunderland, England
Platform: CMFCD (Renault-Nissan's Common Module Family C/D segments)
Lowest CO2 emissions: 99g/km (110-hp 1.5-liter diesel)
Main rivals: Ford Kuga, Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, VW Tiguan

“The new Qashqai costs about 2 percent more, but adds 5 percent more equipment and standard features,” said Nissan Global Chief Marketability Engineer Jerry Hardcastle.

This story is from the current issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine, which is available to read on our iPhone and iPad apps.You can download the new issue as well as past issues by clicking here.

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