Alternative powertrain plan
The generous inclusion of equipment could help offset the lack of choice in launch engines in the new Qashqai.
The only option is a 1.3-liter gasoline unit with 12-volt mild-hybrid assistance offering either 138 hp or 158 hp.
A continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive are also available on the higher-powered model. An e-Power hybrid variant with a 1.5-liter variable compression engine won't be available until next year.
Nissan has ruled out offering a plug-in hybrid version.
Nissan said cost and weight benefits convinced it to pick the 12-volt mild-hybrid over more powerful 48-volt setups like Volkswagen Group uses on many of its brands.
"We decided to go down the approach of weight saving," Brown said.
Even so, the mild-hybrid technology adds another 22 kg to the third-generation Qashqai, which is already heavier than its predecessor due to stiffening needed for new side-impact crash regulations.
Leaner but longer
One way Nissan countered the weight gain was by using the lighter CMF-C platform, making the Qashqai the first model in Europe to employ underpinnings that will be extended to a range of models in the Renault-Nissan alliance.
The new platform uses more high-strength, lightweight steel; the Qashqai's doors, hood and front fenders are largely made of aluminum and its tailgate is a composite material.
The CMF-C has already been used by Nissan for the Rogue in the U.S., due next year in Europe badged the X-Trail, and the Sylphy in China.
The new platform also allowed Nissan to make the Qashqai bigger. At 4425 mm, it's 35 mm longer than its predecessor. It's also 32 mm wider (1838 mm) and 25 mm taller (1635 mm). The trunk space has grown by 50 liters to 504 liters, Nissan said.