Nissan had a surprise in store yesterday for the automotive press assembled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with a preview presentation of the all-new Qashqai.
Highly successful in Europe for the past decade, the Qashqai will be seen on our Canadian roads as early as this coming spring; the Nissan will fit into the carmaker’s utility-vehicle roster in between the JUKE and the Rogue.
The small, 5-passenger urban SUV will have as its main competitors the Subaru Crosstrek, the Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V, in the fastest-growing market segment in North America in terms of sales. Sales of small SUVs have in fact now surpassed those of compact sedans.
The arrival of the Nissan Qashqai is the second masterstroke from the Nissan Canada team under the stewardship of Christian Meunier, Senior Vice-President, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations at Nissan North America and Chairman of Nissan Canada. It follows in the wake of the splash made by the Micra sub-compact.
The Qashqai may be destined for big things going by its appealing design and the impressive driving experience it offers, not to mention the highly fuel-efficient performance of its 2.0L, 4-cylinder engine. That motor can produce 141 HP and uses a direct injection system. Consumers will be able to choose between a 6-speed manual or CVT-type automatic transmission.
Industry-watchers are keeping a close eye on the Nissan Qashqai; many expect it to rapidly take its place as a prime choice in its segment, and likely the second-best selling SUV on Nissan Canada’s roster.