New Nissan Qashqai hybrid spied for the first time

The next-generation Nissan Qashqai is expected to drop its diesel engines in favour of hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains

The all-new Nissan Qashqai has been spied testing for the first time. It follows the debut of the Nissan IMQ concept (below) at last year’s Geneva Motor Show – thought at the time to preview the look of the next-generation SUV.

The big news, however, is that the new Qashqai is expected to ditch the current car’s conventional diesel engines in favour of two hybrid powertrains. The first will likely use the company's e-Power setup, which currently appears in domestic-market models like the Nissan Note e-Power. 

The maker has already confirmed e-Power technology will be brought to Europe in 2022, and it’s likely the next Qashqai will be one of the first models to use this kit. Fitted with a small 1.2-litre petrol engine and a small electric motor, the Qashqai hybrid is likely to have an electric range of only one or two miles.

The second model – a plug-in hybrid – should boast far lower emissions and a much longer electric range. There’s a chance this version will be offered with four-wheel drive, with the petrol engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor sending drive to the rear. This is expected to become a company car favourite, as those low CO2 emissions should result in a rock-bottom Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax bill.

It’s difficult to make out any of the new Nissan Qashqai’s key styling features due to the test model’s heavy camouflage. However, it’s expected the Qashqai wil take inspiration not only from the IMQ concept, but from the latest Nissan Juke, which launched towards the end of 2019. 

As such, we expect the Qashqai to feature split headlights and a bold V-shaped grille, as well as a sloping roofline and raked rear window. It’ll be bigger and more practical than the Juke, however, with space inside for five adults to sit relatively comfortably.

On-board technology is likely to mirror the Juke more closely than the IMQ concept, too. The latter featured a huge 840mm screen, with a second screen housing the Virtual Personal Assistant feature used to control functions like navigation and climate control. We expect the new Nissan Qashqai to lift the Juke’s eight-inch touchscreen near-enough unchanged, perhaps replacing the analogue dials with a fully digital setup.

Sharing its CMF mechanical platform with the latest Juke, it’s not clear whether the hybrid and plug-in hybrid Qashqai models will sacrifice a degree of practicality in order to house the usually bulky batteries and electric motor. However, as this architecture has been designed from the outset with electrification in mind, the compromises are expected to be minimal.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic slowing production and new product launches, we don’t expect to see the production version of this next-generation Nissan Qashqai until later in 2020 – perhaps not until early 2021.