New Nissan Qashqai revealed

Nissan’s compact SUV is getting a big green upgrade in a potential boon for local sales.

The Japanese brand has unveiled its new Qashqai SUV with updated styling, tech and hybrid power, which should arrive by early next year.

Headlining the new Qashqai is the addition of the brand’s e-Power hybrid technology.

The e-Power technology combines a sizeable 140kW electric motor with a 1.5-litre 114kW petrol engine.

In this application the petrol engine never powers the wheels, instead it is used solely to recharge the battery.

The hybrid also comes with the brand’s e-pedal, which allows for the driver to accelerate and brake with just the one pedal.

This kind of braking is found in electric cars where regenerative braking is engaged by taking pressure off the accelerator. The braking force applied is determined by how far you let the pedal out. Regenerative brakes capture energy and feed it back into the batteries, extending the car’s range in stop-start traffic.

Nissan claims the e-Power variant will have similar acceleration to an EV because it only uses the electric motor, which isn’t required to rev and delivers torque instantly.

The addition of hybrid power could make the Qashqai a success down under, where buyers have warmed to hybrids such as the best-selling Toyota RAV4.

There’s also a mild hybrid version of the Qashqai, which uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine making either 103kW or 116kW depending on the variant. There will also be the option for front- or all-wheel drive.

These models will be equipped with 12-volt mild hybrid tech, which powers the starter motor and some other electricals.

The tech upgrades don’t stop under the bonnet.

Inside, Nissan is equipping the Qashqai with a new 12.3-inch digital instrument display that is coupled with a nine-inch infotainment screen.

A 10.8-inch head-up display provides the driver with an easy view of the navigation directions and vital information.

Drivers will be able to use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to control certain infotainment and nav functions.

Connectivity is taken care of by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Nissan accounts for new and old devices with both USB-A and USB-C charging points.

Nissan has boosted its safety tech by making its radar cruise control work at highway speeds and in stop-start traffic.

The Qashqai will stop drivers merging if it detects an object in their blind spot and it now has rear cross-traffic alert with braking to make backing out of driveways easier.

There is a centre airbag, which is the new must-have safety item of 2021, and is designed to stop front seat occupants banging heads during a collision.

Nissan has tweaked the Qashqai’s looks and it is now longer, wider and taller than before, with an increased wheelbase that liberates more space in the cabin.

The Qashqai scores a new-look bumper and slender LED headlights along with a more aggressive and muscular stance.

Full Australian details will be revealed closer to the car’s local launch.

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