Crossover icon reborn with new Nissan Qashqai

The original Nissan Qashqai pioneered a new market sector, now the new model aims to mark the start

The original Nissan Qashqai pioneered a new market sector, now the new model aims to mark the start of the next generation of crossovers. - Credit: Nissan

How do you redesign a car that created one of the most successful and popular segments in recent motoring history? With bold design and accessible technology at its heart, the new Nissan Qashqai is the end product of a remarkable development story – a journey that marks the start of the next generation of crossovers.

Replacing and improving on a design loved and admired by nearly two million owners was no easy task. Led by Nissan’s chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura, the UK-based Nissan Design Europe team quickly established three core values for the new Qashqai.

“The inspiration was three-fold,” explains Shiro Nakamura. “Athletic Agility, Smart Premium and In Control are themes that run through every element of the design. This car represents several years of dedicated work. We have created an all-new design that builds on the success of the first-generation Qashqai and confirms Nissan’s crossover leadership.”

Drawing on Nissan’s crossover family DNA, new Qashqai features a bold, sporty stance that is instantly recognisable yet new and exciting.

One of the key elements of the Qashqai’s design form is the relationship between the wheels and the rest of the body and changing the wheel arch volumes to accentuate the car’s strength and confidence. There is also more sense of movement on the surfaces of the new model for a more dynamic look and the protective parts have a more premium feel.

Nissan’s philosophy of accessible technology can be seen and touched everywhere in the new Qashqai. From the interior materials and controls to exterior details, every area has been designed to make full use of available technologies.

By establishing the available technologies and features at the very start of the design process, the team was able to integrate all the key features into the car. As a result, all the Qashqai’s technologies are integrated into the finished design and work effortlessly with the rest of the car.

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The team also worked hard to develop the Qashqai’s premium feel with a range of styling devices usually found on more expensive luxury models.

Control is a theme that runs throughout the new Qashqai’s design. From the driver-focused interior and seating position to the exterior design, every element has been crafted to give passengers and owners a feeling of security and control.

To further enhance the confident personality of the new car, key details such as the front and rear lights, with a boomerang design theme, came under intense design scrutiny so the new Qashqai is instantly recognisable at a distance.

Giving Qashqai passengers a feeling of control and security inside was another priority.

Taisuke Nakamara says: “The main instrument panel is a major element of the new design. Visually, it expands the width of the cockpit and flows into the door design. This creates a focus point at the centre for all the important displays and makes passengers feel protected by the car.

“To emphasise this feeling of protection, the lower section of the dashboard features padded panels, along with additional pads on the centre console for the knees.”