Nissan Qashqai e-Power 190 Tekna Hybrid Review.
For – handsome, competent, high quality, well equipped, impressive technology.
Against – economy lags.
Price – £38,885
Competition – Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, SEAT Ateca, Peugeot 3008, VW Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Renault Kadjar, Skoda Karoq
“The fact this SUV doesn’t have all-wheel drive marks it down for me, especially at this price. But the design of the new Qashqai attracted a lot of admirers and I’d be very happy to drive around in it”
SUVs pretty much look alike, but the Nissan Qashqai hybrid stands out from the crowd with its high-quality paint job (at least this top-of-the-range version) and easy-on-the-eye design enhancements. The doors shut with a satisfactory, German-reminiscent clunk, and inside the design is simple but impressive, dominated by the big screen, a la Tesla.
It’s comfortable, rides our 3rd world bumpy, potholed roads competently, and when a spurt of acceleration is required, this e-Power hybrid version doesn’t disappoint.
Nissan’s e-Power hybrid uses a different engineering approach. Most hybrid cars combine a petrol engine driving the wheels combined with an electric motor which swap roles or combine as the need arises. The Qashqai e-Power uses the engine to generate electricity which then powers an electric motor.
It’s hard to hear when the petrol engine engages, and I spent most of my drive in one-pedal eco mode, which maximises the regenerative braking power. Because it was so quiet, I’d convinced myself electric-power dominated and that fuel economy would be impressive. Unfortunately, my limited drive of around 150 miles only managed 37.5 mpg. This was a poor week for driving with much snow and ice everywhere. I think a longer, more searching experience, would improve on this significantly, and Nissan claims an average of 55.3 mpg. My test involved mostly rolling hills of Sussex with a bit of motorway thrown in.
The Qashqai e-Power was a delightful car to drive and generated a feeling of safety and competence. This version had electric seats and a head-up display for speed, speed limits and satnav instruction to make everything easy. The rear door opened and shut at the click of a button. There was a huge amount of room and a big boot. Prices start at £35,120 for the Connecta version. The Tekna starts at £38,140. This is the first Qashqai to be equipped with Nissan’s ePOWER drive system.
The whole of the new Qashqai range has been “electrified”, a big word for including so-called “mild-hybrid” engines across the range, below the actual hybrid. This means much of the traditional elements of the engine are now powered by a bigger traditional battery, but there’s nothing hybrid about it. The new Qashqai is quite a bit longer, taller and wider than the old one. It still looks like a Qashqai though.
The e-POWER system combines a battery and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine generating 188 hp, a power generator, inverter and 140kW electric motor. The petrol engine generates electricity, which can be transmitted via the inverter to the battery pack, the electric motor or both, according to the driving scenario.
“Customers will love the feeling of driving an EV, but without having to think about charging. E-POWER is a gateway to full EV driving and represents a significant milestone in Nissan’s electrification strategy,” Nissan said.
“The advantage of the e-POWER system is that the engine runs within its optimal range and best compression ratio, leading to superior fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared with a traditional internal combustion motor, as well as a refined drive thanks to reduced engine noise,” Nissan said.
What to buy
The fact this SUV doesn’t have all-wheel drive marks it down for me, especially at this price. But the design of the new Qashqai attracted a lot of admirers and I’d be very happy to drive around in it. I was disappointed by the fuel economy, but conditions weren’t favourable and I’m sure over 40 mpg is possible.
My own quest for a car to replace my Suzuki Vitara Allgrip petrol automatic starts in the New Year. I would like a hybrid but prefer a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). In my price range, that’s a big ask, unless there’s something Chinese on the horizon.
|Nissan Qashqai e-Power 190 Tekna|
|Engine:||1.5 litre, 3-cylinder petrol|
|Torque:||250 Nm @ 3,000|
|Electric motor:||140 kW, 29 hp|
|Total power:||188 hp|
|Battery capacity:||1.97 kWh, lithium ion|
|Fuel consumption:||combined 53.3 mpg
WintonsWorld test 37.5 mpg
|Top Speed:||105 mph|
|Acceleration:||0 to 60 mph – 7.7 seconds|
|Boot capacity:||504 litres
|Competition:||Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, SEAT Ateca, Peugeot 3008, Toyota RAV4, Renault Kadjar, Skoda Karoq|
|Rating:||**** of 5|
|Price:||£38,885 (including £745 paint job)|
|For:||handsome, competent, high quality, well equipped, impressive technology|