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History of Nissan Qashqai
Nissan first unveiled the Qashqai at the 2006 Paris Motor Show before it went on sale in February 2007. Many considered the Japanese manufacturer to be making a bold move in replacing the conventional Almera, a rival for the Ford Focus, with the crossover. The Nissan Qashqai is an SUV sized family car, but instead of being a ''gas guzzler'' its a front wheel drive with economical engines. For Nissan the Qashqai has been a great success, with over 1.24 million cars sold in Europe during the 7.5 year production run of the first generation. The name Qashqai actually comes from the Turkic people who live in mountainous Southwestern Iran. First on sale in 2007, the Qashqai has sold very well in the UK and the latest version has been awarded WhatCar? Car of the Year twice.
First Generation Nissan Qashqai J10 (2007 - 2013)
Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK in Sunderland began to produce the Qashqai in December 2006. It''s very much designed for the European market, having been styled by Nissan Design Europe in London and developed at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
This was a good choice for Nissan because within a year of sales commencing around 100,000 Qashqais were sold in Europe, 17,554 of those in the UK alone. Nissan aimed the Qashqai at buyers who were looking for a more dynamic design but not pulled towards the aggressive styling of an SUV. The Nissan Qashqai is between a compact MPV and a compact SUV in size and the manufacturer sees the crossover as a rival to the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.
There were five engine choices on the original Qashqai; two petrols and three diesels ranging from 106 PS to 150 PS. The Nissan Qashqai is known for its frugal nature and five star Euro NCAP safety rating.
In 2008 Nissan launched the Qashqai+2 (J10E), which had a third row of seats to accommodate seven people. To allow for these extra seats the Qashqai+2 is 211mm longer and 38mm taller at the rear than the standard version. It was available with the same trim levels and engines as the regular Qashqai. The +2 has been discontinued and drivers looking for a seven-seater now have to opt for the larger seven-seat X-Trail.
The Nissan Qashqai was facelifted in 2010 and given a completely new look to the front end. At the rear, LED tail lights were added, and inside the car the instrument panel layout changed, soundproofing was improved and there were some minor storage additions. ESP was now standard across the range and the Pure Drive eco-friendly variant was announced.
2011 Engine Update
The 2.0l dCi engine was replaced with a new 1.6l dCi that had less power but the same torque and increased acceleration. The n-tec and above trims also started to have the Around View Monitor parking aid.
Nissan Qashqai J11 (2012 - Present)
Following on from the success of the first generation Nissan launched the new Qashqai (J11) at a worldwide streamed event in London in November 2013 dubbed #nextgen. Since going on sale in the UK in February 2014 the new Qashqai has been awarded WhatCar? Car of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
Five trim levels are available on the current Nissan Qashqai; Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium, n-tec, and Tekna. In terms of engines there''s one economical petrol and two frugal diesels on offer. Buyers also have a choice of front-wheel-drive or 4x4, and manual or automatic.