It starts with silent electricity. The power flow graph on the dash sometimes lets you know the engine is running to recharge the battery, but thanks to good sound insulation and smart noise cancellation from the speakers, you usually can’t. ‘to hear.
Put your foot down and the motor shifts to lower compression and higher revs to ensure there’s enough charge for the electric motor to deliver its 188bhp. The staggered chirp of the three pot is not offensive, but a silent EV is not. The effect is distinctly CVT-like, but think today’s well-bred Toyota rather than the DAF Variomatic.
A convincing hybrid, therefore, even if it is far from being revolutionary. It looks like our other complaint has also been addressed, as the Qashqai E-Power gets an all-new infotainment system with a bigger screen and sleeker graphics. The updated system will also roll out to other Qashqais and after a very brief acquaintance, it’s a solid improvement.
A better Qashqai in every way, the E-Power is the one for you, isn’t it? Probably, but this recommendation comes with two big caveats. First, the car we drove was a pre-production car and our experience was limited to a few laps of a course that mimicked a mix of city, B-road and highway driving. It gave us a really good look at the hybrid system, but we had to live with the car for a few days to give a final verdict.
The biggest problem is that the prices have not yet been announced. To pull off its series hybrid trick, the E-Power has a bigger electric motor and a bigger battery than most full hybrids. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the whole car cost more than its rivals. The Qashqai E-Power is one of the most compelling cars of its kind, but it will still need to be priced competitively to earn our recommendation.
Nissan Qashqai E-Power Prototype Specs
Price to confirm Motor 3-cylinder in line, 1498 cc, variable compression petrol, plus 188 hp electric motor Power 188 hp Couple 243 lb ft Transmission Single speed reducer, front wheel drive Unloaded weight 1650kg (estimated) 0-62mph 8.5sec (estimated) Top speed 104 mph (estimated) Economy 53.3mpg (subject to homologation) CO2 119mpg Tax bracket 28% (subject to approval) Rivals Toyota Rav-4; Kia Sportage HEV
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This notice was published: 2022-03-23 00:01:23