It serves a Dualis purpose
Seems you can never have too many SUVs in the showroom
NISSAN’S out to claw back lost SUV market share with two fresh models.
The “all-new” X-Trail is here in May followed in August by the Dualis replacement, which wears the Qashqai badge.
Nissan launched its compact SUV, the Juke, in October into a new sub-segment, then the seven-seat Pathfinder — which forsakes off-road ruggedness for urban family comfort.
Size and pricewise the Qashqai sits above the Juke and under the X-Trail and like these is either a front- or all-wheeldrive with limited ability off the tarmac.
In Britain, where the Qashqui is built, the front-drive petrol version is the best-selling of its range.
We’ll get the five-seater wagon — which is almost 200mm longer than the Juke, 47mm longer than the Dualis and 260mm shorter than the current X-Trail — as a 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre turbo diesel.
British examples have the option of Nissan’s Safety Shield technology, which includes autonomous emergency braking with forward cameras, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition and auto park assist.
Nissan boss Peter Jones says the Qashqai picks up where the Dualis left off.
“The Qashqai has typically attracted small-car buyers seeking all of the benefits of a compact car but with various SUV-related features, such as a higher seating position and luggage space, but without the size-related issues of a larger car,’’ he says.
The seven-seater Dualis +2 will be dropped. That role is filled by the new X-Trail.
“Where the Qashqai will appeal to couples, the new X-Trail will be more for families,’’ Jones says.
Australian X-Trails continue to be built in Japan.
The 2014 X-Trail is the same length as the current model at 4630mm but is wider (by 50mm), higher (by 15mm) and sits on a 2705mm wheelbase that is 75mm longer.
The wheelbase is not shared with the Qashqai — that is trimmed by 60mm.
There are similarities in the design of the X-Trail and Qashqai and viewers only have to look at the latest Pathfinder to see the styling origins.
Instead of the squared lines of the current X-Trail, the new wagon is fluid and almost carlike in its design.
Practical features include the three rows of theatre-tiered seats to give rear passengers a better view, rear doors that open to almost 80 degrees and second-row seats that recline and slide.