New Nissan Qashqai e-Power: what is the electric-powered SUV worth that you don’t recharge?

If Nissan has taken over, for its Juke Hybrid, the E-Tech technology developed by Renault for its Clio, Captur and Arkana, using a special claw transmission (four thermal gears and two electric gears), the manufacturer Japanese has played its own score for its Nissan Qashqai called e-Power, which it presents as an electric car that you never need to recharge. A statement that is partially true, but a bit false all the same. In fact, to be perfectly honest, we have to talk of a car with certainly 100% electric propulsion since only this energy drives the front wheels, but which must still be filled with super.

A hybrid Nissan Qashqai, but with 100% electric propulsion

It is therefore a hybrid, but with an originality all the same since the internal combustion engine is therefore only used here to drive a second electric motor acting as a generator to produce the necessary electricity. The feeling behind the wheel is therefore that of having an electric car since the 190 hp traction motor delivers its 330 Nm of torque instantly, like all electric blocks. And thanks to the small 2.1 kWh battery (therefore 1.8 kWh usable) but capable of delivering 60 kW of power and recharging fairly quickly during braking, you start easily on fire in zero emissions in town without playing the velvet foot. Use without consuming a drop of fuel that can easily be extended over three or four kilometers and up to 70 km/h before the 1.5 petrol needs to start, which it always does very discreetly and without any vibrationthanks to the excellent insulation provided by its very flexible motor silentblocks.

Great smoothness of use, and little noise

In this e-Power, the 1.5 turbo is only used to produce the electricity needed for the electric traction motor.
In this e-Power, the 1.5 turbo is only used to produce the electricity needed for the electric traction motor.© Nissan

The ease of use of this Nissan Qashqai e-Power is therefore really good, with two caveats. If the performances are really dynamic to overtake (80 to 120 km/h in just 5.2 s), we note during these frank accelerations a reaction time to the depression of the right pedal. A delay due to the fact that the three-cylinder must start, or increase in speed to provide enough electricity to the electric traction motor. And especially, more annoying, the dosage of the brake pedal remains delicate because of a brutality at the start of the race, as well as just before stopping. And since Nissan has decided to remove the “One-Pedal” function which allowed you to stop in town without touching the left pedal, its occupants are regularly shaken. There are indeed four levels of regenerative braking to be configured by combining the “e-pedal Step” and “B” modes, which is a bit complicated to use, but none of them allows you to overcome this brutality.

A very sophisticated 1.5 turbo, with variable compression ratio

As this “petrol engine driving a generator producing electricity to power an electric motor” technology has the inconvenience on paper of accumulating several yield losses, Nissan has particularly worked on its thermal block to maintain an interesting level of consumption. The choice therefore fell on a three-cylinder 1.5 turbo with a variable geometry turbo, but also a variable compression ratio. Derived from the 2.0 four-cylinder marketed in the USA by Infiniti, but deprived here of a cylinder, this sophisticated 157 hp block uses actuators allowing eccentrics to vary the compression ratio at will between 8 and 14:1 in order to optimize performance, therefore consumption, depending on the conditions of use. Clearly, the operation is as follows: high compression ratio and low boost for low and medium acceleration, and low compression ratio with high boost pressure for high acceleration.

A little less sober than expected

Big 19 or 20 inch wheels wind up quite a bit of trepidation.
Big 19 or 20 inch wheels wind up quite a bit of trepidation.© Nissan

Passed on our Montlhéry measurement base, the result of this sophisticated engine technology is interesting. Admittedly, if Nissan had decided, as at Honda, to directly couple its internal combustion to the wheels at stabilized speed above 70 km/h to optimize performance, the result would have been even better, especially on the highway where this Qashqai still drinks 8.3 l / 100 km, like a larger and more powerful Toyota RAV4. This Nissan Qashqai, whose 1.5 is very optimized for consumption, remains however sober on the road (6.2 l / 100 km). But for a hybrid it shines less than expected in the city with 5.9 l/100 km, when a RAV4 is content with 4.9 l/100 km, a Honda CRV requires only 5.2 l/100 km, and a Renault Arkana E-Tech, certainly less efficient, drops downright to 4.6 l/100 km. Let’s say that the unprecedented engine sophistication of the Nissan Qashqai only partially compensates for the imperfect performance of its original powertrain.

A battery under the front seats of the Nissan Qashqai hybrid

On the other hand, we appreciate that the trunk volume is fully preserved (340 Dm3) thanks to the installation of the battery under the front seatswhich keeps the interesting family skills of this Qashqai. Adults or older teenagers will be comfortable in the rear seats, but they will have to endure, as in all Nissan Qashqai, the tremors of the suspension. on all the little flaws in the road, which the 19-inch rims in our Tekna finish contribute, or 20 p. optional (18 inches in Acenta finish will probably be preferable), not really essential here given the sobriety-oriented vocation of this hybrid. These wheels also contribute to raising a lot of rolling noise on grainy surfaces, decibels that emerge especially as the mechanism is extremely silent when it starts. Displayed from €38,200, i.e. €1,300 more than a Nissan Qashqai Mild Hybrid 158 hp Xtronic, this e-Power is not cheap because only offered in the superior finishes.

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New Nissan Qashqai e-Power: what is the electric-powered SUV worth that you don’t recharge?

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