Nissan Qashqai E-Power: Electric, but not too much

Cars and mobility

Forerunner of the electric car with its Leaf, Nissan took the time to apply its revenue in the very promising category of the mid-range SUV. Something done with the Qashqai e-Power? Yes and no.

By Stephane Wamat

In fact, if you want a 100% electric Nissan SUV, you have to look at the Ariya… and wait. Because its release has been delayed. And if it is present in the configurator of the brand’s website, the Ariya is still priceless. However, we can already buy a Nissan SUV powered exclusively by electricity with the new generation of the brand’s best seller, the Qashqai, in its e-Power version. But there is a trick.

In fact, the model is only powered by a 190 horsepower electric motor. And with its 2.1 kWh battery, we won’t get very far. Fortunately, there’s a gasoline engine under the hood, a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder and 156 hp. So are we talking about a hybrid instead of an electric one? Not exactly, because the gasoline engine has no connection to the wheels.

It’s just there to produce the electricity needed by the electric motor. It is therefore a range extender. New to Nissan Europe, the principle has already been used by the manufacturer for a few years in Japan, and we’ve seen it here a few years ago on models like the BMW i3 and the Opel Ampera / Chevrolet Volt cousins.

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As complicated as it sounds, the system proves to be extremely convincing. On the one hand, it has all the pleasant qualities of a classic electric car: smooth operation, starts and accelerations as linear as vigorous if desired, instant reactions, one-pedal driving if you activate the most powerful regeneration mode, and even the same monastic silence. Well, almost: we obviously regularly hear the gasoline engine wake up to “boost” the electricity, but it remains extremely discreet.

In terms of dynamism, this engine highlights the balanced and calming personality of the Qashqai. Nissan’s SUV has the good taste not to believe in any sporting pretensions, preferring to be driven with fluidity. “Like a good father” as the expression has become politically incorrect.

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It remains to be said that at 40,740 euros, including basic VAT, the Nissan Qashqai e-Power is not cheap. In fairness, it should be noted that it comes with quite generous equipment, including a larger central multimedia screen than other Qashqai. In our opinion, this is a rather interesting offering from Nissan. Too bad the state doesn’t see it as an electric vehicle and therefore doesn’t benefit from any advantages.

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THE OPINION OF THE LAMARCHE FAMILY

“We had already tested the new Qashqai and found it charming, functional and well equipped for a family, with a trunk of more than 500 liters. Here it increases to 455 liters. This is apparently explained by somewhat special mechanics, which implies that a battery and other components must be installed somewhere. In fact, in testing, this e-Power version is much nicer than the first-time only petrol engine. The idea of ​​the car that has the benefits of electric driving without the stress of starting is cool. Honestly, we love this system. From there to invest 40,000 euros? I’m not sure. But we will be happy to share this very pleasant driving experience with those around us. »

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THE OPINION OF THE ECO-DRIVING EXPERT

The principle of the electric car with the gasoline engine that powers it is not really new. But what Nissan has done with it works particularly well. In theory, the manufacturer advertises an average of 5.3 l/100 km. With a 55 liter tank, this would make an “electric” car with over 1,000 km of range. And much more, because after having learned to “talk” well with this system, we noticed an average… of 4.7 l/100 km. Great job from Nissan!

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TECHNICAL DATA

L/l/h (mm): 4,529 / 1,838 / 1,635 – 5 seats – 1,687 kg Electric motor + extension – Power: 190 hp Torque: 250 Nm – WLTP consumption: 5.3 l/100 km – WLTP CO2: 120 g /km – Price: 40,740 euros including VAT

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