how much is the electric SUV worth that you don’t charge?

If Nissan took over, for its Juke Hybrid, the E-Tech technology developed by Renault for its Clio, Captur and Arkana, using a special clamshell transmission (four thermal and two electric gears), the manufacturer The Japanese played his own sheet music for his Nissan Qashqai called e-Power, which he presents as an electric car you never need to recharge. A statement that is partially true, but somewhat false nonetheless. In fact, to be completely honest, we have to talk of a car with certainly 100% electric propulsion since only this energy moves the front wheels, but that must still be filled with super.

A hybrid Nissan Qashqai, but with 100% electric propulsion

It is, therefore, a hybrid, but with an originality nonetheless, because the internal combustion engine is therefore used here only to drive a second electric motor which acts 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 electrical blocks. And thanks to the small 2.1 kWh battery (so 1.8 kWh usable) but capable of delivering 60 kW of power and quickly recharging during braking, you easily start on fire in zero emissions in the city without throwing your velvet foot. Use without consuming a drop of fuel that can be easily extended 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 silent engine blocks.

Great smoothness of use and little noise

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

The ease of use of this Nissan Qashqai e-Power is therefore very good, with two caveats. If the performances are really dynamic to overtake (80 to 120 km/h in just 5.2 s), we noticed during these frank accelerations a reaction time to the pressure of the right pedal.. A delay due to the fact that the three-cylinder must start or increase speed to supply 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 beginning of the race, as well as just before stopping. And since Nissan decided to remove the “One-Pedal” function that allowed stopping in the city without touching the left pedal, its occupants are shaken regularly. In fact, there are four levels of regenerative braking to configure by combining the “e-pedal Step” and “B” modes, which are a little tricky to use, but none of them lets you overcome this brutality.

A very sophisticated 1.5-liter turbo with variable compression ratio

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

A little less sober than expected

Big 19-inch or 20-inch wheels do away with a little apprehension.
Big 19-inch or 20-inch wheels do away with a little apprehension.© Nissan

Passed in our Montlhéry measurement base, the result of this sophisticated engine technology is interesting. It is true that if Nissan had decided, like Honda, to directly couple its internal combustion to the wheels at a stabilized speed above 70 km/h to optimize performance, the result would have been even better, especially on the road where this Qashqai still drinks 8.3 l / 100 km, like a bigger and more powerful Toyota RAV4. This Nissan Qashqai, whose 1.5 is very fuel-optimized, however it remains sober on the road (6.2 l / 100 km). But for a hybrid 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 to 4.6 l/100 km. Let’s just say that the unprecedented sophistication of the Nissan Qashqai’s engine only partially compensates for the flawed performance of its original powertrain.

A battery under the front seats of the Nissan Qashqai Hybrid

On the other hand, we appreciate that the volume of the trunk is fully preserved (340 Dm3) thanks to the installation of the battery under the front seats.that retains this Qashqai’s interesting familiar abilities. Older adults or teens will be comfortable in the rear seats but will have to endure, as with all Nissan Qashqai, suspension shakes. on all the little flaws on the road, which the 19-inch rims in our Tekna finish contribute, or 20p. optional (18 inches in Acenta finish will likely be preferable), not really essential here given the sobriety-oriented vocation of this hybrid. These wheels also contribute to greatly increasing rolling noise on grainy surfaces, decibels that emerge especially as the engine is extremely silent when it starts. Displayed from €38,200, that is €1,300 more than a Nissan Qashqai Mild Hybrid 158 hp Xtronic, this e-Power is not cheap because it is only offered in the superior finishes.

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