Nissan Qashqai e-Power: The Most Suitable Hybrid for Turkey

As the world turns towards electric vehicles, the emerging infrastructure in our country is still insufficient. This inadequacy raises questions in the minds of those who wish to purchase electric vehicles. The number of individuals abandoning the idea of buying an electric vehicle due to these uncertainties is significantly high. Turkish users, reluctant to take a half-hour break at a charging station, seek solutions in models that do not require charging. While various hybrid technologies exist in the market, Nissan has introduced the most sensible solution that eliminates the need for charging: e-Power. However, it’s important to note that this is not a new technology.

The Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera model, introduced in 2010, was the first vehicle capable of driving purely on electricity, with an internal combustion engine serving as a generator. Nissan, offering a similar version of this system under the name e-Power, aims to store the generated electricity in a small battery by always using the internal combustion engine in the most efficient range and then use an electric motor to power the wheels. Despite advantages such as fuel efficiency and long range, it’s important to note that this system adds weight to the vehicle.

The Qashqai e-Power, despite drawbacks encountered during driving such as “torque steer,” numb steering, and weak sound insulation, has achieved good sales figures. The suspension comfort of the Qashqai has taken a leap forward compared to its previous generation, making it a reliable and comfortable vehicle. Similar to its predecessor, the Qashqai does not excel in any particular aspect but offers a well-rounded performance. Unfortunately, at lower trim levels, the Qashqai continues the trend of not providing many features. Seeing an analog gauge cluster in a 2023 model is disappointing, especially in a hybrid model of this class. The absence of a torsion rear suspension in e-Power models is a significant drawback. Additionally, features such as the 12.3-inch digital display panel, wireless Apple CarPlay, and lower-level autonomous systems compared to its rivals are not offered in the lower trims, which is a disadvantage.

Qashqai, a conservative model, has chosen to progress without significantly altering its previous design language. Apart from the sensational headlight design on the front, the model maintains the silhouette of the previous generation and has not undergone significant growth compared to its predecessor. Previously offering average dimensions in its class, the Qashqai can now be considered one of the smaller models in its class. In a context where competitors provide longer wheelbases, larger trunks, and greater volumes, this size is considered a drawback for the Qashqai. Design-wise, the Qashqai is simple and elegant, making it suitable for those who say, “I want a new car, but I don’t want it to be too attention-grabbing.”

Qashqai is not a bad car. It’s a vehicle that can satisfy those who don’t exactly know what they’re looking for. With an average design, above-average comfort, and a mid-sized interior, the Qashqai is easy to drive when you first sit behind the wheel. It offers good visibility and a comfortable seating position. While the lateral support of the seats may not be strong enough to grip you in corners, you probably won’t feel the need to push the car hard through turns.

The steering pulling to the left during acceleration from 0 to 100 kph adds a bit of excitement, but the car’s acceleration at high speeds is electronically controlled. With its low fuel consumption, the Qashqai e-Power smoothly operates the internal combustion engine, making it almost unnoticeable. Due to the limited widespread infrastructure and fewer standalone homes in Turkey compared to other countries, using petrol as a generator to produce electricity for longer ranges seems to make sense, especially in the Turkish context. While the regenerative braking in e-Pedal mode is decent, it may not bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

Qashqai, ventilation and air conditioning buttons are physically presented in the interior, and the preference for physical buttons makes it easier to adapt to the vehicle at the first sit. The small gear selector also speeds up the gear selection compared to many competitors. Although the material quality of the places you touch in the interior is good, I believe the interior could use a bit more color. While this may not have been as noticeable in the previous generation, nowadays, lighter-colored materials are preferred in the interiors of vehicles.

Qashqai, with small touches, has the potential to be the best in its class that it has established. The point where I criticize Nissan is its lag behind in the class it created. Peugeot, a brand that used to produce somewhat confusing vehicles with poor sales, became the leader in this class with the 3008, improved its sales, and elevated its brand perception. What Peugeot did was to offer class standards and stand out with design. The most cost-effective thing you can develop in a car is design. If you are fixated on a design language and cannot improve yourself in other aspects, you are doomed to regress.

Mainstream manufacturers are all striving to be the best in one aspect: Peugeot with design, Citroen with comfort, Skoda with practical features. In this regard, the future of Nissan is in a questionable situation. Seat, facing similar issues, is on the verge of closure. I think we might witness a decrease in the number of brands in the automotive industry as we transition to fully electric vehicles. I don’t see a bright future for Opel, Jaguar, Suzuki, Honda, and Volkswagen if they don’t take serious steps, similar to Nissan.

With only three models in sales in our country, Nissan is projected to sell fewer than 20,000 vehicles in 2023, less than half of most of its competitors. How do you find the Nissan Qashqai?

I would like to thank my dear friend Halil Şekerci for the driving experience on the vehicle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *