It is the first full project for Paddington, London, based Nissan Design Europe.
The manufacturer describes the all-wheel drive crossover as a “robust compact for the city and for the great outdoors”, combining sporting hatchback lines with serious 4x4. It features rear-hinged back doors, good rear passenger access as a result of having no B-pillar, and side-hinged seats.
At its launch Nissan Motor Co’s senior vice-president of design, Shiro Nakamura, said Qashqai would pioneer a new sector of the market.
“If the market share of the traditional hatchback is declining, its place might well be taken by striking crossover vehicles designed to live a dual life,” he said. Qashqai is named after a nomadic tribe living in South Western Iran.