I have fond memories of Nissan, primarily from watching the long-defunct Nissan Mobil 500 that was a highlight of my childhood.
As an extension of this, I remember the first time “Godzilla” appeared on the race tracks of Australasia. It was a car so loaded with technical innovations that it blew the competition away and gave both the car and brand cult status.
Obviously, then I was pretty excited when I found out I would be driving Nissan’s latest example of how much technical innovation they can load into a vehicle. On paper the Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L is very impressive, read below to find out if after a week in the vehicle, the reality lived up to the hype.
What We Like and Dislike About The 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L
What we like
- High-quality interior
- Quiet and smooth ride
- Striking design and colour options
- High level of automated tech
- Great efficiency
What we don’t like
- Auto park was hit or miss
- Cruise control activation clumsy
What’s In The 2023 Nissan Qashqai Range?
When purchasing your Qashqai you have a few versions to choose from. Starting from the lower end Qashqai ST and moving up in order you have the ST-L, Ti and Ti-L These all feature the same 1.3L, 4-cylinder petrol engine, driving the front 2 wheels through a CVT transmission. As you go up the range you get a few more extras, such as wireless charging, apple CarPlay, larger wheels, larger instrument cluster, premium seats etc.
If you are interested in the hybrid options, you have two; the e-Power Ti and e-Power Ti-L, the latter of which we are testing. The Ti-L comes fully loaded with every feature you would want, and the hybrid system is powered by a 1.3L, 3-cylinder petrol engine.
2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L Standard Equipment Highlights
The Ti-L is the top of the range Qashqai and comes at one price only, $64,990. With this you get a lot as standard.
- 19″ Alloy Wheels
- Black – Monoform Seats with Quilted premium leather seat fronts
- Intelligent Around View Monitor (360° colour cameras)
- Intelligent Driver Alert
- Intelligent Rear Automatic Braking
- Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention
- Blind Spot Warning
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- High Beam Assist
- Traffic Sign Recognition with Active Speed Limiter
- Moving Object Detection
- Intelligent front emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist recognition and junction assist
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
- Intelligent Lane Intervention
- Lane Departure Warning
- ProPILOT+ (with Lane Keep Assist)
- Intelligent Park Assist with Parking System Monitor
- Intelligent Cruise Control
- ABS with EBD and Brake Assist
- Active Brake Limited Slip
- Vehicle Dynamic Control
- Hill Start Assist
- Curtain and front side, far-side airbags
- Rear View Camera
- Front and Rear Parking Sensors
- Electric Parking Brake
- Auto Hold function
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
- Front and Rear seat belts reminder
- Engine immobiliser
- Vehicle approach sound for Pedestrians (In Reverse)
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Wireless Apple CarPlay
- Bluetooth with audio streaming
- Rear USB charging only ports (Type-A and Type-C)
- Premium Bose® Sound System with 10 Speakers: 2 Tweeters, 6 high and medium frequency door speakers, 2 in the Subwoofer
- Premium Bose® Acoustimass™ Bass Box
- 12.3″ Touchscreen Infotainment Display
- Satellite Navigation
- Voice recognition
- Wireless smartphone phone charger
- Panoramic Glass roof with Electric Sunshade
- Premium Front Grille
- e-POWER badges (rear and front doors)
- Electrically adjustable 4-way lumbar support on driver and passenger seats
- 8-way electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats with massage and memory functions
- Leather steering wheel
- e-Shifter with Regenerative Braking mode
- e-Pedal Step mode button
- EV mode button
- Welcome Light and Console Tray Ambient Lighting
- Door Ambient Lighting
- Advanced 10.8″ Windscreen Head-Up Display
- Rear doors with bottle holders
- Luggage space lighting
- 12.3″ Digital TFT combimeter
- LED Daytime Running Lights
- LED headlights with Adaptive Driving Beam
- Headlights Auto Levelling System
- LED Front fog lights
- LED Rear Lights
- Automatic Headlights
- LED Signature Rear Lights
- “Follow Me Home” Headlights
- Speed-sensitive variable intermittent windshield wipers
- Rain sensing front wipers
- Auto Rear Wiper when reversing
- Rear Air Vents
- Automatic dual zone climate control
- One Touch front and rear electric windows with remote opening/closing
- Multifunctional D-shape Steering wheel
- Electric speed-sensitive power steering
- Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with LED turn indicator
- Auto-folding mirrors
- Door mirrors with memory function
- Tilting door mirrors when reversing
- Rear seat armrest with 2 cupholders
- Start push button
- Advance Intelligent Key with Driver Memory Storage (seats, mirrors, audio)
- Heated steering wheel
- Front heated seats
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- Hands-Free automatic opening power tailgate
Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment
The only option you get is the colour. The standard is
- Magnetic Blue
In total you have a choice of 8 solids and 5 two-tone colours, all at no cost.
- Ceramic Grey
- Ivory Pearl
- Pearl Black
- Gun Metallic
- Fuji Sunset Red
- Two-tone Ceramic Grey with Pearl Black Roof
- Two-tone Ivory Pearl with Pearl Black Roof
- Two-tone Magnetic Blue with Pearl Black Roof
- Two-tone Pearl Black with Gun Metallic Roof
- Two-tone Fuji Sunset Red with Pearl Black Roof
With no optional equipment, our review car’s retail price is $64,990
For a full list of specs and options available for the Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L head on over to the Nissan New Zealand website.
How Does The 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L Compare To Its Competition?
All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme.
|Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Elite AWD||1.6-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder Petrol / hybrid||169/350||5||4.9||750||503||$72,990|
|Nissan Qashqai e-power TI-L||1.5-litre 3-cylinder Petrol e-Power hybrid||140/330||5||5.8||750||452||$64,990|
|Toyota Rav 4 Limited Hybrid (AWD)||2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol / hybrid||163/221||5||5.3||750||580||$58,290|
|Kia Niro HEV GT Line (FWD)||1.6-litre Turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol / hybrid||104/265||5||4.4||600||451||$57,990|
First Impressions Of The 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L
Upon seeing the Qashqai at the dealer for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. The Magnetic Blue of our vehicle looked striking and the clean lines really appealed to my sense of design. Overall it looked like a very smart and upmarket vehicle.
I was given a brief overview of all the features by our local dealer and it was quickly apparent that this was a high specced vehicle. I was unsure what to expect quality wise, but as soon as you are inside there is a feeling of a lot of room and a luxurious environment, both of which I was not expecting.
What’s The Interior Like In The 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L?
In short, very good.
Upon opening the doors and viewing the interior, I was even more looking forward to trying this vehicle. The seats looked gorgeous with a nice diamond pattern stitched into what appeared to be quality leather. The same leather adorned the door cards and dash. Getting in was easy, the opening for the driver’s door was plentiful and the relative heights of everything, floor, seat and door sill worked perfectly for me. I’m pretty much average height, so Nissan appears to have got this right.
Once sitting down, the seats did not disappoint and were as comfortable as they looked. I felt an extreme distance from the controls, but this was rectified as soon as I turned the vehicle on. The seat magically moved forward to the saved driving position, a really nice touch for accessibility which I later learned is able to be turned on or off in the settings. Why you would turn it off I do not know. The seats featured multiple electronic controls for position, and I was easily able to get a comfortable driving position, something that is very important to me.
What at first I thought was just a gimmick, turned out to be actually pretty cool, massage seats. Yes, as well as both heated steering wheel and seats, your seat also has 3 massage programs to choose from.
Once seated, in front of you is a nicely proportioned flat-bottomed steering wheel, again covered in quality leather. The accessory controls located on the steering wheel are easily reachable from a standard hand driving position, and pretty easy to operate once figured out.
The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is very clear, maybe not as sharp as the Opel Mokka I previously tested, but potentially more useful in the variety and ease of use scrolling through the multiple screens available. That being said, I spent most of my driving time displaying the energy flow infographic, fascinated by what appeared to be a very refined control algorithm.
As well as the digital instrument cluster, you also have a 10.8-inch heads-up display. This worked really well, and had a great degree of configurability.
Indicators, wipers and all the standard controls were easily accessible.
To the left of the driver’s area is the beautiful touch screen that displays the Apple CarPlay interface. This was crystal clear and very easy to operate. Connecting my phone was simple and the interface was very slick and polished. Being able to listen to my own podcasts, and music playlist was great, and the 10-speaker Bose sound system was a pleasure to listen to. I’m in no way an audiophile, but for me there was nothing to fault with the system.
The passenger side is equally comfortable, and features the same seat and controls, minus the position adjustment upon entering and exiting. A deceptively small glovebox was the only let-down in the front, and appears to be a trend. Once the owner’s manual is in situ, there is pretty much no room for anything else other than a pair of gloves. I guess you could say the function fits the name, but a bit more storage space would be nice.
Centre console controls and design is again very good. All buttons are intuitive, including the drive selector which I find can be confusing sometimes. At the front of the centre console and underneath the dashboard is a 15-watt wireless charger, which I consider a necessity in this day and age.
Rear seating was again up to a high-quality standard and both leg and head room were fine. Nissan make a point of advertising the large 85-degree opening angle of the rear doors and I must say, even though I didn’t measure, they did open extremely wide and made entering the rear a breeze. Sitting in the rear I never felt crowded or claustrophobic and could easily survive a long distance trip. This would be no doubt helped by the individual air vents and both USB-C and USB-A charge points available. USB-C is a nice touch and consistent with the modern design of the vehicle.
Boot space in the rear is good. We were able to fit everything needed for a trip away and had plenty of space to spare. A false floor was something new to me, and I’m not quite sure what the point is? I guess it is a good space for those items you need but might never use. First aid kit, tow ropes and similar items.
The rear seats folded down in the traditional 60/40 split, and this provided ample room for the one trip that required a longer load.
What’s The 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L Like To Drive?
As usual, my first trip in the vehicle was from the dealership through town and back to the office. A short trip but enough to get the appetite going.
In city traffic the Qashqai is very good. Being a hybrid it is a little different than a plugin or full electric, with the primary motive force provided by an electric motor and the petrol engine only used to recharge the battery.
This results in a vehicle that is very quiet around town, with only a small buzzing noise noticeable everytime the petrol motor is active. As mentioned, I kept the dash primarily on the energy control view. This showed that the engine is frequently turning on and off to recharge what must be a very low capacity battery. A little bit of research confirmed the battery is only 2 kWh, so very small and only really used as a pass-through medium in this design implementation. This coupled with a set of quiet tyres gave a driving experience that was almost silent.
Visibility while seated is good. There is a largish centre console on the upper windscreen, but it didn’t feel intrusive or block my view in any way. Likewise the A and B pillars were well located and proportioned so as to not interfere with driving comfort. The rear view was also good, though small and I always found myself just using the cameras when reversing.
Vehicle dynamics around town were good, although due to slow speeds this mostly centered around body control over the various pot holes that are abundant in Wellington. Steering feel is very precise, well weighted and gives good feedback on what the vehicle is doing.
Performance around town is great. The motor is extremely responsive, accelerates well and has a very direct relationship to accelerator pedal inputs. The physical relationship between the accelerator and brake pedals was well designed, allowing an easy transition from one to another. This is another pet bugbear of mine, so it was nice to see it well thought-out. The Qashqai features the Nissan e-Pedal, which activates the regenerative braking as you progressively let off the accelerator pedal. It works great, confirmed by my fascination with the energy flow infographic, but I found it very abrupt and took a while to acclimatise to. The range of motion that controls the regen was quiet short for me and I always found myself getting too much regeneration with only a tiny movement in the pedal. In theory it would be the most efficient way to drive this type of vehicle, however the low sensitivity I felt meant I kept it turned off the majority of the time.
The Qashqai has lots of tech on board, though around town I did not find myself using much of the user-activated features. The auto park however was something I did try and considered a fail. In theory it works fine, pull up parallel to where you want to park and hit the button. You then get to select the park you want on the touch screen image of the reconstructed overhead view, and it should do its thing. However, in my situation it refused to find the park next to me, and once I thought it had selected it, proceeded to try to park in a diagonal park across the street.
Moving on to the open road, the Qashqai again continued to impress. I took it over some of New Zealand’s twisty and windy back roads and once again the steering and drivers feedback remained nice and precise. Body roll was very effectively controlled and it felt nice and stable when cornering with a bit of enthusiasm. Slight understeer was detectable but not really an issue at all. Performance was good, although it did run out of puff once you were slightly over the open road speed limit. Granted this should not be an issue you ever run into, but worth noting. Again, as it is primarily using the electric motor as the driving force, noise was not an issue although the buzz of the petrol engine was apparent for longer periods of time. It’s not loud, so no problem, just a different sound that you are not used to in a vehicle. At speed the tyres were fine noise-wise and there was just a small amount of wind noise coming from the A pillar.
Once on the open road, it was time to test all the gadgets. First up was the cruise control and this was the only thing that proved to be non-intuitive and hard to operate. The controls themselves are easily accessible on the steering wheel, but the correct order to press them to get the cruise control activated was not easy despite stopping to read the owners’ handbook. Once activated however adjusting the speed was easy and the radar activated automatic following distance control worked great. A small blip however in what had been a really impressive user experience up until now.
The heads-up display really shone on the open road, it was clear, without obstructing your view (the position is highly adjustable) and very intelligently updated speed limits instantaneously, including temporary ones.
The Qashqai offers an electric-only mode, primarily designed for around town use. I found however that it often would not allow me to use it, warning that the current power drain was too high for this to be activated. During open road driving it never let me activate it.
Due to the Apple CarPlay integration, maps and navigation were super slick. Having the sync to your phone, with history and address book available makes for a nice operating experience with phone calls and messages easy to interface with. There is really not a lot more to say about this, it just worked with no fuss, was easy to set up and never failed.
We did just over 300km in a single trip on the open road, and afterwards didn’t feel fatigued at all. A good sign in my book. A couple of sessions with the massage seats probably helped with this.
My daily driver has an annoying habit where if I put a bag on the passenger seat, it blasts an audio alarm for five minutes reminding me that the seatbelt is not on. Nissan have used the seat weight sensors for a more useful purpose, where at the end of my trip a nice message popped up that reminded me to check the back seat in case I had left something on it. It’s the little things like this that make you smile.
If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed driving the Qashqai. Lots of nice tech that is working away in the background coupled with a high class interior, an efficient driveline, striking looks, and a great chassis made for an enjoyable week.
Nissan advertise a combined figure of 5.8 l/100km, after 450 kilometres around the city and countryside, I achieved an impressive real-world figure of 6.1l/100km.
2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power Ti-L – Specifications
|Vehicle Type||Hybrid SUV|
|Price as Tested||$64,990|
|Engine||e-Power + 1.5l Petrol, 3 Cylinder|
|140 / 330|
|Transmission||Reduction Drive (Automatic)|
|Kerb Weight, Kg||1,729|
|Length x Width x Height|
|4425 x 1835 x 1625|
|Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,|
(seats up/seats down)
|452 / 1,376|
|Fuel tank capacity,|
|Advertised Spec – Combined – 5.8|
Real-World Test – Combined – 6.1
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
|750 / 750|
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
|Warranty||5 Year / 150,000Km Nissan Factory Warranty|
5 Year / 24-Hour roadside Assistance
|Safety information||ANCAP Rating – 5 stars|
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars
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