Nissan Qashqai Gets 5-star Euro Ncap Ratings

by : RyanThomas

The Nissan Motor Co.'s popular new Qashqai model has been awarded by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) the maximum five-star rating for adult occupant protection. The vehicle was awarded 36.83 points out of a maximum 37 points by Euro NCAP, an independent crash test organization, receiving almost full scores in the strict front and side impact tests, as well as a full score for seatbelt reminders.

In pedestrian protection, the Qashqai, available in two and four-wheel drive, received two stars - only 0.38 point short of three stars. At present, no vehicle in the small family category has garnered the maximum four.

"Qashqai is a dynamic-looking compact crossover that offers the best attributes of a traditional family hatchback with the ability and practicality of a 4x4," said Brian Carolin, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Nissan Europe. "Today I am pleased to announce that QASHQAI is also among the safest vehicles on the road."

The Qashqai, a new compact crossover sport utility vehicle, uses Nissan's P32L automobile platform. The said platform will also be used by the forthcoming crossover SUV's of the Japanese automaker. The Qashqai, which made its debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, is the first vehicle to be styled by the Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in London, England, UK, with the engineering development led by the Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The car is equipped with reliable auto parts and accessories including the catchy and comfy .

The third largest automaker in Japan intends to sell more than 100,000 Qashqais a year from February 2007. The company said that the vehicle, which got its name after the nomadic Qashqai tribe, is especially designed for auto purchasers who want a more dynamic design but are not lured by the huge, aggressive nature of an SUV.

The crossover SUV slots below the X-Trail in the automaker's range. It partially replaces the traditional Almera and Primera. In terms of size, its 4310 mm length and 1610 mm makes it fall between compact MPVs, such as the SEAT Altea and Renault Scenic, and compact SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and the Mitsubishi Outlander.

The top half of the crossover SUV is given a sleek dynamic form with an idiosyncratic shoulder line which rises at the rear, a design cue identical to that of the Murano. The lower portion of the vehicle stresses the large, prominent wheel arches and a somewhat elevated ground clearance.

Four engine choices are offered by Qashqai. The gasoline engines will be a 115 horsepower 1.6 L and a 140 horsepower 2.0 L. Diesel engines include the 106 horsepower 1.5 L and 150 horsepower 2.0 L. The vehicle, which went on sale in Europe earlier this year, also received an impressive four stars for child protection. Currently no vehicle in the small family category has received the maximum five.

Orders for the Qashqai are off to a compelling start with total orders approaching 60,000 units. As of the end of last month, sales totaled 23,551 units. In accordance to the automaker's forecast, the majority of Qashqai purchasers are migrating from the C segment. The C segment is an automobile platform used by both Nissan and Renault for front wheel drive vehicles. The production using the platform has started in 2004 with the seven-seat Lafesta. Other vehicles with the platform include the Renault Megane and the Scenic, as well as the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy and the Sentra.

In Europe, the Japanese automaker employs about 12,000 people in its design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. Last year, the company manufactured a total of 507,201 vehicles at its plants in Spain and the United Kingdom. Also, it has sold 539,773 vehicles in Europe. Nissan Europe's head office is based in Trappes (Paris), France.