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First review Nissan Qashqai E-Power – The ‘electric car’ that still consumes a lot of petrol

What is striking about the Nissan Qashqai E-Power?

The Nissan Qashqai E-Power is the only serial hybrid on the market. Its electric motor and combustion engine therefore do not alternate to drive the wheels, as with a normal hybrid (a Toyota Prius, for example). In the E-Power, a three-cylinder petrol engine only acts as a power generator for the battery. It is never directly connected to the driven wheels. In this Qashqai you always drive on the electric motor, which is 190 hp and 330 Nm strong.

Is that technology new? No, Nissan itself has been using the system for a few years in Japan, where the Note with E-Power powertrain is for sale. There are also similarities with how the first generation Opel Ampera and the Fisker Karma – both electric cars with range extenders – were powered, although they also simply had a plug with which the battery could be charged. The Qashqai E-Power does not have that.

What’s good about the Nissan Qashqai E-Power?

First a disclaimer: we have not yet been able to drive extensively with the latest Qashqai variant. Nissan had set out a varied course for us on the Jarama circuit in Spain, where we were allowed to get to know the E-Power for six laps. And it must be said: the first impression is excellent. The Qashqai feels like an electric car, with that instant acceleration of an electric motor and little more than a soft hum in the background.

Can you really not hear the fuel engine? Yes, but a lot less than you might think. Nissan has done a good job of soundproofing and, moreover, active noise cancelling make sure that at a constant speed you hardly hear more than a distant hum. Only if you ask for more power from the electric motor, the 1.5-liter three-cylinder in the front jumps to a higher speed. However, it never gets as bad as with a CVT. A smart system pretends that the Nissan revs with acceleration.

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Don’t be alarmed if the car starts to rattle just after the start. That’s part of it, a Nissan technician told us. For emission reasons, the fuel engine and the catalytic converter must warm up as quickly as possible. And so the 1.5 is kept at high revs for a while. It will be over after a minute or so and after that you can continue your journey in peace. Without having to brake, if you want to, because the Qashqai E-Power supports one-pedal driving.

The battery that comes with the E-Power drivetrain is 2.1 kWh in size. You can drive it fully electrically for a while, so without the fuel engine starting, but then you won’t get further than 1 or 2 kilometers. The relatively large battery, the electric motor and the rest of the E-Power technology add 200 kilos to the car weight of the Qashqai. You don’t notice that in daily practice. Only when you dive into a corner harder than usual, you feel the extra pounds push through.

What could be done better with the Nissan Qashqai E-Power?

Nissan sees the Qashqai E-Power as a transitional model, for people who find an electric car too scary and don’t feel like fiddling with the plug-in hybrid. We totally understand that. Only in the Netherlands it will depend enormously on the price whether the E-Power finds a buyer audience. Because he is not very frugal. Nissan gives a consumption of 1 to 18.8. Well, that’s pretty okay and a lot better than the other Qashqai models. But no more than that.

When will the Nissan Qashqai E-Power come and what will it cost?

The Qashqai E-Power will arrive in the Netherlands in the summer. It is unknown at the time of writing what it will cost. The E-Power has a larger electric motor and a larger battery than a conventional hybrid. If that makes him significantly more expensive, it could hurt his chances in the market. As soon as Nissan announces what the E-Power will cost, we will report again.

What do I think of the Nissan Qashqai E-Power?

If I had to choose between a regular hybrid SUV and a Nissan Qashqai E-Power, I would quickly decide. The E-Power drives like an electric car, in which you always and everywhere have the power and flexibility of the electric motor at your disposal. In addition, the latest Qashqai variant is nice and quiet and you are hardly bothered by a fuel engine that runs at the optimum speed. However, the consumption of the E-Power does not seem to be fantastic. And it remains to be seen how expensive it will be.

You drive a Nissan Qashqai for a fixed amount per month via private lease. Look for the best offers on Besteprivateleasedeals.nl.

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