The E-Power hybrid version of the new Nissan Qashqai small SUV looks set to carry a not-so-small price tag, details released this week suggest.
The 2023 Nissan Qashqai E-Power hybrid small SUV may carry a starting price of in excess of $45,000 plus on-road costs in Australia, when it arrives sometime early next year.
Details published on Nissan Australia’s website indicate the E-Power drivetrain – the brand’s challenger to top-selling Toyota hybrids – will be available only on the higher-spec Qashqai ST-L and Ti, rather than across the four-model range.
As confirmed yesterday, the Qashqai ST-L is priced from $42,190 plus on-road costs (e.g. stamp duty, dealer delivery, registration) in 1.3-litre petrol form – suggesting a price in excess of $45,000 plus on-roads for the E-Power, or closer to $50,000 drive-away.
Meanwhile, the flagship Qashqai Ti costs $47,390 plus on-road costs in petrol form, paving the way for a hybrid variant beyond $50,000 plus on-road costs, and closer to $55,000 drive-away.
While Nissan has yet to confirm pricing for the Qashqai E-Power, Toyota hybrid SUVs typically cost about $2000 to $2500 more than their petrol counterparts, depending on the model.
However, some whispers suggest Nissan may charge more for the Qashqai E-Power; other brands such as Subaru and Haval charge upwards of $4000 to $6000 more for their hybrid models, compared to equivalent petrol grades.
Much like its closest rival, the upcoming Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, the Nissan Qashqai E-Power promises claimed fuel economy of just over five litres per 100 kilometres – but it goes about achieving its fuel efficiency very differently.
Whereas a Toyota hybrid can directly drive its wheels with petrol and/or electric power, Nissan’s E-Power hybrid system use the petrol engine as a generator to top up a battery pack, which in turn powers an electric motor that drives the wheels.
Nissan claims this set-up delivers “the pleasurable, effortless and smooth driving experience associated with a pure EV [electric vehicle], but without the need to recharge.”
The petrol engine is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol three-cylinder producing 115kW, which uses a ‘power generator’ to fuel a small lithium-ion battery, inverter, and a 140kW/330Nm electric motor on the front axle.
Australian models equipped with the E-Power system also gain Active Noise Cancellation tech, a low-speed vehicle sound for pedestrians, and regenerative braking – which captures energy from the spinning wheels as the car decelerates, and feeds it back into the battery pack.
They will also feature a ‘one-pedal’ driving system, known as E-Pedal, which uses high-power regenerative braking to slow the car down to low speeds in traffic without touching the traditional ‘friction’ brakes.
However, it’s worth noting that unlike a true one-pedal system seen in a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla, the Qashqai E-Power can only use its electric motors and battery to decelerate to “creeping speed”, rather than coming to a full stop.
The 2023 Nissan Qashqai E-Power is due in Australian showrooms “after the petrol powertrain launches”, which occurs in late 2022.
While a Nissan Australia spokesperson could not elaborate further, Drive understands a local launch in early 2023 is looking likely, as of publishing.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.