Nissan has revealed they are dropping the 2.0 dCi engine in the Qashqai and Qashqai +2 and replacing it with a less powerful 1.6 dCi.
We’ve got used to car makers downsizing engines, managing to improve economy and emissions and yet still improve power and performance. But it doesn’t look like Nissan are going to achieve that with the arrival of the 2012 Qashqai and Qashqai +2.
In the name of economy and emissions, Nissan are dropping the 2.0 dCi diesel engine from the Qashqai range and replacing it with a 1.6 litre dCi lump. All very good so far.
But this isn’t a nicely boosted 1.6 litre engine to out-perform the old 2.0 litre. In fact, the 1.6 is exactly what logic would dictate – slower and less powerful.
The 1.6 litre lump delivers 128bhp, down from the 148bhp the 2.0 litre offered. To be fair to Nissan, they do quote torque figures as the same – 236lb/ft – and that torque arrives 250rpm sooner in the 1.6.
Tellingly, the only performance figure Nissan care to share is the 30-50mph time which improves to 6.29 seconds, no doubt because the torque remains and comes in a bit sooner. They don’t tell us what the crucial 0-60mph is. Still, we’ll discover it eventually.
On the upside – and it’s significant if you’re not bothered about power and performance – the 1.6 dCi delivers a huge improvement in economy, improving average mpg to 62.8 (an improvement of 31 per cent, or 14.9mpg) and emissions fall to 129g/km.
The emissions will fall further to 119g/km ( and the economy will improve too) when Nissan introduces stop-start on the Qashqai next year. Then, the BIK rate will be just 13 per cent and the VED will be a freebie for the first year.
You’ll also get “…a number of innovative items of equipment” on the Qashqai from 2012 – so Nissan tell us – but they only want they seem to divulge is ‘ Around View Monitor’, which is a set of four cameras around the car so you can see what’s going on. It will be standard on Tekna models, an option everywhere else.
But back to the new engine; if you wanted better economy rather than extra power, wouldn’t you just opt for the Qashqai’s 1.5 litre dCi instead? Nissan’s European VP, Paul Wilcox, thinks he has the answer:
This is a remarkable engine, best in class in so many respects. It provides the dynamic driving performance which matches that of the outgoing 2.0-litre dCi yet produces fuel consumption and emission figures equal to or better than our existing 1.5-litre dCi unit.
Which tells us that Nissan won’t be keeping the 1.5 litre dCi for much longer. It seems Nissan wish to educate buyers to be more economy-minded, never mind choice for the customer who may prefer a more powerful lump.
Now if Nissan had replaced the 1.5 dCi with the new 1.6 dCi, and given the 2.0 litre dCi a tweak and a tidy to give more power and better economy, we’d be applauding. Instead, we find this news a bit sad.
The Qashqai really invented the small crossover, but the 1.6 dCi seems a real backward step. But never mind, there’s always a Peugeot 3008 HDi 150 if you want a cracking crossover with a 2.0 litre engine, and if you want to pretend to be ‘Green’ to justify the cost, you can always grab a 3008 HYbrid4.
Then you’ll get over 70mpg, enjoy emissions of 99g/km, have 200bhp on tap and get to 60mph not much slower than the new Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi manages to go from 50 – 70mph.
We know what we’d do.
Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi (2012) Photo Gallery
(10 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)