Nissan has introduced a new member to its Qashqai family of small SUVs, with the arrival this month of the Qashqai ST+.
Slotting in between the base ST and the mid-ranking ST-L , the addition of the ST+ boosts the number of variants in the Nissan Qashqai lineup to four, while also bridging $3800 gap between the auto-equipped ST and ST-L.
Priced at $30,790 and offering a more well-rounded equipment fit-out than the entry-model, Nissan expects the Qashqai ST+ to sit in the sweet spot for prospective buyers.
“Reducing the gap between the Qashqai ST and ST-L will please many of our buyers who wanted more than what we offered on the entry grade, but weren’t in the market for a higher spec vehicle,” said Nissan Australia's managing director, Stephen Lester.
“It’s a competitive market, so it is important that we react to this to ensure buyers remain with the Nissan brand.”
Small SUVs are certainly big business. The segment continues to swell in terms of sales figures at a time where most other categories are shrinking, and the Qashqai has been a consistently strong performer.
For the ST+, Nissan has added a seven-inch colour touchscreen, 360-degree camera view, satellite navigation, power-folding and heated wing mirrors, privacy glass and a digital radio tuner on top of the regular ST’s equipment list.
A CVT automatic is also standard-issue for the ST+, making it a reasonable gain for the extra $1300 over the Qashqai ST automatic's retail.
Equipment highlights shared with the ST include push-button ignition, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloys and an electronic park brake, along with AEB and lane departure warning.
What do you miss out on from the ST-L? Namely a power-adjustable driver’s seat, 18-inch alloys, fog lamps, roof rails, partial 'pleather' upholstery and heated front seats.
All Qashqai variants remain powered by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder, producing 106kW and 200Nm. Power goes to the front wheels exclusively – AWD isn’t offered on the Qashqai – and a CVT automatic is the default transmission for all models bar the base Qashqai ST, which has a six-speed manual as standard but can be optioned with the CVT.
While specifications don’t change for the rest of the Qashqai range, pricing has been bumped up slightly for all existing variants bar the flagship Qashqai Ti, which remains at $37,990.
The biggest mover is the base ST manual, which jumps by $1000. Its auto-equipped partner increases by $500, while the ST-L rises by $300. Full retail pricing for the 2019 Qashqai range is as follows:
- Nissan Qashqai ST manual - $27,990
- Nissan Qashqai ST auto - $29,490
- Nissan Qashqai ST+ auto - $30,790
- Nissan Qashqai ST-L auto - $33,290
- Nissan Qashqai Ti auto - $37,990