Shoulder room and rear knee room are said to have been improved substantially as a result, as have ease of passenger ingress and egress.

The boot now offers over 500 litres of space, with a lower boot floor enabled by the new platform, plus underfloor parcel shelf storage and wipe-clean surfaces. A powered tailgate is offered for the first time, too, with the ability to open it by waving your foot under the bumper.

Further practicality changes include a redesigned centre console with additional storage, extra adjustment for more ergonomic seats and a capless fuel filler cover that can be opened externally, replacing the old driver’s footwell release. A new space-saving ‘shift-by-wire’ automatic gearbox shifter is said to replicate the physical action of a traditional lever, which customers prefer. 

Cabin tech has been overhauled, too, with a new 9.0in high-resolution touchscreen offering wireless Apple CarPlay and, Nissan claims, “just about everything that’s available on the market” in terms of connected and app-based services. 

That’s joined by a 12.3in instrument display on top models, plus a 10.8in head-up display claimed to be the largest in its segment. A 15W wireless phone charger plus a combination of USB-A and USB-C ports will feature, alongside Bose audio packages.

Nissan’s ProPilot driver assist tech, which includes level-two semi-autonomous lane-keeping assistance, will be “democratised” by becoming standard on mid-spec trims and above. 

A number of premium touches have also been brought into the new Qashqai despite its mass-market intentions. These include massaging seats controllable via the touchscreen, ambient lighting and an “extensive” emphasis on tactile, high-quality materials. Top models feature nappa leather that takes 25 days to produce, with an embroidered 3D diamond quilting. 

Exterior design, chassis and platform

The third iteration of what the brand terms its “pioneering” crossover aims to build on its segment-leading success, with more than three million examples of the first two generations sold across Europe and five million globally.

It will use a new platform, is designed, engineered and built in the UK and, for the first time, won’t feature a diesel engine. The Japanese manufacturer has released only disguised prototype shots and a preview image zoomed in on the headlight detail of the new model. However, the prototype images show that the overall profile of the new car is familiar. The front end has been inspired by the design of the new Juke, albeit with a less radical interpretation.