Nissan Qashqai

e-Power Tekna

Nissan Qashqai, 2023, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, front
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, rear
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, interior
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, boot, loaded
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, e-Power badge

DRIVERS nervous of going all electric often opt for the sensible halfway house of buying a hybrid.

But now there's a new option worthy of serious consideration.

The Nissan Qashqai e-Power is designed for those who want to drive an electric car but still want the reassurance of being able to fill up with petrol so they don't suffer the dreaded range anxiety associated with EVs.

It might sound like an anomaly, but in simple terms the e-Power has a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine the sole job of which is to charge the battery, which then sends power to the electric motor to turn the wheels.

At no point - unlike on a hybrid - does the engine actually drive the car.

But what the 188bhp Qashqai e-Power does do is introduce customers to the electric vehicle driving experience without the worries of having to plug in to charge up.

And from behind the wheel the e-Power feels very much like an all-electric car. It's smooth on take-off, the power is instant, it has one gear and you can even engage the e-Pedal mode to give you one pedal driving like the fully electric Nissan Leaf.

And with a 140kW electric motor - of similar size and power output as those in Nissan's full electric vehicles - this Qashqai is quick too, getting to 62 miles power hour in a sharp 7.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 105 miles per hour.

For most of the time you are oblivious to the fact that there is an engine under the bonnet. Just occasionally under heavy load you can hear the three cylinder note, reminding you of its presence.

If you do use the car in e-Pedal mode - where lifting off the accelerator brakes the car without having to touch the foot brake - the regenerative braking adds charge to the battery.

It's designed to take the strain out of stop-start driving in town and city traffic as you don't have to keep moving your foot from the accelerator to the brake. If you lift off quickly the slowing affect can be quite severe although ultimately it only reduces the car to a crawl. If you have to stop completely - unlike with the Leaf - you still have to touch the brake.

Three driving modes are available, eco, standard and sport with the car always defaulting to standard when you turn off the ignition.

Opt for sport and you feel a general firming up, with the weight of the steering getting much heavier but there's little difference to the rate of acceleration.

I regularly made journeys averaging around 60 miles per gallon, well above the official figure given by Nissan, making it a very economical car to run.

The Qashqai e-Power is a large, spacious family car with generous legroom in both the front and rear with back seat passengers having enough space to stretch their legs out.

There's a very stylish two-tone interior with plenty of space for hiding away anything you need to keep in the car, including a useful two-tier central armrest.

Opt for Tekna trim, as driven here, and you get some very upmarket features, like a head-up display, Bose sound system, full length panoramic glass sunroof with electric sun blind, a powered tailgate, heated windscreen, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

And when it comes to reversing the Qashqai makes things simple thanks to the generous 12.3-inch touchscreen and its rear-view camera which gives a picture of what's behind you as well a birds eye view from above so you can't make a mistake.

The touchscreen also makes use of the TomTom mapping system for satellite navigation and live traffic reports.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Tekna

Price:£38,140

Mechanical: 188bhp, 1,497cc, 3cyl petrol engine plus an electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 105 mph

0-62mph: 7.9 secs

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 26

C02 emissions: 120 g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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