By Nigel Wigmore
MOTORISTS now look to carmakers to come up with the kind of high-tech specification they would expect to find on a smartphone.
“Design and technology are what drivers are looking for the most,” says Nissan.
In response, it was announced in Paris recently that Nissan has come up with the new Qashqai N-TEC edition.
The Qashqai has enjoyed unprecedented success as far as the Japanese carmaker is concerned.
It has an exemplary history as a production model. Having first gone on sale in February 2007, it proved a hit straight out of the blocks.
By the end of that year, more than 100,000 Qashqais had been sold in Europe. The biggest market was the UK, which had sold 18,000 of them.
Today, Nissan continues to show great faith in the model, hence the hi-tech now available on the new Qashqai N-TEC edition.
David Moss, senior vice-president, Nissan Europe, said: “Nissan is committed to learning which innovations consumers want in the future.
“Through understanding these needs, we can help move people to a better world thanks to new technology.”
He added: “The Qashqai N-TEC edition brings Nissan Intelligent Mobility innovations to a wider audience.”
A Nissan survey of potential customers showed that technology was becoming a more important factor in their buying decisions.
The research study of more than 5,500 drivers across Europe revealed that design and technology were two of the key deciding factors when picking a car.
While design continued to resonate with 94 per cent of drivers, 79 per cent believed that satellite navigation was the best innovation of recent years, closely followed by parking sensors (72 per cent).
Autonomous driving technology was described as the most useful (45 per cent), alongside smart payment technology for tolls and parking (40 per cent) and voice activation (38 per cent).
Drivers describe cruise control (53 per cent), traffic sign recognition (45 per cent) and touchscreen in-car entertainment (41 per cent) as “useful”.
Advanced technology on the Qashqai N-TEC combines design details with the ProPILOT driver assist, Intelligent Parking Assist automated parking feature and NissanConnect infotainment system.
NissanConnect is via a seven-inch touch- screen head unit integrated centrally into
Popular: the Nissan Qashqai was a hit in the UK as soon as it went on sale in February 2007. Above right, the new N-TEC. Right, the dashboard. Below right, the touchscreen
the dashboard with multi-touch capability. The system’s features include:
Single line search: this speeds up and simplifies the process of finding a location.
Personalisation: the home screen is fully customisable via “drag and drop” functionality so users can set up short cuts for regular tasks.
Voice recognition: accessed through steering wheel buttons, making phone calls, having messages read out and controlling music can all be carried out by voice command.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto: standard on Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+ grades of the Qashqai.
3D Maps: standard for improved clarity, plus multi-touch capability to zoom in and out for more detail.
Find My Car: the parking point can be logged as users flip the navigation back to their smartphone to walk to their final destination. Premium Traffic powered by TomTom: real-time traffic information provides on- the-go rerouting to minimise journey time.Door to Door Navigation app: available from the Apple Store or Google Play, the customer downloads this to their smartphone to access the full functionality of NissanConnect.
Plan a trip before leaving / send destination to car: In conjunction with the Door to Door Navigation app, the user can
identify their destination on their smartphone when at home or in the office then send it to their Qashqai. Route guidance will begin as soon as they start the vehicle.
OTA software and map updates: customers can download these at their convenience via wifi or their smartphone’s data package.
With advanced technology comes a new look for the Qashqai N-TEC. There are all-black 19-inch alloy wheels and details including darkened headlamps, darkened front grille treatment and glossy black mirror caps.
The black-themed upgrade continues inside with PVC/Alcantara-trimmed seats, soft touch materials and glossy black air vents.
There is also the advanced ProPILOT system. ProPILOT oversees highway driving and helps to keep the car in lane, regulates its speed, manages traffic jams and controls the distance to the vehicle ahead.
Intelligent Park Assist provides sensors that identify a suitable parking space and then perform the manoeuvre.
The driver simply regulates the speed, while monitoring the car’s Around-View Monitor on the touchscreen display.
With this kind of technology on tap, it is no wonder Nissan is eager to keep up with users’ digital demands.