Nissan is looking at broadening the appeal of its British-built Qashqai hatchback-cum-4x4 with a long-wheelbase seven-seat version, Autocar can reveal.
Our spy photographers caught this extended-wheelbase Qashqai test car in Germany, being driven by engineers from Nissan’s UK R&D centre at Cranfield in Bedfordshire. A 200mm insert has been added between the B-pillar and the rear wheelarch to accommodate a third row of seats.
A Nissan source said this car was one of several options being considered by Nissan to widen the Qashqai range. In America, Nissan sells the Qashqai-based Rogue; that car has a longer-wheelbase than the standard Qashqai anyway, so the mechanicals already exist for a bigger Qashqai.
A seven seat Qashqai would create a range of cars that starts at under £14,000 as rivals for VW’s Golf and Ford’s Focus, rising to over £20,000 for the seven-seater as a rival for anything from midi-MPVs like the Renault Grand Scenic to soft-roaders such as the Mitsubishi Outlander.
Over 4500 Qashqais have been sold since its launch in March – a decent number for a risky, brand new model in a very competitive market.