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Nissan Qashqai 2023: hopes of rebuilding past sales success for new-gen small SUV

Curt Dupriez
Deputy editor

Local importer has high hopes for the reimagined Qashqai, which sold strongly in the late 2010s but receded in recent years

Nissan Australia is confident that the just-launched third-generation Qashqai small SUV has the right stuff to foist itself up the sales charts in one of Australia’s most toughly-contested segments.

Speaking to Chasing Cars at the recent local Qashqai launch, Nissan Australia managing director Adam Paterson said that the revamped range has “all the key ingredients to support [Nissan] in returning to Dualis and [older-generation] Qashqai [glory days].”

Nissan Qashqai 2022-3
Nissan is confident the new Qashqai has what it takes to rake in sales

The second-generation Qashqai has recently completed its runout in Australia after launching locally in 2014. In 2021, the brand sold 5750 examples of the small SUV that competes with the Mazda CX-30, Mitsubishi ASX and Toyota C-HR.

However, as recently as 2018, the Qashqai was selling far more strongly in Australia. In that year, Nissan recorded 13,950 sales amidst a string of years where more than 12,000 units were shifted.

“(This new generation) is as competitive if not more competitive than the prior generation when it launched,” Paterson said of the British-built third-generation.

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Nissan says its new Qashqai is more competitive than its predecessor

The outgoing gen-two became increasingly overrun in the Aussie small-SUV sales race by the popularity of key rivals such as MG ZS, Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos.

Further, once one of the top-ten selling brands in Australia, Nissan’s fortunes have deteriorated in recent years as the Japanese brand awaited new metal – an onslaught that has now arrived.

Nissan sales are expected to be boosted in 2023 by the recent arrivals of the new X-Trail midsize SUV, Pathfinder large SUV and Z sportscar – plus the new Qashqai that will bolster the lineup further.

2022 Nissan Z Coupe manual white - exterior group shot
Nissan is launching an onslaught of new cars in 2022 and 2023, including a new-generation Z coupe

In a supply-constrained environment, Nissan has sold 23,951 cars in Australia so far in 2022 – to the end of November 2022. In the entirety of 2021 it moved 41,263 units.

One leg up for the new Qashqai will be much improved supply in concert with this third generation’s launch. 

“As far as supply is concerned, from the next calendar year (there will) definitely be a major improvement over what we’ve seen over the last few months.”

The new Qashqai went on sale in November and Nissan Australia says that it is holding around 1500 customer orders at the time of writing. 

Nissan Qashqai 2022-1
The e-Power variant is coming to Australia in 2023

The third-generation Qashqai launches in Australia as a four-variant range – ST, ST+, ST-L and top-spec Ti – priced between $33,890 and $43,390 before on-roads. Each is powered by a turbocharged 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre four. 

The importer expects the ST-L to be the volume-seller.  

Nissan Australia confirmed at the event that the  e-Power range-extender hybrid version is coming to Oz in 2023, though at this stage Nissan isn’t drawn into revealing exact timing.  

According to VFACTs, the small SUV segment is the fourth-largest – behind medium SUVs, 4×4 utes and large SUVS – accounting for around 13 percent of Aussie sales market share.  

Nissan Qashqai 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • ST: $33,890
  • ST+: $37,890
  • ST-L: $42,190
  • Ti: $47,390