Judging by the amount of disguise, the compact crossover is going through a serious cosmetic surgery.
The second-generation Qashqai has been around in Europe since the end of 2013, so the timing seems just about right for Nissan to be out there testing prototypes of the facelifted model. Caught on camera in Spain, the heavily disguised prototype was hiding its reworked front and rear fascias, as well as the side mirror caps and even the alloy wheel design.
Although it’s hard to make out any details at this point due to the camouflage, Nissan is most likely giving its compact crossover a refresh in line with the Qashqai Premium Concept introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. As a matter of fact, the alloy wheel design appears to be identical and it seems the position and shape of the fog lights is also akin to the concept. Rather unusual for a facelift, Nissan is also giving the mirror caps a nip and tuck as part of the model’s mid-cycle revision.
As seen in the adjacent spy shots, the driver was not alone in the test vehicle as he was “accompanied” by a test dummy known by its technical name as a full-scale anthropomorphic test device. There was at least one more ATD sitting in the back serving the same purpose: to simulate the weight and dimensions of a human body.
The spy images don’t allow us to take a peek inside the cabin, but the Japanese marque might spice things up by implementing fancier materials like Nappa leather as seen in the aforementioned Premium Concept pictured above. After all, Nissan through the voice of the Qashqai Premium’s design manager, Darryl Scriven, did say last year “the concept was designed to be feasible for production.” Larger alloy wheels and a matte black paint might be on the agenda as well. As you can imagine, these goodies will likely be reserved for the top-of-the-range variant set to command a premium to match its flagship status.
While the Qashqai in European flavour is getting ready to be updated, it’s only now the high-riding model is making its Canadian debut. In the U.S., it will be sold as the “Rogue Sport.”
Expect the facelifted Euro-spec Qashqai to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March, unless Nissan will decide to wait until September for the IAA event in Frankfurt.