The Nissan crossover story is one for the books







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: August 9, 2012
Categories: General News

  • Nissan thinks out of the box to produce Murano, pioneering crossovers of the 21st century
  • Uncharted crossover territory, giving birth to Qashqai
  • Juke brings crossover charm and individuality to compact motoring
  • Sales phenomena and high appeal make Nissan’s crossovers increasingly desirable, with more on the way

Nissan Crossover

Murano sets the tone

Nissan, one ofJapan’s foremost automotive producers and an instantly recognised brand the world over, showed off its ability to be daring and innovative with the launch of the original Murano in 2002. At the time, staid motoring segments and stereotypical designs were the order of the day, which made the introduction of the impressive Murano an important event for the motor industry.

The soul and design of a sportscar met the desirability of an SUV – resulting in a uniquely attractive alternative to the traditional luxury sedans favoured by executives.

Launched inSouth Africain 2005 and having been updated throughout its life cycle, Murano continues to be a trend-setting luxury crossover, engaging fashionable people who enjoy the size and stance of a mid-size SUV and the status which comes with owning an executive saloon – all the while benefitting from sports coupe overtones and a dynamic drive.

Qashqai turns mid-sized car segment upside down

As the European influences in Nissan’s design team are known for their boldness, similar innovative and clever thinking and originality to that which was used when creating the Murano was applied to the mid-size segment. Unbeknown to Nissan in the design stages, the highly successful Qashqai went on to win hundreds of thousands of customers globally who chose this robust alternative to the more “generic” hatchbacks in the segment. Qashqai thus became a benchmark for competitor manufacturers who jumped onto the band wagon to produce similar vehicles, making the crossover segment one of the fastest growing car sectors in the world.

Offering practicality and SUV-like driving attributes (like a 200mm ride height and a commanding driving position), Qashqai meant that car owners could now enjoy the crossover concept in a broader segment. Bucking the downward trend which usually comes a few years into a car’s life cycle, Qashqai hasn’t slowed down one bit, racking up one million sales worldwide at the beginning of 2011. With the demand growing as it has, it also fueled massive job creation within Nissan’s manufacturing plants. Currently featuring updated styling to give the crossover a more purposeful and sophisticated appearance, the now familiar Qashqai continues to carry a strong following inSouth Africa. Qashqai+2 also adds extra appeal and choice to the range with the option of seven seats and exceptional versatility.

Juke: making your heart beat faster

The latest crossover offering from Nissan is of course the new Juke compact crossover, positioned in the busy small passenger vehicle category, and daring to be completely different. Perhaps the ultimate expression of youthful individuality and style, the bold new Juke sees extrovert styling mixed with retro appeal and an involving drive to create a generous blend of sports hatch and mini-SUV. Taking the world by storm since its international introduction in 2011, Juke continues the trend set by Murano and Qashqai with astounding desirability and uniqueness.

Juke has also inherited Qashqai’s sales success and has produced waiting lists the world over, including in the South African market where good value meets clever design and an inherent ‘stand out’ attitude. Couple that to the Juke’s innovative features and sporty drive and the result is a car with endless appeal to a wide audience of buyers.

No slowing down for Nissan crossovers

Nissan is widely regarded as the architect of the crossover vehicle genre and with three successful iterations under its belt, a wave of new products are in the pipeline which will further exhibit the brand’s ability to be daring, take risks and provide people with cars which say something special about their personalities and lifestyles.

With an all-new future crossover based on the striking Hi-Cross Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Nissan’s crossover onslaught shows no signs of slowing down. Successful interpretation of customer needs and an ability to produce uniquely inspiring vehicles is Nissan’s forte, making it the last word in crossover motoring and the first word in excitement and innovation.