Nissan Qashqai e-Power real life test yields disappointing results

Max McDee, 04 February 2023

This is one of those “I told you so” moments and the army of Nissan executives surrounded by the company lawyers will be up in arms, but there is no other way to put it - e-Power hybrid system from Nissan simply sucks at saving the environment. In fact it is worse than some of the ICE competitors.

Video test shared on YouTube by user 1001cars is probably one of the best myth busting exercises out there. Its premise is simple - take one Nissan Qashqai e-Power and put it against few other cars in real life road testing and then see what happens. And what happens is simple - Qashqai fails miserably to get anywhere near the consumption claimed by Nissan and in fact it is worse than diesel competitors. Don’t take our word for it - here is the video:

What is the e-Power system and why Nissan believes it's worth your money? After years of hybrid vehicles, where a gasoline engine would be the main driver with a small electric motor attached to the gearbox (in most cases) helping whenever possible, the conclusion was that it’s just not good enough. Many hybrid vehicles were found to be polluting way more than ICE vehicles, some hybrids had complicated AWD systems with two electric motors, engine and smallish battery hoping to get 30 km of electric range. World needed a better solution.

Nissan put a gasoline generator into a car, then put two electric motors (in AWD versions) to drive the car. That meant no connection between the ICE and the wheels, it is there simply to produce electricity which then goes into a small 2kWh battery to act as a buffer. Once the battery charge runs low, the generator kicks in, charges it up and switches itself off. When a lot of electricity is needed for fast driving, the engine runs as long as it needs to but - in theory - it is tuned for better efficiency so it still pollutes less. Plus you get the smooth torque distribution of an EV, so what's not to like?

Nissan Qashqai e-Power confirms what the world already knew - hybrids suck

Electrification of vehicles is no-brainer, electric motors are simply superior to gasoline or diesel engines and nobody disputes that. The issue is energy storage, we still haven’t cracked that problem and the result is a huge, clunky and mighty expensive battery that every electric car has to lug about.

While the battery technology advances at unprecedented speed, we don’t have much choice as customers. Either buy an expensive electric car or stick around with the old and no longer cool ICE powered relic of the gone-by era. Nissan thought it had a solution.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power confirms what the world already knew - hybrids suck

On paper it is not a horrible plan - use electric motors as drive units because they are the best at it. Have the energy produced on the go by a gasoline engine that’s tuned to its highest efficiency. Since the load on the engine is constant because it only has to charge up a small battery and it has to deliver constant power, it should use less fuel and as a result it should cut its emissions drastically.

However it seemingly failed to account for the extra losses of the overly complicated drivetrain and spectacularly failed in real life. To see the Qashqai use more fuel than VW T-Roc or an Audi Q5 is disappointing but in all honesty - not unexpected.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power confirms what the world already knew - hybrids suck

The Nissan Qashqai only manages to make sense in the city driving and at slow speeds, it clearly is the king of stop-and-go traffic. But once the traffic clears and the road opens up, the planet saving plans go out the window and the 1.5 liter 3-cylinder engine goes back to what it knows best - drinking fuel as if there was no tomorrow.



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

I recently bought the e power and I am really disappointed. I do an average of 40 miles to work daily most of it on the motorway. The fuel consumption has been atrocious. The performance on hill climbs is terrible. Water drops in when you open the...

This review and comparison is really interesting and nearly entirely incompatible. I should note I do own a Qashqai EPower, have done for 3 months. I don’t love the car but there is also some reasons to like it and it really depends on your circ...

  • Nicola

This review is pointless. First of all, this is the only compact suv or crossover that offers in such space 55liters of reserve capacity. Second, in the test they are completely draining the EV part first. Which is not really the best if ...


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