Nissan has just unveiled its facelifted Qashqai mid-sized crossover, a car positioned in Europe as an alternative to traditional VW Golf class hatchbacks. Since its March 2007 launch, the Qashqai has exceeded Nissan’s sales expectations, with the 500,000th customer delivery set to take place before the end of 2009. Last year saw the introduction of the Qashqai+2, a seven-seat long wheelbase version of the original. The Qashqai is called the Dualis in Japan, and a few of those can be found on our streets as grey imports.

The biggest visual change is at the front with a new bonnet, front bumper, wings, grille and headlamps. Behind, the redesigned light clusters retain the same shape but are tweaked to reduce drag, while the tail lights are now of the LED variety. Two new five-spoke rim designs are available as well. Coefficient of drag (cd) has dropped from 0.34 to 0.33.

Inside, the cabin features a new dial design for added clarity while the redesigned trip computer with white text display sits between them. Further improvements include ambient lighting around the front footwells. New cubbys have been added too. Nissan claims improved isolation against noise, vibration and harshness, achieved by adding multi-layer insulation material around the front bulkhead, plus the fitment of an ‘acoustic’ windscreen. Wind noise around the A-pillar has also been lowered. Finally, the suspension has been tuned for improved ride comfort.

Joining the two petrol (1.6 and 2.0) and two diesel (1.5 and 2.0) models is a 1.5 dCi Pure Drive variant that produces only 129g/km of CO2. This is achieved via weight reduction, aerodynamic wheel covers, blanking of the fog lamp sockets, low rolling resistance tyres and lengthening of the final drive ratio.

More pictures after the jump.

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