The next generation 2014 Nissan Qashqai crossover (Nissan Dualis in Japan) has been spotted testing in Europe. The original Qashqai made its debut in 2007, before a facelift appeared for 2010, so now is the right time for a replacement. The UK-made Qashqai has been successful in Europe, offering some crossover flavour in the Golf/Focus family hatchback class.

From what we can see, this black tape covered test mule looks a bit like the Hi-Cross concept from Geneva 2012, a showcar that is also inspiring the next-gen X-Trail, which was recently spotted testing in the American desert. This points to a more harmonised crossover range from Nissan.

“We’ve become known as ‘the crossover brand’ and we like that. To continue in the right direction, cars like the Qashqai have to be edgy, left-field, eccentric. We have to depart from the norm. A ‘Marmite’ car like the Juke is exactly what we need. A ‘me too’ car would be a disaster,” Nissan product planning specialist Andy Palmer told Autocar UK.

There will be a Nismo-tuned version, too. “The Nismo treatment we’ve just given the Juke is very much an indicator of our thinking as part of the Qashqai line-up. We’re not going mad. It’s about making the car more involving and more fun to drive without making it unaffordable. Tauter, more interactive handling is the key — with strong but not overblown performance. The DIG-T engine, in its higher state of tune, is perfect for that,” Palmer added.

The mag adds that the Qashqai+2 – a longer version with three rows of seats – will not be replaced. The next X-Trail will cater to those who want a bigger SUV.