Nissan VW Golf rival on the road

12 Dec, 2013 5:17pm Luke Madden

Latest details on new VW Golf rival from Nissan, as our spies catch the car in testing

Nissan is concentrating on development of its new VW Golf rival, as the latest Qashqai has finally been revealed - and it's due to arrive in autumn next year. Our spies have caught engineers putting the car through its paces, revealing a bit more of the styling – and our exclusive image peels back the disguise to show you the bold design Nissan has planned.

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The sharp headlights sweep up the bonnet edges, while also interlocking with the wide honeycomb mesh grille. Sitting in the centre is a large Nissan badge surrounded by the latest version of the chromed ‘V’ seen on the Qashqai. The heavy rear disguise doesn’t give too much away, but the steeply raked rear screen helps create a sporty profile.

Nissan still hasn’t revealed what the new hatch will be called, although product planning boss Andy Palmer has told us “it’ll evoke something from the past”.

What we do know is that the car will get engines from the Qashqai, including a 1.2-litre turbo offering around 110bhp, plus a diesel rival to the Golf BlueMotion. A company car tax-friendly low-CO2 model is crucial, as Palmer confirmed when he said: “Fleet buyers make up such a significant percentage of this market in Europe.”

• New Nissan Qashqai 2014 price, specs & release date

At the other end of the line-up, Nissan is working on a Nismo version to bolster its performance car range, which is already set to grow with a Qasqhai Nismo to join the GT-R, Juke and 370Z models. Palmer said: “We’re looking to produce the best handling cars in their class, but handling with security that will flatter drivers and with a degree of comfort, too.”

Nissan’s line-up of innovative tech, such as the camera-based Safety Shield from the Note, is likely to be offered in the new car. It uses a rear-facing, wide-angle camera to provide lane departure warning and blind spot detection.

Expect the car to debut next autumn, from around £16,000.

Interior will score on quality

These latest spy shots also gave us a glimpse inside the new Golf rival, and the chrome and gloss black materials used show that Nissan is keen to close the gap to VW in terms of quality.

The starter button hints at some hi-tech options like keyless go, and the colour touchscreen in the centre console shows that the Nissan Connect 2 infotainment system will be offered. That’ll bring functionality for sat-nav, Bluetooth audio connectivity and Google Send to Car, which allows drivers to plan a route on a home computer and send it to the car’s sat-nav.

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Great, another Golf sized hatch that looks like an Auris/Ceed/last gen mazda3/Leon/Lancia Delta/Astra...

Just like the Almera was going to be class-leader then. The Motability crowd will love this one - as that is where the majority of sales will come from.

Hang on isnt the new Tiida / Versa out on sale elsewhere in the world ? Makes a change from all those SUV's type cars out there, and about time Nissan release something like this ! The UK missed out on the Tiida & no direct Almera replacement for long time whereas everywhere else didnt !

Wow this is a new idea Auto Express an exclusive image for heavens sake your magazine is just full of these bloody images stop it. Just wait for the real one

The CashCow replaced the Almera

And what is wrong with the "motability Crowd"

Yes but that wasnt a direct replacement though ? quashqai or cash cow lol as many call it is sort of a SUV type... the Tiida replaced the Almera in many parts of world including parts or Europe and Ireland

Better looking than the Golf!

This could be good. Never understood why they never followed up the Almera and Primera with replacements. SUV's are of little interest to me but I will take a look at this when its launched.

I had 3 Primera's over 15 years. 2 were SE versions and the last and best was the GT and guess what, I didn't experience one breakdown and in addition they were totally rust free.

The Primera also fitted into the average sized British garage, unlike the vast majority of cars these days. It had 5 doors, comfort, price, size, style, attractive interior, spare wheel & tyre and did 58 mpg on a long run. Then Nissan replaced it with what- - - nothing. I would love Nissan to manufacture another British built 5 door competitor to the Skoda Octavia. But I know that's day dreaming.

Looks quite good actually, better than the bland golf.

I didn't say there was a problem with the 'Motability crowd', For certain manufacturers it's their major way to market their vehicles based upon a 'nil advance payment' on the scheme.

With it being Nissan you know it will be a very boring car to drive.

Errr, obviously you are not familar with Nissan products - past or present. If you were you would know that they have produced many products that were very much the opposite of boring.....Back in the day, even the mainstream Almera & Primera were good to drive.

My brother had an Almera and it was truly soul destroying to drive!

I took the GT-R round a track for 6 laps this summer gone and it was most enjoyable but their regular cars are about as fun as watching paint dry.

The UK Almera replacement was the cashcow, Nissan confirmed this to be the case at the time

I'm not claiming the Almera (late 90's GTi aside) was the definition of exitement, however you're not telling me an equivalent Astra or Golf (from that era) is more exciting from behind the wheel.....I think not.