In 2007 a wave of confusion spread among those reporting on the automotive industry, when Nissan first released their genre-bending compact crossover: the Qashqai. Not only was the vehicle itself a new and unique take on a burgeoning market, but no one knew what it meant—and they sure didn’t know how to pronounce it. Since then, the Qashqai (pronounced cash-ki) has cemented itself as one of the go-to vehicles in the highly competitive compact crossover market, not to mention a ton of fun to drive. Read on to learn more about what “Qashqai” means, and how that meaning influenced this stylish SUV.
What the heck’s a Qashqai?
Looking far and wide for inspiration, the crew behind this popular crossover settled on Qashqai, named for a semi-nomadic tribe from the southwestern mountains of Iran. Translated by the famous Russian historian Vasily Bartold, the name Qashqai is thought to mean “a horse with a white forehead,” although that’s still up for debate. The Qashqai people are renowned throughout the Middle East and beyond for the woven products they create; lush pile carpets and colourful tapestries are handcrafted from the wool produced in Iran’s mountains and valleys, thought to be some of the softest in the world.
The story behind the name
Between the nomadic nature of the Qashqai people and the beautiful weavings they produce, Nissan thought the name to be perfect for a vehicle offering the ability to conquer any terrain, while also offering a unique and stylish aesthetic. When it was built, the Qashqai was unlike any other vehicle on the road. In the years since, other automakers have certainly been “influenced” by the Qashqai’s blend of smooth, flowing lines and rugged appeal, but their vehicles are merely imitators. The Qashqai’s capability on the road is well attuned to the nomadic influence behind the name, and is perfect for the modern nomad facing tight parking and packed roads from Monday to Friday before taking on the road less travelled come the weekend.
While the Qashqai name has taken a bit of getting used to—including a brief stint in Australia as the Dualis in 2007— driving one is exceptionally easy. After becoming one of the top-selling Nissan models at both West End Nissan and worldwide, the proof is out there on the road. Rebranded in the United States as the Rogue Sport, the Qashqai as it’s known everywhere else is a fun and capable compact crossover that leans heavily into the unique style of its namesake. Give the crew at West End Nissan a call today and we’d happily show you just how exciting the Nissan Qashqai truly is.