The new 1.6-liter diesel delivers 130-horsepower and 320Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque from 2,000rpm to only 1,750rpm, compared to 150HP and 320Nm at 2,000 rpm of the outgoing 2.0 dCi engine.
Nissan says the downsized engine delivers better fuel economy and lower emissions but has the same levels of torque and top speed as the 2.0-litre dCi engine it replaces.
However, aside from announcing a 6.29-second time for the acceleration from 30 to 50mph (50-80km/h) which is faster than the 2.0 dCi, the Japanese company did not release any other performance figures.
In the combined cycle, the Qashqai 1.6 dCi returns 4.9lt/100km (57.7mpg UK or 48mpg US), an improvement of 1.0lt or +9.8mpg UK over the 2.0 dCi (2WD, manual) with CO2 emissions of 129g/km (2.0 dCi: 155 g/km).
Early next year, Nissan will launch a version of the model fitted with a Stop / Start System, which will help further reduce CO2 emissions to 119 g/km and reduce fuel consumption to or 4.5lt/100km (62.8mpg UK).
"This is a remarkable engine, best in class in so many respects. It provides the dynamic driving performance which matches that of the outgoing 2.0-litre dCi yet produces fuel consumption and emission figures equal to or better than our existing 1.5-litre dCi unit," said Paul Willcox, Senior Vice President, Nissan Europe.
Sales of the new Qashqai and Qashqai+2 1.6 dCi will start in October.