It isn’t merely speculation anymore – Nissan is bringing the Qashqai mid-size crossover to the United States, but with a different name. In fact, Nissan has confirmed that this mid-size crossover will have its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, widely known as the Detroit Auto Show.
As we have reported, Nissan intends for the Qashqai to fill the size gap between the smaller Juke and the larger Rogue. The addition of the Qashqai – the best-selling mid-size SUV in Europe -- as a complement to the Juke and the Rogue would allow Nissan to benefit from the seemingly insatiable hunger for SUVs in the US, where motorists have been switching from passenger cars to utility vehicles. While there is a real business case for the US launch of the Qashqai in the US, Nissan was expected to rename the SUV since American buyers might have some trouble pronouncing “Qashqai.”
Nissan did rename the Qashqai as the new Nissan Rogue Sport. Nissan eventually decided to use the Rogue moniker – with the Sport suffix – as it is already a known nameplate in the US. Mike Bunce, Nissan North America vice president of product planning, remarked that since Nissan managed to build a lot of equity on the Rogue, it only makes sense to piggyback on its popularity by renaming the Qashqai as the Rogue Sport.
Nissan has been experiencing surging demand for the larger Rogue in the US. As a matter of fact, the Rogue dislodged the Altima as Nissan’s best-selling model in the US for 2016, with sales of nearly 330,000 units for the SUV and just over 307,000 units for the sedan. In addition, Nissan sold 40,477 Rogue SUVs in the US in December 2016, breaking the all-time single month sales record.
With a length of 172.4 inches and a height of 62.5 inches (wheelbase of 104.2 inches), the 2017 Rogue Sport is a bit smaller than the 2017 Rogue, which measures 184.5 inches in length and 68.1 inches in height (wheelbase of 106.5 inches). It will be powered -- as standard – by a 2.0-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) system engine that provides up to 141 hp of output and up to 147 lb.-ft. of torque.
It will be paired with an Xtronic transmission – a continuously variable transmission that comes with an eco-mode switch and that allows drivers to choose whether it should send power to the front wheels or all four. Nissan will commence sales of the Rogue Sport across the US in spring 2017, in three grade levels -- S, SV and SL.
Nissan has also unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show a new sedan concept that will provide a glimpse into Nissan’s future design direction. This sedan concept also provides clues to Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the carmaker’s roadmap for achieving zero emissions as well as zero fatalities.