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Nissan Qashqai inches closer to North America

Reports out of Japan indicate US and Canada may get Rogue sibling

Published: November 24, 2015, 11:00 PM
Updated: November 30, 2015, 10:41 PM

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan’s remade Qashqai is apparently extending its global reach, with recent news that it might be migrating to North America and with one of its offshoots picking up hardware scant months after its introduction.

Automotive News reported back in July 2015 that Nissan was planning to introduce the diminutive crossover into the North American market as a bridge between the sub-compact Juke and the Rogue. Although Rogue and Qashqai share architecture, Rogue is a slightly larger version that is now classified as a mid-sized crossover. The new version would sit practically smack dab in the middle of the gap between Juke and Rogue, with Qashqai being 245mm longer than Juke and 273mm shorter than Rogue.

As such, it competes against the likes of the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, leaving the compact segment for Juke to try and take on the likes of the new Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax, which is presumably behind the decision to bring Qashqai to North America as early as 2016, though neither the US nor Canada has confirmed such a decision. Naturally, it is also not known if the vehicle would retain the Qashqai name or go with something more familiar, like Rogue Sport or Rogue Select (the previous generation Rogue that is the value-minded entry point into the US Rogue lineup – remember the Volkswagen City Golf and Jetta? Same reasoning).

The Automotive News report also had a hybrid version of Rogue being marketed in North America, which makes sense in terms of Toyota’s introducing a hybrid RAV4 into its lineup, but it’s not knows what kind of powertrain the Rogue Hybrid would use, with the most ready choice being an adaptation of the Pathfinder Hybrid’s electrified 2.5-litre engine version.

The made-in-England Qashqai debuted a 161-hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine for the 2016 model year, which Car and Driver speculated would be the engine of choice for North America. Rogue currently uses the 170-hp 2.5 “four” that was the base of the Pathfinder Hybrid powertrain.

Meanwhile, a Qashqai derivative – the Renault Kadjar – has just been recognized as the Best Crossover at Britain’s Next Green Car Awards 2015, for its efficient diesel powertrain, value for money and cabin amenities. It beat out the Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3, all of which have good following in North America.