Currently, Nissan buyers who are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Rogue can choose either the Juke, which is noticeably smaller, or the Rogue Select, which was introduced in 2007 and is starting to seriously show its age.
Sources close to Nissan have revealed that the Rogue Select will be dropped in the coming months and replaced by the Qashqai (pictured), a smaller crossover that was primarily designed for Europe. The Qashqai and the Rogue both ride on Renault-Nissan’s modular CMF platform, but the Qashqai is nearly a foot shorter than its bigger sibling.
Nissan could make several minor visual changes to the Qashqai to prepare it for the U.S. market, but, broadly speaking, the model that we’ll get here will be nearly identical to the one that’s been on sale across Europe for about a year and a half.
As for what will power the U.S.-spec Qashqai, that’s still up in the air. Industry trade journal Automotive News speculates the crossover could ship with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to make over 120 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque. Euro-spec models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but an automatic will likely be the only gearbox offered on the U.S. side of the pond. Similarly, the turbodiesel four-banger that a vast majority of Qashqais are ordered with on the Old Continent will not make the trip across the Atlantic.
Nissan has not commented on the matter. If the rumor turns out to be true, look for the U.S.-spec Qashqai to debut either late this year or early next year as a 2017 model. It will carry a base price of approximately $21,500, a figure that will allow it to fill the narrow gap between the Juke, which starts at $20,250, and the Rogue, which is priced at $23,040.
Nissan has also confirmed it is preparing to expand the Rogue lineup with a gasoline-electric hybrid model. Like the Qashqai, the Rogue Hybrid will land in time for the 2017 model year, meaning it will go on sale across the nation next spring.