Nissan to Debut North American-Bound ‘Rogue Light’ in Detroit

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Nissan will add the overseas Qashqai crossover to its U.S. lineup, with the model debuting at next month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, multiple sources tell .

Pressed into domestic service to satisfy a crossover-hungry marketplace, the compact Qashqai will slot just below the popular Rogue, but it will likely arrive with a different name.

Sources tell the Qashqai will not replace an existing model. Adding a new crossover allows the automaker to shore up its product portfolio in a country that’s rapidly switching from passenger cars to utility vehicles.

Given that the model — in its current form — has rolled off the company’s Sunderland, U.K., assembly line since the 2014 model year, bringing the Qashqai to North America doesn’t pose a challenge. However, keeping up with demand could be an issue, assuming the model performs as well as it does in overseas markets.

The model first debuted for the 2007 model year and has since become Nissan’s best-selling product in Europe. There, the Qashqai rules the midsize crossover segment, which is similar to the compact class in North America.

Looking very much like a Rogue Light, the Qashqai is offered overseas with a lineup of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. We don’t know powertrain details just yet, but expect the North America-bound model to reach into the four-banger parts bin for propulsion. A continuously variable transmission should carry over.

In terms of dimensions, the Qashqai is certainly closer to the Rogue than the Juke. At 104.2 inches, the Qashqai’s wheelbase is only 2.3 inches shorter than the Rogue’s, while overall length, at 172 inches, undercuts its larger stablemate by about 10 inches.

No release date was given, but we expect the Qashqai to appear late next year as a 2018 model.

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