On Monday, Nissan added to its portfolio of SUVs with the introduction of the Rogue Sport compact crossover.
The Rogue Sport is the US version of the award-winning Qashqai (pronounced Cash-Kai) crossover — Nissan’s hottest selling model in Europe.
Even though the Rogue Sport is built on the same Renault-Nissan CMF platform as the Rogue, it’s more than a foot shorter.
As a result, the Rogue Sport will target young singles, couples without kids, and empty nesters.
“While we expect Rogue to continue to appeal to owners with young families, Rogue Sport fills a need for singles and couples who want more space and versatility than the average sedan for everyday urban use and social activities, ” Nissan North America vice president for product planning, Michael Bunce, said in a statement.
Power for the Rogue Sport comes from a 2.0 litre, 141 horsepower inline-four-cylinder engine mated to Nissan’s ubiquitous continuously variable transmission.
The Rogue sport will also be equipped with Nissan’s suite of connected services, surround view camera system, and intelligent cruise control.
Rumours of the Qashqai’s arrival in the US have been making the rounds for a couple of years now. According to Nissan, it chose to delay the arrival of the Qashqai in order to focus on building up the strength of the Rogue brand.
In 2016, sales of the larger Rogue surged nearly 15% — with more than 329,000 units sold in the US. In fact, it became the 10th best selling vehicle in the country and managed to overtake the Altima sedan to become Nissan’s best selling model.
It’s safe to say the Rogue brand has found solid footing. As a result, Nissan decided to take advantage of the Rogue’s popularity by rebranding the Qashqai as the Rogue Sport. (Even the Canadian market will use the Qashqai moniker.)
Nissan has not yet released its 2016 sales figures for Europe, however, the latest numbers from November show that the Qashqai is, far and away, the brand’s most popular model. In 2015, Nissan sold 251,000 Qashqais in Europe. The Juke finished second with just 109,000 vehicles sold.
The 2017 Rogue Sport will reach US showrooms in the spring. Nissan has not yet announced official pricing.