It’s pronounced cash-kai. But you probably figured that out already.

Here’s the thing, the Qashqai badge has been on sale in Europe since 2007, but as it makes it’s way to North America for the first time for the 2017 model year, the Americans renamed it Rogue Sport. But Nissan has faith that Canadians know their phonics, so, for us, this small crossover is the Qashqai.

In nearly every way though, think of the Qashqai as Rogue-mini. From Nissan’s signature V-motion front facia, to a side profile and rear end that’s carries close family resemblances. The Rogue seats seven, the Qashqai, five. And while overall length drops by 307 millimetres (12 inches), the available space for passengers doesn’t change nearly as much. The Rogue will swallow up a maximum of 1,982 litres of cargo in the back with seats folded down, the Qashqai manages up to 1,730 L.

 

2017 Nissan Qashqai unveiled
2017 Nissan Qashqai unveiled

 

Powering the 2017 Qashqai is a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder motor capable of 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual shifter makes the Qashqai a bit special, and cheaper if you’re looking at the base model. The stick shift is special to Canada as our southern neighbours only get the CVT auto box with their Rogue Sport.

The Qashqai is front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available as an option. Heated front seats are standard on all trim levels, so are heated mirrors. A heated steering wheel and remote engine start are standard on mid-trim SV models and higher.

Nissan’s full suite of active and passive safety tech makes its way to the Qashqai. Known as Intelligent Safety Shield, the technologies include Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Forward Emergency Braking. You can also option in for Nissan’s Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, once you’ve experienced it, you’ll wonder how anyone parks cars without it.

 

2017 Nissan Qashqai unveiled
2017 Nissan Qashqai - official photos
2017 Nissan Qashqai - official photos
2017 Nissan Qashqai unveiled

 

Base trim, Qashqai S models get 16-inch steel wheels with covers, SV gets 17-inch alloys, while the top-end SL gets massive 19-inch wheels. The Qashqai not only looks sharper than it’s older sibling, but according to Nissan, offers a more engaging driving experience as well.

Globally, the Qashqai has done very well for Nissan with over 2.5 million units sold in ten years. The company hopes those successes continue as the crossover enters the U.S. and Canadian markets.

“The combination of the new Qashqai and the popular redesigned 2017 Rogue will appeal to a broad audience and offers a wide spectrum of features and price points for SUV buyers,” said Bert Brooks, senior manager, Product Planning, Nissan Canada Inc. “While we expect Rogue to continue to appeal to owners with young families, Qashqai fills a need for singles and couples who want more space and versatility than the average sedan for everyday urban use and social activities.”

With the introduction of the Qashqai, Nissan fills a neat slot between the Juke and Rogue filling out their rather robust crossover/SUV lineup that also includes Pathfinder, Murano, and Armada.

The Japanese built Qashqai will go on sale in Canada this spring with pricing to be announced closer to that time.

 

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Photos: Kanishka Sonnadara / Motor1 Canada

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