The Nissan Qashqai isn't a crossover we get in the US. Instead, Nissan slaps the Rogue Sport badge on it, and consumers are none the wiser. While the Rogue Sport is a newer crossover to America, introduced for the 2018 model year, the second-gen Qashqai has been on the market since 2014, and it's due for a refresh. New spy photos give us our first look at the third-gen Qashqai, which will likely become the next Rogue Sport in the US.
The spy photos aren't the best quality – they look like they were taken from quite a distance – and camouflage hides the finer details. However, we can see that it should wear new clothes even if the underpinnings carry over unchanged, which is the current rumor. It'll borrow design cues from the redesigned Nissan Juke while taking inspiration from Nissan's IMQ concept. You can see the Juke's influence at the rear with the prominent rear quarter panels and sloping hatch glass. The interior is expected to receive a major overhaul with a new dashboard design and a revamped infotainment system.
One thing that could be missing from the next-gen Qashqai is the diesel engine. Nissan will begin focusing on electric vehicles instead, using two new hybrid systems. One is suspected to be the company's ePower system that pairs a gasoline engine with batteries and an electric motor. The other could be a plug-in hybrid system relying on Mitsubishi's experience in the arena. Other gasoline engines will likely feature mild-hybrid setups to increase efficiency.
Gallery: Nissan Qashqai / Rogue Sport Spy Photos
The next-gen Qashqai and Rogue Sport are vital to the automaker as it revamps its lineup around the world. Last month, Nissan, part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, laid out an ambitious roadmap to help the company recover from a few tough years. The plan includes introducing 12 new models in the next 18 months. While the rumored Z-car garnered much attention, the Rogue and Rogue Sport are vital to the company's success, and a revamped Qashqai/Rogue Sport will undoubtedly help.