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Car and Driver: Nissan Adding New Compact Crossover, or Maybe Two, to U.S. Lineup

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Nissan-Qashqai

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As Nissan comes off a record year for U.S. sales, executives want to add one—or maybe two—new compact crossovers to the U.S. lineup.

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Without naming specific vehicles or giving launch dates, Pierre Loing, Nissan’s vice president of product strategy, told us the company was looking at smaller crossovers to sell below the Rogue. That would all but confirm a July report revealing a planned U.S. version of the Qashqai, pictured above, which shares its platform with the Rogue and is the company’s bestselling model in Europe. Compared to the Rogue, the Qashqai is shorter in length by 10 inches with a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase; that would slot it between the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the Volkswagen Tiguan, two of the smallest models in the compact-crossover segment.

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Nissan Kicks Concept

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An additional new subcompact crossover potentially could serve alongside the Juke, or possibly replace it. Last year, the Rogue (including the Rogue Select, based on the previous-generation model) outsold the Juke by more than nine to one. Total Juke sales of 27,121 were down 29 percent, the first and only time they’ve ever slipped since its 2010 introduction. As much we like the Juke, a more conventionally styled model likely would sell better.

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What might sell alongside, or replace, the Juke? Well, Nissan recently announced that it will put into production a small crossover based on the Kicks concept (above) from the 2014 São Paulo auto show; that vehicle will be sold first in South America, but is expected to roll out to other markets as well.

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Nissan Gripz concept

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The brand also showed the Gripz concept (seen above) in Frankfurt last September, yet another take on the subcompact crossover. A production version of the Gripz might be another candidate.

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Compact crossovers, fueled by the emergence of subcompact models like the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Chevrolet Trax, are the industry’s fastest-growing segment. In 2015, sales ballooned 57 percent and are set to maintain momentum, so there’s plenty of space for Nissan.

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