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As the popularity of Sport Utility Vehicles (or SUVs) grew in the 1990s, Nissan realized it needed a small four-wheel drive SUV to augment sales of its larger Nissan Patrol. First shown as a prototype at the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show, the Rasheen was initially offered with a 1.5L, 104hp GA15DE-code engine, and shared its platform with the Nissan Sunny (known as the Sentra in North America). With its angular and quirky body styling, it was reminiscent of Nissan’s earlier “Pike” designed cars. The Rasheen was never marketed outside of the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM).
The light off-roader came standard with Nissan’s ATTESA viscous coupling system, sending torque to the wheels that needed it based on traction conditions. A larger 1.8L engine with 125hp came in 1997, followed in July 1998 by an optional 2.0L, 143hp engine in the Rasheen Forza edition.
Nissan ended production of the Rasheen in 2000, replacing it with the X-Trail. Previously only a JDM product, the current generation of X-Trail (2013-present day) is sold in the US as the Rouge.
Manufacturer: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Country of Origin: Japan
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, all wheel drive
Engine: dual overhead cam, 1.5L (1497cc), four-cylinder, 104hp
Transmission: 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic
Years of Production: 1994-2000
Original Cost: around ¥2,000,000 ($17,000)