Today’s Rare Ride is kind of like a more modern and luxurious version of the Honda Civic Wagovan sold in North America in the Eighties. Offered by Nissan only in the Japanese domestic market, a case for the Rasheen in North America could’ve been made. Let’s check it out.
Considered an SUV in its home market, the Rasheen debuted in prototype format at the 1993 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show. Rasheen went into production in late 1994 for the 1995 model year and rode on the B14 platform donated by the Sunny and Sentra.
Under the square hood was one of three different inline-four engines, sourced from Nissan’s compact Pulsar line. Displacement was 1.5, 1.8, or 2.0 liters, the latter of which was the SR20DE from the Sentra SE-R. Transmissions on offer were a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual. Initially, all examples were equipped with the 1.5-liter engine good for 125 horses. Early in 1997, the 1.8 became available, though only with an automatic transmission. The ultimate version was the SR20DE-equipped Forza trim, which appeared midway through 1998 and had 145 horsepower.
All examples of the Rasheen were equipped with full-time, four-wheel drive and used Nissan’s ATTESA system initially offered in the Bluebird in 1987. An advanced version of ATTESA was also used later in Nissan’s rear-drive cars like the Skyline and FM platform Infinitis.
Nissan updated the Rasheen over its life to include ABS in 1996, along with a few different trim packages like the aforementioned cladded sports Forza. Alas, the Rasheen lasted only through 2000 and was not granted a second generation. A casualty of the Ghosn-created Nissan Revival Plan, the Rasheen’s official replacement was the X-Trail (available in Canada) on the FF-S platform. By 2014, X-Trail and Rogue were merged into one.
Today’s Rare Ride is an earlier Rasheen, with a manual transmission and the 1.5-liter engine. It’s been repainted like a banana and lowered among other owner edits. It does have the big moonroof, but sadly lacks the plaid seats and wood dash of more upscale examples. Yours in Seattle for $10,000.