New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue ups the ante but isn't revolutionary

Nissan has completely redesigned the Rogue for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Most of the compact SUV offerings in the U.S. have been redesigned or refreshed in the last two years. Finally, it is the Nissan's turn. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is new from top to bottom with a beefy exterior, more power, and reconfigured storage space. As expected, there's also a number of high-tech upgrades.

The Nissan Rogue competes directly with the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Equinox, and Mazda CX-5, among others. It slots into the Nissan lineup between the larger Pathfinder and the smaller Rogue Sport. The Nissan Kicks is even smaller.

2021 Nissan RogueThe SUV has a commanding presence with a flatter front indicative of the fresh Nissan design language coming throughout the SUV lineup.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan will sell the 2021 Rogue in four trim levels: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. Rogue Platinum is new to the lineup and gives the buyer the equipment in nearly every option box.

Though most vehicles seem to be increasing in size with every redesign, the Rogue is not. Nissan has shrunk the Rogue's body by 1.5 inches and lowered it by 0.2 inches, which they say helps with the SUV's maneuverability. The wheelbase is the same (106.5 inches) compared to the 2020 model.

The sizing changes mean that the SUV loses some head-, hip-, and legroom in both rows of seating. Shoulder room, however, is increased in the front and remains the same for rear passengers.

Cargo volume with the second-row seats folded has increased by over four cubic feet while space behind the second row seats remains the same. The Rogue now has more space with both rows of seats folded down than nearly every other SUV in its class except the cavernous Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. A motion-activated tailgate is available.

2021 Nissan RogueAll-wheel drive and a motion-activated tailgate are available.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Many hallmarks of Nissan design play out on the exterior of the new model. The V-motion grille is applied with a new dynamic, riding the hood to give the Rogue a robust front. Standard multilevel LED headlights flank the grille. This is a completely new look for Nissan and the Rogue. LED fog lights come standard in SL and Platinum grades.

The 2021 Rogue will be offered in a wide range of color combinations, including – for the first time – five two-tone combinations.

Those who frequently use the rear seats will appreciate that the new Rogue has rear doors that open nearly 90 degrees.

Each Rogue will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are increases on the amount achieved by the 2020 Rogue. The engine is pared with a continuously variable transmission.

2021 Nissan RogueUniquely, the SUV's rear is rather flat with a sculpted C-pillar doing the work to create a curvy posterior.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The new Vehicle Motion Control system uses technology to smooth out the drive experience for better fuel efficiency. It predicts what the driver is trying to do to do by monitoring steering, acceleration, and braking then acting to smooth out the effect of those actions. It works in conjunction with the all-wheel drive system.

Depending on trim level, the five-passenger SUV rides on 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheels.

Engineers have given the SUV five drive modes in vehicles equipped with available all-wheel drive (front-wheel drive is standard): Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco, and Sport. The modes are activated via a dial on the center console. That area is also home to a new shifter, electronic parking brake and auto hold buttons, and two cup holders.

From the look of things, Nissan is continuing to up the ante toward premium with its top-level Rogue cabin offering.

2021 Nissan RogueThe SUV's cabin has been completely restyled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Rear seat occupants benefit greatly from the generational redesign. They get Nissan's signature Zero Gravity seats standard, available pull-up sunshades, optional tri-zone climate control, and available heated seats.

USB-C and USB-A ports are located in the center console. A 7.0-inch driver's information display is standard.

The list of available features includes a 10.8-inch head-up display,12.3-inch digital instrument panel, "floating" 9.0-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Bose sound system, wireless charging pad, wireless Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, Google Maps, Waze, and NissanConnnect Services.

Nissan equips every Rogue with Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of safety technology that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrians detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. A surround view camera, blind spot intervention, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition are available. Adaptive cruise control is part of the available ProPilot Assist system.

2021 Nissan RogueThe look of the buttons on the steering wheel is new for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

For the new model year, Nissan's ProPilot Assist system works with next-gen radar and camera technology. Additionally, the hold time in stop-and-go highway traffic changes from the previous three seconds to up to 30 seconds (for vehicles with ProPilot Assist with Navi-link only) – allowing the vehicle to remain stopped and automatically continue without the driver resetting the function or tapping the accelerator pedal.

2021 Nissan RogueThe center console features a new design with a fresh shifter.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2021 Nissan Rogue goes on sale at dealerships nationwide this autumn. Pricing is expected to increase from the 2020 model, with the Platinum grade topping out several thousand dollars over the formerly top-tier Rogue SL.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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