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 Rogue The 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 Rogue All-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 Rogue Uniquely, 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 Rogue The 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 Rogue The 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 Rogue The 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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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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Updated compact SUV

2022 Nissan Rogue gets new VC Turbo engine

The Rogue was fully redesigned last year.

Nissan

Nissan refreshed its best-selling vehicle, the Rogue SUV, in 2021 with a grown-up new look and plenty of new tech. Changes the year after a major overhaul are usually minor, but for 2022 Nissan's giving the Rogue a new powertrain. A brand-new 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) Turbo engine is on board, producing 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Nissan Rogue The new VC engine can change its compression to adapt to driving conditions.Nissan

Power is up 11 percent and torque is up a staggering 24 percent with the new power plant. The variable compression engine is capable of adapting to changing driving conditions. When the driver needs more power, the engine shifts to higher compression, which delivers better acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. When efficiency is best, the engine changes its compression again. The VC engines made their debut in 2019 in both the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima. It's trick engine technology, but it doesn't always deliver on its promise of efficiency gains. Nissan's continuously variable transmission is still in place, though it has been improved with 17 percent wider gear ratio coverage and 32 percent lower friction. The automaker says it helps deliver better acceleration and fuel economy.

2022 Nissan Rogue Top Rogue trims get upscale finishes and a handsome cabin.Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Rogue S FWD starts at $27,875, including a $1,175 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price by $1,500. Nissan offers three packages for the SUV as well, including a $2,660 SV Premium Package, a $1,320 SL Premium Package, and a $400 10.8-inch head-up display for the top Platinum trim.

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