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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

A sufficient amount of torque can help get your trusty steed off the line with ease.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For many, a pickup truck is as much a daily drivable vehicle as it is a tool for getting the job done. How much horsepower and torque a powertrain puts out is a big part of that. Most want enough to get the job done while keeping an eye toward fuel economy.

What's the difference between horsepower and torque? In simple terms, torque is the pull of the powertrain that gets you off the line from a full stop. Horsepower is what gets you going the speed you want and keeps you there.

Diesel engines tend to have more torque than gasoline-powered engines but have less horsepower. There's no perfect torque to horsepower ratio. It's all about which combination works best for you.

The engines on this list have the highest amount of torque and are available in 2021 model year pickup trucks in the U.S. To see the most powerful pickup trucks ranked by horsepower click here. See the 2020 horsepower champs by clicking here and the 2020 torque winners by clicking here.

No. 5 - 2021 Ford F-150: PowerBoost hybrid powertrain

2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

570 pound-feet of torque

Not surprisingly, Ford's new hybrid F-150 powertrain (a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine paired with a 35-kilowatt electric motor) delivers more torque than almost any other light-duty truck. It's rated at 570 pound-feet, which matches up well with the engine's 430 horsepower to provide up to 12,400 pounds of towing capacity in certain configurations.

No. 4 - 2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Supercharged 6.2-liter V8

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

650 pound-feet of torque

The Ram 1500 TRX isn't just the fastest and most powerful light-duty truck on the market, it's also got the most torque. Rated at 650 pound-feet of torque, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 also produces a staggering 702 horsepower. That's good enough for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds and an 8,100-pound towing capacity.

No. 3 (tie) - 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD: 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

910 pound-feet of torque

General Motors' trucks have attracted attention in recent years for their innovative trailering and tailgate technologies, but both Chevrolet and GMC Heavy Duty trucks are offered with a truly attention-grabbing powertrain. The 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 produces a massive 910 pound-feet of torque, which is in addition to a respectable 445-horsepower output. That gives the trucks a maximum conventional-trailer towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds in some configurations.

No. 3 (tie) - 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD: 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD\u200b Photo courtesy of GMC

910 pound-feet of torque

Under the hood of the GMC Sierra 2500 HD is a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 that produces 910 pound-feet of torque and 445-horsepower, just like the Silverado 2500 above. The truck has a maximum conventional-trailer towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds in some configurations.

No. 2 - 2021 Ram 3500HD: 6.7-liter Cummins diesel V8

2021 Ram 3500HD

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

1,000 pound-feet of torque

Here, we enter the realm of outlandish torque numbers. The 2021 Ram Heavy Duty lineup is available with a 6.7-liter C
Cummins diesel V8 that produces 1,000 pound-feet of torque. It's offered in a "normal" output version that makes 850 pound-feet, but the four-digit torque number available in the high-output version is truly headline worthy. Ram says that the 3500 can pull up to 35,100 pounds with this engine on board.

No. 1 - 2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty: 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8

2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

1,050 pound-feet of torque

Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 is the top of the torque hill for 2021. It makes 1,050 pound-feet of the stuff, which is in addition to a solid 475 horsepower. The F-450 truck equipped with the engine can tow up to 37,000 pounds, which is both insane and far above the weight limits for a standard Class A driver's license.

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The Lotus Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary debuted last year to celebrate the milestone birthday of the model.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus is turning the page. The company, now majority-owned by Geely, the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, is moving into more exotic territory. That means that it needs to bid adieu to three models as part of a larger Vision80 strategy.

The Lotus Evora, Exige, and Elise will exit the lineup after 2021. Lotus has announced that their production will end by December 31, but an exact manufacturing timeline is publicly unknown. Replacing the models is a new series of sports cars based on the Lotus Type 131 prototype, among others.

The new cars will be manufactured at a facility in Hethel, Norfolk, England. The strategy will ultimately result in the relocation of two Lotus sub-assembly facilities into one central operation in Norwich to support higher volumes of production and sales.

Lotus Evija The Lotus Evija hypercar is the company's future. Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

That move is a £100-million-plus investment in the facilities that includes hiring of 250 employees. This is in addition to the 670 employees that the company has recruited since 2017, when Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.

The Lotus Elise debuted in 1995 showing off a body made of extruded and bonded aluminium, and lightweight composites. In May 2020, the Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions debuted, showing off unique paint jobs that are a nod to days past, and offering an enhanced exterior and interior spec over the Elise Sport 220 on which they're based.

In 2000, the Exige launched as the Lotus 'race car for the road'. In June 2020, the company debuted the Lotus Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary to mark the model's birthday.

Lotus launched the Evora in 2008, marking the company's return to the super sports car sector. In January 2020, a cheaper version of the car, designed to better fit the daily driver lifestyle, was offered.

A plug-and-play digital instrument pack was made available in mid-2020 giving drivers of the three cars in the current lineup access to lap recording ability for over 4,000 race tracks.

Lotus Lotus has released this image teasing three future cars the company plans to produce.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus

By the time production is over, Lotus will have sold 55,000 units of the Elise, Exige, and Evora combined.

Lotus recently released video of the forthcoming Evija hypercar taking to the track, unleashing its 1,973 horsepower. The company's engineering team has bragged about its capability and it's safe to say a lot is expected of the model.

Though they're looking forward, the company is also giving an approving nod to its past, delivering its first Certificate of Provenance to a 1981 Turbo Esprit that was driven by Margaret Thatcher. Further certifications are underway.

In April, Lotus celebrated the 35th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's first Formula 1 win (in a Lotus) with a special edition podcast dedicated to the late, great racer.

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