Such a Tease

Redesigned 2022 Nissan Rogue Sport breaks cover in camouflage

The 2022 Nissan Rogue Sport was caught being tested on the road in Europe.

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

In most markets around the globe, the Nissan Rogue Sport is known as the Qashqai. It's a revered model that has won the world over with its small yet spacious cabin, suitable powertrain, and appropriate price tag. A third generation of the model is now being planned. In anticipation of the vehicle's 2021 on-sale date, prototypes of the new Rogue Sport are hitting the road in Europe for final bits of testing.

In the automaker's U.S. lineup, the Rogue Sport sits below the Rogue but above the Kicks.

Nissan says it expects the model to get busy "resetting what customers can expect from a compact crossover". That starts at the frame where the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMG-C platform serves as the base of the model. It's the first vehicle to use the platform, which combines with steering enhancements and equipment upgrades to make the Rogue Sport the right proportions to navigate city roads, country lanes, and highways with ease, as well as park in urban areas.

2022 Nissan Rogue Sport/Qashqai The Rogue Sport isn't just a smaller version of the Rogue, as you can see from the photos.Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Though stronger than its predecessor, the new Rogue Sport features an ultra high-strength steel body designed to deliver a smoother and safer ride for passengers. The front and rear doors, front fenders and hood, are made of aluminum.

Revisions continue at the front and rear where Macpherson struts take their place. The Rogue Sport will be offered in two- and all-wheel drive configurations. Two-wheel drive models get 19-inch wheels while advanced multi-link all-wheel drive versions get 20-inchers.

At the front are new LED headlights which are designed to adapt their beam shape according to the road conditions and other road-users. The beam is divided into 12 individual elements that selectively deactivate upon detection of an oncoming vehicle.

Nissan is preparing the model with two different engine options. A 1.3-liter mild-hybrid engine that will be available in two different power outputs. Exact details will be released closer to the SUV's on-sale date. The electrified system is called e-Power and uses an high-output battery, petrol engine, power generator, inverter, and motor to power the vehicle. Unlike in a traditional hybrid, the petrol engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery.

2022 Nissan Rogue Sport/Qashqai

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.


Steps have been taken to make the Rogue Sport more fuel efficient including adding active shutters and making the floor of the vehicle flat.

Nissan is prepared to offer the model with the next generation of ProPilot drive assistance technology called ProPilot with Navi-Link. The company describes the technology:

"ProPILOT with Navi-link is able to accelerate and brake the vehicle within a single-lane on a highway. The system can accelerate the vehicle to cruise at a set speed, and can brake the vehicle down to 0 km/h in heavy stop-start traffic. The system is able to resume automatically if the vehicle has been stationary for less than three seconds and the traffic in front of the car moves away.

The steering system and the camera are constantly updating the vehicle's position, helping the car to stay centred within the lane while maintaining a pre-determined speed but with the capability to adapt and maintain a safe distance to the car in front.

On the all-new Nissan Qashqai, the updated system is now able to adapt the car's speed according to additional external circumstances: when the car crosses to a lower speed limit zone on the highway, the system is able to read road signs and take into account navigation system speed limit data to slow the Qashqai to the appropriate speed, meaning the driver doesn't need to adjust the cruise control speed manually.

The system can also use data from the navigation system to adjust the speed for approaching curves or exit ramps that have a tighter radius.Furthermore, ProPILOT with Navi-link can now communicate with the Qashqai's blind-spot radars to help intervene with a steering input correction to help prevent a lane-change manoeuvre if there is a vehicle in the blind-spot zone.

Other upgrades include a "flank protection" warning for urban situations, which alerts the driver of the risk of contact with an object on the side of the vehicle, typically when turning into a supermarket parking space. And the new Qashqai can also intervene to prevent a collision upon reversing from the space thanks to an upgrade on the existing Moving Object Detection alert, applying the brakes to stop the car if a moving obstacle is detected nearby."

Stay tuned for more information about the Rogue Sport/Qashqai. The new generation is expected to be fully revealed soon.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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