2021 Nissan Rogue revealed: Fresh styling, lots of safety features

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The 2021 Nissan Rogue is finally here, replacing the version that has been around since the 2015 model with minor updates. The new model is completely redesigned inside and out, and it boasts a large array of standard safety features.

From the outside, the Rogue looks like a blocky, more conservative version of the new Juke that's offered overseas. At the front is Nissan's big chrome "V" grille sitting very upright. It blends into upper daytime running lights, and below those are large LED headlights. The sides are very smooth except for pumped-up sheetmetal above the wheel arches reminiscent of some new Audis. The roof is available in a contrasting color fitting the design trend of the day. The back is fairly plain, and it's beefed up with a rear bumper covered in black plastic and a faux skid plate. Nissan has increased use of high-strength steel and even added aluminum doors, fenders and a hood, all of which helps the new Rogue weight about 100 pounds less than the last one.

The inside is more impressive. The company has only shown higher-trim models, but they look quite plush. The SL and Platinum get leather upholstery on the seats with fancy stitching, and at least some kind of stitched leatherette adorning most of the dashboard. There are even splashes of natural-finish wood or fake wood trim. The lower SV trim gets leatherette upholstery, and the base S trim gets cloth.

Some of Nissan's flashy technology is on display in the interior, too. The standard Rogue gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 7-inch instrument display. Higher-trim models are available with a 9-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch instrument display and a 10.8-inch heads-up display. All Rogues come standard with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless CarPlay and cellphone charging will also be available on some trims. The rear passengers will be able to take advantage of multiple optional amenities such as heated seats, a separate climate control zone for three total (driver, passenger, rear passengers) and integrated sunshades.

As for safety equipment, all Rogues come standard with front automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic warning and automatic high-beam headlights. ProPilot Assist is available and has had retuned steering assist and can detect traffic sooner for smoother braking. It can remain active at a stop for longer (30 seconds vs. 3), too. On Rogue's equipped with navigation, ProPilot Assist will use the navigation to preemptively slow the vehicle for curves and ramps on the interstate. It can also use traffic sign recognition to automatically change the cruise control speed.

The powertrain of the Rogue is the least exciting part of the crossover. It once again has a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and it does make more power, but not a whole lot. It picks up 11 ponies for 181 horsepower and torque is up by 6 pound-feet for 181 as well. It's coupled to a CVT and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy has improved a bit. The S with front-wheel drive gains 1 mpg in city and combined driving, and 2 in highway driving, whereas the higher trims only gain 1 mpg in the highway and unchanged in city and combined. With all-wheel drive, the S improves by 1 mpg in city and highway driving, and by 2 mpg in combined. The higher trims only gain 1 mpg in combined and nowhere else. The full numbers:

  • FWD (City / Highway / Combined)

    • S: 27 / 35 / 30

    • SV, SL, Platinum: 26 / 34 / 29

  • AWD

    • S: 26 / 33 / 29

    • SV, SL, Platinum: 25 / 32 / 28

When asked about the possibility of either the VC-Turbo engine or a hybrid coming to market, Nissan representatives said that there's no turbo version in development at the moment, and no comment on a hybrid. They did note that they're always keeping an eye on possible variants, and they're watching the new hybrid competition closely.

The Rogue goes on sale this fall. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but we would expect a similar starting price to the current model, right around $26,000.

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