Nissan’s Rogue sees a new 1.5-liter turbocharged, variable-compression engine for 2022.
The new engine is based on the 2.0-liter variable compression engines found in the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima but sports one less cylinder.
The new engine makes 201 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque, besting the numbers from the outgoing 2.5-liter four-cylinder.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue ushered in the nameplate’s third generation with new, fresh styling and a carry-over powertrain, but for the 2022 it gets an all-new 1.5-liter variable compression engine. Based on the similarly constructed 2.0-liter variable-compression engine found in other Infiniti and Nissan products, this 1.5-liter drops a cylinder but still puts up impressive numbers.
The Rogue’s new engine sends 201 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque through the standard CVT before hitting either the front wheels or an all-wheel-drive system. Despite losing a cylinder and a liter of displacement, those figures are still better than found in the outgoing 2.5-liter I4 powering current Rogues. Nissan estimates the new engine’s fuel economy to climb slightly, to hit 33 mpg combined. Nissan also updated the CVT to better work with the turbocharged engine, and gave it a bigger gear spread.
What’s this mean? After getting some time behind the wheel, the new engine feels like it breathes life into the Rogue and is a large improvement over the aged 2.5-liter. Despite the odd number of cylinders and generally complex rotating assembly resting inside the engine block, the 1.5-liter variable compression engine is surprisingly refined. The throttle is mapped relatively aggressively, though, which means you may have to adjust your driving style to adapt to the sensitive pedal, but that comes with time.
The expansion of this variable compression engine into the Rogue makes sense in a lot of ways, but the most obvious is to use this wild technology Nissan has been playing with for a few years to give the car’s computer a host of scenarios to manipulate the engine’s cylinder pressure, in its ultimately quest to save you fuel.
The downside: electrification is coming. Different states and nations are pushing for more aggressive regulations surrounding internal combustion. That could mean that this variable compression engine could be a swan song for innovative internal combustion technology.
Nissan will offer this new Rogue exclusively with the new 1.5-liter three-cylinder mill, which will start at $27,875 in front-wheel-drive S-badge models. Tacking on all-wheel drive will set you back another $1500. For those that don’t want to bust out the calculator, that’s a $650 and $750 jump over the previous base model Rogues, respectively.
Will Nissan’s variable compression engine help keep the internal combustion powertrain alive? Or is electrification almost inevitable? Tell us your thoughts below.