2021 Nissan Rogue Review by Thom Cannell and Larry Nutson +VIDEO
SEE ALSO: Official Nissan Release and Video
Our Take - Thom and Larry Take A Close Up Look
By Thom Cannell and Larry Nutson
Michigan and Chicago Bureaus
The Auto Channel
Nissan dropped - digitally that is, its 2021 Rogue, and all-new replacement for the somewhat aging, but still popular nameplate. Rogue is the brand’s best-selling platform and one of what the company says are five new models due “soon”.
The mid-size SUV marketplace is hot, crowded and wildly varied with prices from Land Rover to Kia. What sets the new Rogue apart in our eyes (please remember, we’ve only seen the video show so far) is a boldness and premium body-style that promises a more mature experience. From head to tail, everything is different.
Take that very squared-off shape, the new interpretation of Nissan’s V-Motion grille, now with a slick fold to enable a more flattened nose highlighting LED headlamps. In two-tone—there will be five offered—the blackened roofline reshapes the profile into a sleek profile that’s enhanced by a dogleg final pillar. Side views show a change in profile, what Nissan designer Satoru Tai called a “sculpted U-shaped dip” that stretches from mirror to second door.
Overall the new Rogue is more upright, which the company says bespokes premium. The more vertical sides yield more useable space, always a bonus. The tailgate is highly sculpted, yet continues to deliver interior space including their hidden storage below the flat floor. Rogue sits on an all-new lighter and stiffer platform and is slightly shorter and lower overall.
On the inside, where you live, Rogue will offer a premium cabin (shown today) with richness that will push Infiniti designers to the wall. Diamond stitched in contrasting colors, rear seats will accommodate a child seat anywhere, including the center seat. Rear doors open to nearly 90 degrees for easy access to child seats. Up front, a new instrument panel seems to float at mid-chest level thanks to skillful use of a blackened IP shelf and slim bright work trim. The family-friendly interior features Nissan’s Zero-Gravity seats, auto-unlocking at all four doors as owners are recognized by their key fob, and seats are available with heat in all positions.
Designers played nice, offering storage below the shift-by-wire center console, and three separate digital displays. First is the driver’s 10.8-inch (available) 3-color HUD, which we find intriguing, a 12.3-inch digital meter display and 9-inch floating central display. Rogue will also offer at 10-speaker premium Bose sound system.
Safety is central in the minds of most families and Rogue embraces a kitchen sink full of technology starting with an updated ProPilot driver assist system that helps in stop-and-go traffic as well as on the freeway—now recognizing exits and interchanges. Their Navi-link system is integrated and can automatically change speed, recognize curves and suggest new routes. More importantly, six key safety systems are standard: rear auto braking, rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and high beam assist--which keeps your brightest lights on until any traffic, coming or going, is detected. If you want, there’s even traffic sign recognition available.
As a new vehicle there’s an engine switch to a new 2.5-liter 181 horsepower engine, multi-link rear suspension and rack-type power steering. We’ll await numbers as Nissan says the new engine improves both power and fuel efficiency. No news on a hybrid, but we may just see one as competition will demand it.
We’ll have a full road test, maybe two, as soon as possible. The new 2021 Rogue will go on sale in Autumn 2020.
© 2020 Thom Cannell and Larry Nutson