“Why accomplish that many individuals purchase the Nissan Rogue?” It’s one thing we ponder and lament each time we see it on a high 10 record of best-selling vehicles. We’re not alone. Maybe it is as a result of its styling, dimension and inside high quality made a superb first impression at a supplier, however the extra you drove it, the more severe it obtained. “Dreary” is a phrase that involves thoughts. With the all-new 2021 Rogue, Nissan is aiming to vary the story, and after a pair hours of driving it on a cold fall day in Michigan, we predict Nissan has executed precisely that.
However first, to correctly add perspective, again to its predecessor. The steering was a large number; the dealing with ponderous and the trip hardly particular; its droning repeatedly variable transmission was unresponsive, and the annoyingly buzzy engine was woefully underpowered even in a section the place energy is a low precedence. Nissan responded with a clean-sheet redesign underpinned by a very new platform not at present shared with one other Nissan. It makes use of extra aluminum and ultra-high-strength metal than the outgoing mannequin, contributing to much less weight and better chassis rigidity.
Nissan designed a brand new multi-link rear suspension to exchange the trailing arm design, popped in new dual-piston dampers and put collectively a brand new rack-mounted electrical energy steering system to supply extra really feel than what the previous column-mounted system managed (just about none). All the above interprets right into a crossover that rides and handles considerably higher than the earlier Rogue. The brand new quick-ratio steering is straight away noticeable with turn-in that verges on alarmingly fast for a household crossover. It makes the Rogue really feel extra agile and energetic, however the lack of really feel and imprecise, mild connection between highway and driver stays a difficulty. Most Rogue house owners will merely be shocked after they dial in manner an excessive amount of lock in corners throughout the first week of driving.
The engine continues to be a complete bore, however it’s higher. Shared with the Altima, the two.5-liter inline-four has roughly 80% new elements versus the outgoing engine. It makes 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, will increase of 11 and 6, respectively, that convey the Rogue nearer to common for the section. Nissan mates it to the identical CVT as earlier than, nevertheless it’s operating a brand new tune. Its enhanced software program makes the Rogue faster to react to pedal prodding, however acceleration stays achingly sluggish. Noise from the engine bay into the cabin is down, which makes full-throttle functions and sedate around-town driving simpler on the ears. If wind noise had been tamped down a smidge extra, it will make for an much more premium drive.
Entrance-wheel drive is normal, and all-wheel drive is non-obligatory as earlier than. When you go for the all-wheel-drive mannequin, you get a mode dial with 5 modes (front-drive fashions have three modes). The all-wheel-drive system itself is up to date this 12 months, because it’s now using predictive software program that may ship energy to the rear wheels even earlier than the fronts start to slide. You possibly can prime it for sure situations by switching into Customary, Snow, Sport, Off-road or Eco.
Styling was arguably one of many previous Rogue’s sturdy factors, however the brand new one improves upon it any manner with a glance that is attempting to be premium, adventurous and techy all on the identical time. The form is squarer and extra sharp-edged than the flowy and rounded-off Rogue it’s changing. Daring shapes and lighting components dominate its face. It comes throughout as much less busy in particular person than images seem to depict, although the skinny LED operating lights at hood degree by no means cease squinting at us.
Apparently, the Rogue truly shrunk a bit for 2021. Particularly, it is 1.5 inches shorter in size and 0.2 inch decrease in peak. The previous mannequin was truly fairly huge for its section, although, and fortunately, inside house and utility do not endure because of this. Fairly the other. Rear seat legroom ticks up by half an inch, and the rear doorways open wider (practically 90 levels) to make getting baby seats out and in an easier course of (to not point out the kids themselves).
Most cargo capability (second row dropped) additionally goes up by 4.1 cubic-feet to 74.1, a quantity that simply barely trails the Honda CR-V for sophistication finest. House behind the raised second-row is decreased by a token quantity, however not less than it nonetheless has the modern and helpful “Divide-N-Disguise” cargo ground that consists of two movable ground boards — hold them in for a flat ground; take away them for extra depth, or prepare them right into a stacked formation to divide the cargo space into separate elements. A brand new milk gallon holder aft of the wheels is constructed into the cargo space ground, so now your gallon of milk or no matter gained’t annihilate the remainder of your groceries on the way in which again from the grocery retailer.
Indubitably, probably the most spectacular aspect of the brand new Rogue is its inside, which strikes proper to the highest of its class in each design and high quality. We solely obtained to check the highest Platinum trim, however even decrease degree Rogues look to be good sufficient for his or her worth. Numerous two-tone inside combos are provided. The open pore “wooden” is pretend however convincing to the attention. The Platinum is adorned with distinction stitching on the doorways, sprint and the seats, that are coated in semi-aniline leather-based and have Nissan’s extremely comfy “Zero Gravity” seat design entrance and rear. The motive force seat additionally features further adjustment journey, which must be excellent news for taller drivers who may’ve struggled to get comfy within the previous Rogue.
The up to date sprint and middle console have been up to date for the quickly altering occasions with a delightful mixture of digital screens and bodily controls. The Platinum trim will get a 9-inch central touchscreen, however the remainder of the trims make do with a completely aggressive 8-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, however the 9-inch display has wi-fi CarPlay functionality (however not wi-fi Android Auto). Decrease grades get an analog instrument panel with a 7-inch show within the middle, however the Platinum trim comes with a fully-digital 12.3-inch panel that is straightforward to learn and strikes via the varied screens and menus shortly through steering wheel buttons. A big head-up show comes paired with the absolutely digital instrument panel, too.
One tech innovation we don’t want, nevertheless, is one other reinvention of the gear selector. We’re calling it the “gear puck” as a result of it is roughly the identical dimension as one and slides backwards and forwards. It is also simply expertise for expertise’s sake. You press a cheap-feeling little button on the facet and slide it backward previous two detents to enter Drive, ahead to enter Reverse and someplace within the center for Impartial. There’s a clearly-labeled button on high for Park. It’s straightforward sufficient to study, and just like these employed by different manufacturers, nevertheless it takes up simply as a lot room on the middle console as a extra intuitive shifter would. The most important profit is its quick stature, which makes for simpler entry to the telephone tray/wi-fi charging mat.
We’re typically happy with the remainder of the tech Nissan gives within the new Rogue, although. It is the one compact crossover that provides tri-zone local weather management for separate entrance and rear temperature settings. There’s a USB port (mixture of A and C) for everyone within the automobile. A panoramic sunroof is obtainable as an possibility. Plus, the Rogue is the primary Nissan to get the newest model of ProPilot Help. Nissan says it has smoother braking, improved lane marker detection and is best at protecting you focused within the lane. The X-factor this 12 months is Nissan’s Navi-link expertise. It makes use of exact navigation mapping that may cut back your pace mechanically for freeway junctions, exits or tight curves. We observed it dropping our pace by 2-3 mph on tighter freeway curves, however the extra helpful facet of this tech is having the ability to hold it on at the same time as you’re altering highways. We’ll want extra time to totally assess its smoothness, however the lane-centering and braking actions it exhibited in our hour-long freeway drive had been high notch.
You gained’t pay rather more for the 2021 Rogue, as the bottom worth for the S solely goes up $160 to $26,745. The height of the lineup is the Platinum, which fits for $36,525. All-wheel drive provides $1,400 to any trim (S, SV, SL and Platinum). This places the Rogue proper smack dab within the middle of the competitors in terms of pricing.
The improved driving dynamics are a giant win, and the inside styling on its dearer trims helps it stand out. Nevertheless, practically each entry on this section is rattling good at being a small household runabout. The brand new Rogue is not adequate to climb to the highest of the heap, however it’s a lot nearer than earlier than. Prime 10 gross sales appear destined to proceed, and this time, its success might be a lot simpler to grasp.