2021 Nissan Rogue
Nissan is looking for another comeback. This time, it’s for keeps.
As part of the Nissan Next strategy, the brand is looking to update and revamp its entire lineup over the next year or so. It already began with the newest versions of the Altima, Sentra, and Versa sedans. Now, Nissan has completely reimagined their best-selling vehicle in this country - the Rogue SUV.
Considering that the Rogue is in the midst of the most competitive segment in the marketplace, is the new 2021 version better than all previous versions? And, could this be a segment leader?
Nissan did a lot of work to position their best-selling compact SUV towards being a class leader. The 2021 version is built on Nissan’s current CMF-CD platform. However, they crafted a new body, new interior, a new engine, and lots of engineering updates from the front subframe and beyond.
The result is a design that breaks from previous generations. The upright design of the 2021 Rogue brings more maturity, usefulness, and a cleaner look to this popular SUV. The more upright front end now features mid-height headlamps, LED driving lamps/turn signals above them, and a more prominent V-Motion grille. The rear end is more modern with sleeker taillamp units. Our SV tester added a set of handsome 18-inch alloy wheels to the overall look.
The same design overhaul was followed through into the 2021 Rogue’s interior. The instrument cluster features two larger dials with a wide information screen in the middle. All information and dials are easy to read. The new steering wheel features updated, more modern controls from previous Nissan models. You will find a new shift-by-wire transmission controller that is logical and good to the touch to use.
We found the cloth seating of our SV tester offering improved comfort, support, and bolstering. We also found the back seats equally comfortable with improved head and leg room. Cargo space also increased with 36.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Folding down those seatbacks will give you up to 74.1 cubic feet of expanded cargo space.
The 2021 Rogue receives a new version of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Power was increased to 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired to a continuously variable transmission with Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive. The power delivery is smooth and quiet, compared to the previous model. We also found better performance on lane changes and on-ramp entrances.
However, we were unable to get a good fuel economy reading from our tester. The Environmental Protection Agency has tested the 2021 Rogue with AWD for an average a combined 28 MPG, and a highway average of 32 MPG.
The 2021 Rogue rode very smoothly. We found the suspension absorbing road imperfections easily. In terms of handling, the 2021 Rogue took on the curves with confidence. Evasive maneuvers were quick and responsive.
The steering system offered a tighter turning radius with ease. On-center feel is solid and confident. We liked the feel of the brake pedal. It lent itself to strong stopping performance in normal and panic situations. It also helps to have Nissan’s excellent driver assistance systems, including the features from the standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 system. Not to mention the availability of Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist and its enhanced driving experience.
The entire 2021 Rogue lineup starts at $25,650 for an S model with front-wheel-drive. Our 2021 Rogue SV AWD tester came with a sticker price of $30,570. There are now four trim levels to choose from, including the new top-of-the-line Platinum model.
The new Nissan Rogue still has a tough crowd to please: Consumers looking at other compact SUVs. These consumers will also look at Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, GMC Terrain, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
While this vehicle has taken the greatest leap in becoming a potential segment leader, the new 2021 Nissan Rogue is also a great family vehicle. With expanded space, bolder design, and an improved driving experience, we believe that customers will have more reasons to love this new version of Nissan’s big seller. You can definitely call this a comeback for Nissan.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors