Today Nissan takes the wraps off its latest all-new model — the 2021 Rogue. This 5-occupant small crossover is arguably the most important new rollout for the automaker, since Rogue is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle by far. Last year the Rogue sold 350,000 units — almost 30 percent of Nissan’s total annual sales in America. Redesigning a vehicle this popular can be risky for an automaker; make a design misstep and sales could plummet — but Nissan has nothing to worry about. Built on a new platform with fresh styling, advanced safety features and a family-friendly interior, the 2021 Nissan Rogue will likely continue as one of the most popular SUVs in America.
“The all-new Rogue was purposefully designed to meet all of the needs of today’s young families,” said Mike Colleran, senior vice president of Nissan U.S. marketing and sales. “Rogue is playing to win in the midsize crossover game with the ideal mix of expressive design, advanced technology, safety, comfort and versatility,” Colleran enthused.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue features a more classic SUV design in a bold vertical grille, strong fender flares and a squared-off tailgate. Although somewhat of a departure from the current design, the Rogue features the familiar Nissan V-Motion grille — a styling element found throughout most of the Nissan lineup. Unique multi-level LED headlights give the Rogue its own look. LED running lights flow into the hood, while the main headlights are placed below, flanking the grille. LED fog lights are an add-on for higher trim levels.
Slightly smaller than the outgoing model, the new Rogue is 1.5 inches shorter and slightly lower than its predecessor. Not only does this give the new crossover a stockier, stronger stance, it should improve overall drivability and maneuverability. Even With the front and back squared off, the roofline flows smoothly down from the windshield to the rear hatch. Nissan refers to this as a floating roof design.
With a new electronic shifter taking up less space, the 2021 Nissan Rogue offers decent amount of storage space between front-seat occupants. This includes a large space in the central footwell as well as a center console with “butterfly” doors that allow easier access, especially when passing items back to rear-seat passengers. Multiple USB ports provide power, and a wireless charger is available.
Nissan Zero Gravity seats are standard, and seats can be heated. Leather seat trim is standard on the SL, and upgraded to semi-aniline leather seats in the Platinum trim.
Access to the rear seat has been improved for the 2021 Nissan Rogue, with rear doors that open to nearly 90 degrees — much wider than the previous generation. Rear seats also use Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats that recline and offer available seat heating. Nissan does not forgo rear-seat passenger comfort, offering tri-zone climate control that lets rear-area passengers set their own temperature — a feature not typically found in this class of vehicle.
The automaker will be delivering the 2021 Nissan Rogue with about the same amount of cargo space as the outgoing model; however, the rear hatch is larger for easier loading and unloading. The hatch can be opened via motion activation — a convenient feature when arms are full.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue will be available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and — new for 2021 — Platinum. Nissan delivers a long list of standard equipment for Rogue across the board, including LED headlights and taillights, alloy wheels and Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto connectivity.
For those seeking a higher level of luxury, Nissan now offers the Rogue Platinum. Features on this top-level trim include luxurious semi-aniline quilted leather seats, a Bose premium audio system, a 9-inch center display with navigation, wireless device charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, head up display and a 12.3-inch digital dashboard.
Powering the 2021 Nissan Rogue is a 2.5-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque — an increase of 11 horsepower and 6 foot-pounds versus the previous generation. As with most Nissan products in the U.S., the engine gets teamed with the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission, or CVT.
All Nissan Rogues are available with Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. For 2021 the electro-hydraulic-controlled clutch is new, and it can better predict front-wheel slippage and send torque to the rear wheels quicker when needed. Five drive modes are available: Standard, Eco, Sport, Off-Road and Snow.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue features an all-new Vehicle Motion Control system that works with the all-wheel drive and drive mode selector to provide individual wheel control for better on- and off-road handling. “This is technology that does what a human can’t,” said Chris Reed, senior vice president of research and development at the Nissan Technical Center North America. “The all-new Vehicle Motion Control predicts what the driver is trying to do by monitoring steering, acceleration and braking. It can then step in and help to smooth things out,” Reed noted.
Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 is standard for all trim levels of the Rogue. This suite of advanced safety features includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, rear automatic braking and high-beam headlight assist. Blind-spot intervention and traffic-sign recognition are available, as is Nissan’s Intelligent Around View monitor.
Considered to be a step towards autonomous driving, Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist is standard on all Rogue trims except the base-level S. Enhanced to use next-generation camera and radar technology, the new ProPILOT Assist provides smoother braking, improved vehicle detection and better steering assist.
An advanced version of ProPILOT Assist is standard on Platinum and optional on SL trims. The system links with Rogue’s GPS navigation to automatically slow the vehicle for curves in the road or exit ramps. The vehicle’s speed can also be updated based speed limit signs identified by the traffic-sign recognition system. Our favorite change in this system for the 2021 Nissan Rogue is the increased hold time during stop-and-go traffic. With ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link engaged, the Rogue can stop for up to 30 seconds, automatically following the car in front. This is an increase from the current system’s 3-second wait time, and greatly reduces fatigue in bad traffic.
Look for the 2021 Nissan Rogue to begin arriving in showrooms this fall. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.