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crossover

Crossovers: The Perfect Porridge

Crossovers are everywhere these days, and with good reason. Remember the story of Goldilocks? There are full-size SUVs with lots of seating and lots of room like a too-hot bowl of porridge. Then there are sedans with less of everything making them the too-cold porridge. Crossovers are the just-right choice in the middle. The challenge is that there are so darn many it can be hard to choose.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue wants to be your just-right bowl of porridge, so Nissan added plenty of features to give it appeal. Did it manage to add enough milk and honey to make the Rogue the perfect porridge?

Well, perfection is a tall order, especially since what’s perfect for me isn’t perfect for you or perfect for your neighbor. Everyone has their own specific needs when it comes time to buy a car, so Nissan expanded the Rogue lineup, added new tech features, and improved the Rogue’s ride and powertrain to make it a better fit no matter your priorities.

The all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue shows off a fresh new look that makes it more modern. There’s a new headlight design alongside the signature Nissan V-motion grille and the Rogue shrinks a bit coming in 1.5-inches shorter than the outgoing model. It’s lower, too, which helps it handle better. You might not immediately see or feel these small changes, but together they create a better looking and better-handling crossover.

Zero Gravity for Maximum Comfort

The interior of the Rogue still features Nissan Zero Gravity seats, and this makes us happy. It sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo, but these seats are fantastic. Driving the Roque over the holidays, we had the opportunity to take it on a couple of longer trips that had us in the car for hours at a time. The seats never got stiff or uncomfortable, which makes the Rogue a great choice for families with road trips in their futures.

In addition to its comfortable and roomy interior, the Rogue has numerous safety features to set your mind at ease, including standard Nissan Safety Shield 360. This bundles a bunch of safety features together including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic braking, which are all but sure to save you from a fender bender or two.

ProPilot Gets an Upgrade

Nissan’s ProPilot Assist technology, which isn’t technically self-driving but instead gives the driver an assist with steering and adaptive cruise control, gets a series of improvements. It brakes more smoothly and adjusts steering more consistently, especially if a car cuts you off in congested traffic. The big news, however, is the availability of ProPilot Assist with Navi-link on select trims. Using navigation data, this adjusts your speed in advance of highway off-ramps or tight curves for a smoother ride.

And of course, there’s plenty of connected tech, too. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with both USB and USB-C ports up front. As you move through the trim lineup, you get goodies including a 10-speaker Bose audio system, two rear USB chargers, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, and Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity.

Choose from four trims, including the new upscale Platinum, with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All are powered by a 181-horsepower 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission that is noticeably quieter than the outgoing Rogue. Even under hard acceleration, you won’t be bothered by the sounds under the hood intruding into the passenger compartment.

Room for Cargo, Room for People

And of course, the new Rogue still has the same flexibility as the prior Rogue for managing people or cargo depending on your priorities of the moment. Seating for five easily reconfigures with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat. There’s up to 36.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 74.1 cubic feet behind the front seats and the Rogue can even tow up to 1,350 pounds should your needs be greater.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue gets the updates it needs to stay relevant in a crowded segment. Advanced safety technologies, a comfortable and attractive interior, and good cargo capacity give it the versatility and functionality crossover buyers crave. Pricing from $25,650 to $36,830 makes sure it’s also a crossover that families can afford.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue lets you have your crossover porridge and eat it, too.

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In this episode, Kristin and Aaron talk about friends who are looking to replace their Ford Flex models. On Kristin’s side, her friend still needs a family vehicle and wants to keep the versatility of a crossover, but has some specific requirements that we discuss. On Aaron’s side, his friend is downsizing vehicles and looking to go into the luxury realm for a replacement. Got questions? Ask us! Leave a comment below, find us on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or hit up our website and let us know your thoughts.

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The Cadillac XT6 is the 3-row crossover from Caddy, with all the family friendliness that implies. It’s big, it’s luxurious, and it’s beautifully comfortable. Kristin walks us through the big crossover and talks about its features, it’s good points, a few low points, and her overall impressions of this lux vehicle.

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The Toyota Venza returns as a 2021 model in an all-new design. Aaron is glad to see the wagon-like Venza look more appealing and Kristin likes that it’s a hybrid by default. The new Sienna minivan was unveiled at the same time, sharing the same drivetrain and with a surprise nudge-nudge finger point towards Chrysler in its announcement. Both of these are a big deal for Toyota, whose losing ground in the smaller two-row midsized crossover segment and whose minivan has become aged against newer competition. Both of these seek to rectify those shortcomings and are definitely on point towards doing so. Find out what we know and what we think about the new 2021 Toyota Venza and the 2021 Toyota Sienna.

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A choice of four affordable trims

The 2021 Kia Seltos is the latest vehicle to join the Kia lineup. This new crossover slots between the smaller Kia Soul and larger Kia Sportage with an affordable price point and sizing that’s ideal for city dwellers.

Available in four trims, the base LX starts at $21,990 with standard all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It has 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. If you don’t want all-wheel drive, the Seltos does offer front-wheel drive, but only on the S trim, which is one step up from the base LX.

Those who want a more responsive ride will appreciate the 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s available on the S at $25,490 and standard on the top SX with pricing of $27,890. It jumps to 195 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission.

A small car doesn’t need a big engine, even for merging into high-speed highway traffic, but having one does make things a lot more fun. We spent a week with the SX and its peppy turbocharged engine and found it a happy little ride to sling through the corners.

Enjoy the quiet

It’s also worth noting that the Seltos is quiet. The thing with many of the vehicles in this class and at these price points is that they’re loud. They’re not intended to be luxury cars with supremely quiet interiors, which is fine, but no one wants to feel like they’re riding with the windows down when they’re quite firmly closed.

The Seltos offers an impressively quiet ride, even at high speeds. There’s minimal road and wind noise and an unexpected thunderstorm that drenched the roads in rain and surprise puddles still wasn’t enough to make the interior loud. It’s something you’ll appreciate during long commutes or that multi-state road trip.

Along with being quiet, the Seltos has a comfortable interior with room for five passengers. Those up front will find plenty of space even if they’re on the tall side, but the back seat isn’t exactly spacious. It’s great for two adults, although it will seat three. We’d only do three passengers for quick trips. On longer trips, even two will want to be swapping with those up front to stretch out a bit.

Fully-featured at every trim

Adding to the appeal of the Seltos are its standard features. There’s an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6-speaker audio, and automatic cruise control as standard features. The SX sees the addition of a 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, and Bose premium audio.

All but the base trim also gets a suite of safety features that includes forward collision avoidance assist with car and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane following assist, and lane keep assist. That’s a wide range of features for a vehicle that tops out at $27,890.

It’s also easy on the budget with good fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and up to 27 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.

Room for your stuff

Finally, the Seltos blends passenger comfort with cargo versatility. There’s 26.6 cubic feet behind the second row with 62.8 cubic feet behind the first row. It’s not as roomy as a large SUV, but it easily manages the family’s luggage or supplies for the latest home improvement project.

The 2021 Kia Seltos is a strong offering in a crowded segment. An attractive and comfortable interior, affordable pricing, and a choice of responsive engines make it a top pick for crossover shoppers.

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