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Nissan Rogue

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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2021 Nissan Rogue

What’s new

  • 2021 Nissan Rogue includes Nissan Safety Shield 360 across the entire lineup
  • Intelligent driver alertness technology and Rear Door Alert now standard across all trim levels
  • “Family Hub” features add convenience for rear passengers
  • Vehicle Motion Control works in conjunction with intelligent AWD system and drive mode selector to provide four-wheel individual control and better cornering
  • 2.5L 4-cylinder engine generating 181 hp, an increase of 11 hp
  • Platinum trim added to the lineup
  • Five new two-tone color combinations

Strong mpg numbers enhanced for 2021

For model years 2017-2020, Nissan’s top-selling smart crossover has been known for stellar fuel efficiency and a nimble, quiet ride.  Powered by a 170-hp 2.5L engine, Nissan Rogue buyers could choose between 2WD and 4WD, and could get a little over 30 mpg on the highway. For 2021, Nissan added 11 hp to the mix for a little more oomph and upped the torque lb-ft by six, giving it even more zip. And the mpg numbers are even more promising: FWD models will get 35 mpg on the S trim and 34 on the other three (SV, SL, and Platinum), and AWD gets 33 and 32, respectively.

2021 Nissan Rogue

Updated styling

Firstly, Nissan has updated the V-motion grille, widening it and giving it a bit more heft. Next, to the side of the distinctive grille new multi-level LED headlights with an expanded illumination area are standard on all 2021 Nissan Rogue trims. Finally, LED fog lights are standard on SL and Platinum grades.

The rear cargo area is accessible through the newly available motion-activated tailgate. Once you open it up Nissan’s popular Divide-n-Hide system has been updated while still providing hidden and secure storage for essential gear. Now on the inner right side of the cargo area (behind the wheel arch) a cubby is perfectly sized for a gallon of milk, reducing your spill risk. We say that’s a great place for a gallon of homemade root beer in the summer, too.


Family Features

The 2021 Nissan Rogue amps up the family quotient with an enhanced feature set Nissan is calling the “Family Hub.”

As it was for the 2020 model, seventy cubic feet of cargo space is plenty of room for your kids, sports equipment, and even your furry friends in a Rogue. The new butterfly-opening center console gives you the option to place an item inside – tissues or wipes, for instance – and back-seat passengers are able to access it. If you have small children, you’ll see the functionality with that new feature. Further, more storage space is available under the front console.

Two things we love about the Rogues (and about Nissan in general) are the NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats and Rear Door Alert. First, Rear Door Alert (which was invented by two Nissan engineers who are also moms) helps remind you of items or kids that may be forgotten in the rear seat. If the system detects that a rear door was opened or closed prior to a trip, but then was not re-opened again after the trip was completed, the system responds with a series of visual and audible notifications. Secondly, Zero Gravity seats – designed to reduce fatigue and increase comfort – have 14 pressure points to put your back in a neutral position. Now your back-seat passengers benefit from Zero Gravity seats, too, and they’re going to appreciate that addition if you’ve had a Nissan Rogue in the past.

We also appreciate the expansion of the Nissan Intelligent Key to the rear doors. With the 2021 model, anyone can unlock a front or rear door by pressing a button on any of the four doors or unlock all doors by pressing twice.

Interior technology features also include push button start, Rear Door Alert and easy-fill tire alert, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, hands-free text messaging assistant, Siri Eyes Free, Google assistant and Sirius XM radio. Standard USB-C (fast chargers) are also included in every Rogue.

2021 Nissan Rogue

More safety features with ProPILOT Assist

Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist, the brand’s driver-assist technology suite, combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration, braking and steering in both heavy traffic and on the highway. Nissan says ProPILOT Assist  uses next-generation radar and camera technology to provide smoother braking, better steering assist feel and improved detection performance when other vehicles cut into the lane.

ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link is standard on Rogue Platinum and available on Rogue SL. If you link ProPILOT Assist with Nissan’s navigation system, the map data can now provide the ability to proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions and also help you slow for freeway exits. Nissan appears to be actively pursuing semi-autonomous driving that not everyone appreciates but some will love.

If you regularly encounter stop-and-go traffic, vehicles with ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link gave you three seconds to remain stopped and automatically continue without having to tap the accelerator. Now it’s up to 30 seconds, which makes a lot more sense in large city areas. Lastly, the Rogue provies traffic sign recognition and can automatically update the vehicle’s speed when the speed limit goes up or down.

2021 Nissan Rogue

Nissan’s 2021 Rogue will be available this fall.

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