Preview: 2021 Nissan Rogue Crossover

Nissan’s popular Rogue crossover is now in its third generation.


The 2021 Nissan Rogue is all new and is available in four trims.


The Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover utility vehicle and is also the brand’s bestseller. Introduced in 2008, the second-generation model rolled out in 2014 and quickly solidified its place in the segment. For 2021, the third-generation Rogue is here, the first of five new models Nissan is introducing over the next year. It follows on the heels of new Altima, Sentra, Titan, and Versa models that were recently redesigned.

2021 Nissan Rogue Preview

The big news for 2021, of course, is the Rogue’s new platform. This one is about the size of the previous one with the new Rogue’s length reduced by 1.5 inches. Yet, through its redesign process, the new model sees a slight boost in cargo capacity. As before, the Rogue is a five-passenger crossover with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive.

We’ll have a full review of the 2021 Rogue once we get behind the wheel of one. For now, we’ll examine some of the highlights of this model:

Updated Engine Performance

The Rogue is easily outclassed in the performance department by several competitors, including those with upgradeable engine options. Nissan, however, continues with the single powertrain combination that has worked so well for it previously.

This one is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an even 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, up from the 170/174 previously. As before, power routes to the front or all four wheels by means of a continuously variable transmission. Notably, Nissan has more than 20 years of experience building CVTs and it shows – we found its versions best able to manage engine noise.

The most efficient version of the Rogue achieves a laudable 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for a combined 30 mpg. When properly equipped, the Rogue pulls up to 1,350 pounds.

Increased Cargo Space

The Rogue’s improved storage compartment now measures 74.1 cubic feet, up from 70 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. That improvement comes from removing one inch of legroom in the back seat, but the impact is small, including for a relatively tall passenger sitting behind an equally tall driver.

We like the Rogue’s storage compartment, as it features a pair of panels to flatten the second-row floor. Further, the floor can be lowered a few inches more to increase depth. Equally, we like the large side pockets as these are sizable enough to hold a 12-pack of soda, a gallon of milk, or a jug of laundry detergent. Moreover, you’ll find additional storage pockets up front, including oversized drink holders and a below-console storage area for squirreling away tablets and purses from harm’s view.


See AlsoWhite Space Wonder: 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport


Advanced Connected Technologies

The small crossover segment is not lacking in creature comforts, including modern technology. This year, the Rogue comes with a standard 8-inch touch-screen display. Also available is a 9-inch center console display, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, and a 10.8-inch color head-up display, the latter a first for the Rogue. We’re a fan of “heads up” systems as key information floats above the hood where it is easily seen.

Shortly after launch, Nissan plans to make wireless Apple CarPlay available. At the moment, you’ll find both connected Apple CarPlay and connected Android Auto. This means a USB connection is required. We like the convenience of wireless CarPlay for a seamless over the air connection.

Yet perhaps our favorite feature and one now available with the 2021 Rogue is a wireless charger pad. This one sits at the base of the console and supplies a convenient way to charge a smartphone. Other tech features include an available around-view monitor. Furthermore, Google Maps and Waze are included and are voice-activated at that.

Improved ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link

What’s a Nissan vehicle without ProPILOT assist? The answer is simple: it may not be a 2021 model. Indeed, this year, Nissan makes its vaunted semi-autonomous vehicle package available on more models. What is ProPILOT Assist? As Nissan describes it the system is “a hands-on, driver-assist technology that reduces the hassle of stop-and-go highway driving and makes long drives on the open highway easier.” In effect, the system combines steering assist with adaptive cruise control to help manage several driving features, including accelerating, braking, and steering in local traffic and on the open road.

This year, Nissan pairs the system with Navi-Link, which brings in data from a navigation map to enhance the driving experience. Specifically, the system allows for speed limit assist, speed adjust by route, extended auto restart timing, and supplies improvement to current functions, including braking, lane marker detection, and steering assistance. This system is standard on the range-topping Platinum and available with the SL edition.

Four Available Trims

Prior to this year, Nissan offered the Rogue in three trims: S, SV, and SL. This year, the Platinum edition tops the model range, bringing with it such features as door-to-door navigation, quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seating, heated rear seats (outboard only), ambient lighting, the digital dashboard, head-up display, a Bose audio system, and ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link.

Nissan prices the 2021 Rogue as follows: S ($25,650 (FWD)/$27,050 (AWD); SV ($27,340/$28,740); SL ($32,000/$33,400); and Platinum ($35,430/$36,830). Premium paint is a $395 upgrade across the model line. The two-tone paint option with premium paint is a $695 upgrade and available with the SL and Platinum trims only. Likewise, the two-tone paint option alone is a $350 upgrade with these same trims.


See AlsoHighlights of the 2020 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors. All rights reserved.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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