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2021 Nissan Rogue Review: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist July 03, 2020 at 06:48 AM
The previous generation of the Nissan Rogue had been around for quite some time now, and its dwindling sales numbers have finally prompted Nissan to come up with an all-new version that finally looks and feels much more modern than its competitors. While its competitors have been reporting much better sales numbers, the new 2021 Nissan Rogue sure does have its work cut out to bring back the vehicle to its previous sales figures.

Unveiled in May, amid fears of a slowdown in the industry due to the coronavirus, the Rogue competes in a very competitive segment, that features some of the best selling vehicles in the United States, that makes it quite a difficult segment to crack, especially since the Rogue nameplate has not been known for efficiency or practicality, and Nissan’s reluctance to refresh their models before they get too old, has further tarnished the Rogue nameplate.

What to expect in the engine department?

Nissan continues to offer the same powertrain option with the Nissan Rogue, which is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that features 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. This engine sees a marginal increase in overall power output, but this difference is very negligible, since its nearly not noticeable, especially at city speeds.

It is highly likely that Nissan will continue using the same engine setup in the United States, and this engine will come paired to a CVT gearbox, that feels quite similar to the setup on the outgoing model.

The new CVT transmission will feature 6 artificial gear ratios, in order to make the vehicle feel sportier than its older version, but we don’t expect much differences from the current version since Nissan’s current range of CVTs have been recently developed and are most likely going to be carried over. However, the engine does see an overall improvement in refinement, which does help in improving overall cabin refinement.

Models

2021 Nissan Rogue (Expected)

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Ford Escape

Base MSRP

$ 26,000

$ 27,590

$ 25,730

$ 26,340

Engine

2.5-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder

2.5-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder

1.5-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder

1.5-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder

Transmission

6 Step CVT

CVT

CVT

8 speed automatic

Horsepower

181 hp @ 5,800 rpm

203 hp @ 6,300 rpm

190 hp @ 6,000 rpm

180 hp @ 4,900 rpm

Torque

181 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

190 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

179 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

177 lb.-ft. @ 1,850 rpm

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is expected to undercut most of its competitors in terms of price, in order to appeal to a larger set of customers looking for a modern and comfortable crossover. The Nissan Rogue is also expected to feature a slight increment in power to make it a smoother and more relaxing experience, for the driver and the occupants.

How many miles to the gallon will the Rogue deliver?

While the exact fuel economy numbers for the 2021 Rogue are yet to be released by Nissan, we believe it's going to be in the ballpark of the current version. This can be determined by the fact that the engine now features upgrades and refinements that have not only made it much more efficient but has also helped in improving the reliability of the engine that was once prone to failure. The current 2020 Nissan Rogue returns an efficiency figure of 25/32/27 as tested by agencies.

Model

2021 Nissan Rogue (Expected)

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Ford Escape

MPG (city)

25*

24

23

26

MPG (highway)

32*

30

30

33

MPG (combined)

27*

26

25

28

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

14.5*

14.9

15.1

14.2

Range (city/highway) (miles)

*391.5

387.4

377.5

397.6

*2020 Figures used for reference

While the outgoing Nissan Rogue was at par with its rivals in terms of fuel efficiency and range, the newer version might feature some improvements, which might help make it an even better car than its rivals like the Ford Escape in terms of fuel savings.

What to expect from the Nissan Rogue’s interior?

Nissan has really worked hard on making the Rogue’s interiors much more luxurious than ever before and it most certainly has worked really well, since the press photos of the Rogue’s interiors look achingly gorgeous. Be it the well-crafted dashboard or the quilted leather seats, the Nissan Rogue’s interiors are a huge improvement from the previous model, and it's definitely the best interior we’ve seen in a car in this segment in a long time.

The dashboard features soft-touch leather that feels luxurious to touch and covers the entire dashboard surface to increase its premium appeal. The seats feature exquisite quilting which looks like it's from a much more expensive vehicle, thus helping the Rogue finally provide some tough competition to similar models in the market.

Model

2021 Nissan Rogue (Expected)

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Ford Escape

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

41.6/56.6/43*

39.5/57.8/41

38/57.9/41.3

40/57.6/42.4

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.5/55.9/37.9*

39.5/56.4/37.8

39.1/55.6/40.4

39.3/56/40.7

*2020 Model used for reference

The 2020 Nissan Rogue offers a decent amount of room in its first row, but its second row does fall short of headroom and legroom, which was something that made it quite unpopular in its segment. However, the new version is expected to feature a larger cabin, which will address these problems to a certain extent but it will be interesting to see if it is able to take on the Toyota RAV4 which offers the roomiest cabin in this class.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The 2020 Nissan Rogue offers a 7-inch touchscreen that’s available across the range and had started to look quite outdated for the segment, especially since Nissan had made no changes to the system since 2014. Higher variants did add navigation and a better music system, but the overall display was a disaster to use since it used to lag quite a lot, which was a major deal-breaker for most people. Also, the lack of Android Auto and Apple Carplay did hurt customer sentiments, since no one really wanted to use the standard Nissan system.

With the 2021 update, the Nissan Rogue finally switches to Nissan’s brand new 8-inch touchscreen display, that finally offers Android Auto and Apple Carplay as standard fitment, for people who prefer a mobile platform system over the regular one. The regular system also features a much better software experience, which will definitely be a delight to use, compared to the older system. Stepping up to the top of the line Platinum variant, further upsizes the screen to a massive 9 inches and also pairs this touchscreen with a 10.3-inch digital driver’s display, which might not be the first in its segment, but is surely one of the better ones we’ve seen in a long time.

The air conditioner buttons retain the standard dial and screen layout though, which is tactile to use, especially on the move, quite unlike those touch units which do not provide enough feedback and feel fiddler to use in comparison.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the Nissan Rogue?

The 2021 Nissan Rogue does bring along a ton of changes, that finally helps it look much better than its rivals. Not only has it adapted to the modern SUV look with the bottom-mounted headlights really nicely, but it also looks much more premium than the outgoing car, since it features LED headlights as standard fitment.

The headlight design with its top-mounted DRLs looks a lot like the concept Nissan had unveiled nearly five years ago but is now similar to a lot of SUVs from its competitor, Hyundai. The front grille retains the signature V design, that does help people identify it as a Nissan, and its boxy and angular LED headlights round off the overall look, by giving the car more road presence and better visibility.

The side and rear follow a similar design to its competitors, but we aren’t complaining much, since it really does look nice, especially in the dark. The sides also feature a bold character line, that helps the Rogue look more muscular and boxy, thus making it look more aggressive.

Model

2021 Nissan Rogue (Expected)

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Ford Escape

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3614*

3490

3536

3464

Length (in.)

184.5*

180.9

182.1

180.5

Width (in.)

72.4*

73

73

74.1

Height (in.)

68.5*

67

66.5

66.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.4

8.4

8.2

7.9

Wheelbase (in.)

106.5*

105.9

104.7

106.7

Track Width (in.) F/R

62.3/63.0*

64.8/64.0

62.6/62.4

63.7/64

*2020 Figures used for reference

The 2020 Nissan Rogue has one of the largest wheelbases in its class, but this still doesn’t translate really well in terms of interior room, since space is really tight at the back. The 2021 model is expected to remedy this with more interior room and a much more practical cabin.

Will the 2021 Nissan Rogue be worth my money and time?

Nissan has been out of the game for quite some time now, and it astonishes us as to how much of a blind eye Nissan had turned towards its crossover lineup in terms of equipment and looks, since the older 2020 model year was well past its time, and was in dire need of an update. The 2021 model is expected to not only catch up with its fellow competitors but also offer more in terms of a luxurious cabin, butch exteriors, more technology, more space, and greater fuel efficiency, which will definitely help pull more customers to Nissan dealerships once it's launched to the general public.

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