Debut: All-New 2021 Nissan Rogue Is Better Than We Expected

The debut of the 2021 Nissan Rogue has been a long wait. Now that it is here we must say we’re pleasantly surprised. Not blown away like we might have been if this was released in, say, 2017. Nissan has been delinquent in updating anything in its lineup to its detriment. Here’s hoping the next two years of new Nissans will be at least as good as the 2021 Rogue. It’s better than we expected.

In the last few years, the Rogue has not been able to compete with the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. It just lacked what crossovers over the last several years have risen to. This is an all-new platform for the Rogue. The styling is said to have been developed from the 2018 Xmotion concept car.

The breakup of the Rogue’s C pillar and rear window adds a lot of interest

2021 Nissan Rogue in red on the street

Besides the more contemporary look, it has more solid proportions which we like. The breakup of the C pillar and rear window adds a lot of interest. Graphically tying into that area with the taillights is a great flourish. The paint breakup is more than hinting at a two-tone, something we’re seeing more and more.

An odd aspect of the 2021 Rogue is that there is only one engine available. There is nothing available in a hybrid or even turbocharged as a higher-end powertrain. That’s disappointing. The 2.5-liter inline-four is an updated version of the engine found in many a Nissan. It has 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel-drive CVT transmission is standard with all-wheel-drive as an option. Overall mileage is between 28-20 mpg depending on the drivetrain.

ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving can be ordered on SL and Platinum models

2021 Nissan Rogue interior seats

S, SV, and SL trim returns, but a top-of-the-line Platinum version adds a 12.3-inch gauge cluster, quilted leather interior, and wireless Apple CarPlay. That two-tone we mentioned also comes with the Platinum trim. Driver-assist features come with all models and ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving can be ordered on SL and Platinum models.

Inside the quilted leather looks inviting and more upscale than we remember previous Rogues. The dashboard is all new and features better materials than Rogues of the past. Most dimensions remain the same but there are some new features nos seen in past models. Optional tri-zone climate control and rear-window sunshades add an upscale look and feel. The electronic shifter allows for more storage space in the center console.

Expect around $26,000 for a base 2021 Rogue model

2021 Nissan rogue rear 3/4 shot in red in studio

An eight-inch infotainment screen is standard while the SL and Platinum can be ordered with a nine-inch version. Only available on the Platinum model is a head-up display in the windshield. Though no prices have been announced, expect around $26,000 for a base model. Stepping up to all-wheel-drive and optional Platinum trim will bring the price just below $40,000. 

The 2021 Rogue will be hitting dealer’s lots this fall, and it doesn’t come too soon for what should be a refreshing product cadence of new models over the next 18 months.

2021 Nissan Rogue instrument panel dark

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