Smart tech and clever design abound in the new crossover.

No one is going to look back on 2020 fondly. But there may not be an outfit that's more eager to put this Annus Horribilis behind it than Nissan. From the bizarre saga of former leader Carlos Ghosn getting smuggled out of Japan to monumental financial woes, the Japanese automaker has had a no good, very bad year. And it's only June. The arrival of the 2021 Nissan Rogue, then, is a much-needed bright spot for the struggling brand.

Already Nissan's most popular product in the US market, where it racked up nearly 30 percent of the company's 2019 sales, the Rogue's redesign adds a number of family friendly enhancements and advanced pieces of tech to its new interior and exterior design body. It has all the makings of a serious competitor in America's most popular segment.

Let's talk about that design for a minute. Despite the split headlights and V-Motion grille, the Rogue isn't an aggressive piece of design. Nissan's restraint should be commended, though. The lines here are attractive up front, if a bit on the conservative side. There's a sizable character line over the rear wheel arch, but designers kept the overall two-box shape simple. This is a crossover with zero off-road chops, so of course there are plastic surrounds on the wheel arches.

Hidden in that body are smart touches, though. Air curtains in the front fascia and active grille shutters improve the aerodynamics at speed, and the uninteresting, upright design of the rear end – it kind of reminds us of the current Toyota RAV4 – belies a huge, motion-activated rear tailgate for accessing the roomy cargo hold.

2021 Nissan Rogue
2021 Nissan Rogue

Once open, the cargo area's aperture spans 45.6 inches across, and owners can find smart cargo solutions like removable covers, which hide small divided cubbies. Finally, those big rear doors open to nearly 90 degrees, making for effortless rear seat access. The 2021 Rogue has, possibly, the easiest second row to get in or out of in the class. Once inside, there's ample legroom for adults – we wouldn't hesitate to road-trip the 2021 Rogue with four fully grown humans and their luggage. Beyond the sheer comfort and space of the rear bench, sunshades hidden in the rear door, available seat heating, and the segment's only three-zone climate control system should keep occupants content.

The front seat is the place to be, though. Nissan's comfy zero-gravity bucket seats return, with an available semi-aniline leather finish in the range-topping Rogue Platinum. Occupants will look out on clean dash with stitched leather. Even on the pre-production car we featured in our video, the cabin quality felt impressively high. A new electric shifter allowed Nissan to adopt a floating-bridge center console, enhancing cargo storage up front, too.

But it's the tech that steals the show. The Rogue is available with an all-digital instrument cluster, featuring a 12.3-inch display (lesser models get 7.0- or 5.0-inch displays in the cluster), as well as the largest infotainment display in the segment, a 9.0-inch touchscreen. Finally, a 10.8-inch head-up display puts pertinent info directly in the driver's line of sight. There are both USB-A and USB-C charging ports, while the Rogue offers wireless Apple CarPlay as an option (wired CarPlay/Android Auto are standard).

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Nissan Rogue
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Nissan's advanced ProPilot active safety suite expands to all but the base model as standard, although the Platinum trim, as well as the SL trim with the SL Premium Package, add a navigation tie-in. Called ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link, the integration draws data from the navigation system and correlates it with the GPS, allowing the Rogue to slow for upcoming highway junctions, curves, and ramps. The Rogue also adopts traffic sign recognition that can, with the driver's okay, increase or decrease the speed to the posted limit.

On the less exciting side of the equation, there's the Rogue's sole powerplant: a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Mated up to a standard continuously variable transmission, it's about as uninteresting as things get. Nissan is claiming improved fuel economy, with a one-to-two-point jump on all trims and regardless of front- or all-wheel drive.

2021 Nissan Rogue
2021 Nissan Rogue

The 2021 Rogue will arrive in dealers in the fall of 2020, with prices coming ahead of the official launch.

Gallery: 2021 Nissan Rogue

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All-new Nissan Rogue engineered to make family life easier
WHAT’S NEW:
– “Family hub” interior offers extraordinary utility and comfort for all occupants, with available features such as 4-door Intelligent Key and tri-zone climate control
– Enhanced available ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link, standard Nissan Safety Shield® 360, wireless charging and wireless Apple CarPlay® lead extensive suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies
– All-new platform with enhanced driving dynamics and a range of available driver- assistance features create a confidence-inspiring driving experience
– 2021 Nissan Rogue set to go on sale in fall 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Nissan began designing the 2021 Rogue, its best-selling model in the industry’s largest segment, the company focused on delivering functionality, flexibility, technology and safety aimed at simply making life easier.

The all-new Rogue crossover is the first of five new or redesigned Nissan models that will enter production in the next year. It follows Altima, Versa, Sentra and TITAN, which were all recently redesigned.

High level of available safety technology

The all-new Rogue has the most standard safety technologies in its class1, and is the latest Nissan model to feature Nissan Safety Shield 360 standard across the entire lineup. Nissan Safety Shield 360 technologies include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian
Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High
Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking.

In addition to Safety Shield 360, the new Rogue also offers Nissan’s innovative Intelligent Driver Alertness technology and Rear Door Alert as standard equipment on all grade levels. Also available is Blind Spot Intervention and Traffic Sign Recognition. Intelligent Cruise Control is included as part of the available ProPILOT Assist system.

The 2021 Rogue also offers 10 standard supplemental air bags and extended crumple zones to help protect occupants.

The Rogue “Family Hub”

The interior of the 2021 Rogue is a true “family hub,” designed to provide comfort and utility for everyone in both the front and rear seats.

For example, vehicle access with the Nissan Intelligent KeyTM has been expanded to the rear doors, as well as the front. Now, a driver or passenger can unlock the rear door with a touch of a button on a rear door handle (or unlock all doors by pressing twice), rather than needing to unlock with buttons on the front door handle.

The rear doors themselves are extra-wide open nearly 90 degrees, making it easier to get a child seat in or out, and also easing ingress and egress. The rear seat offers flexible and convenient child seat installation in all three seating positions – so adults or older children can sit on either side of a center-positioned child seat.

The new Rogue “butterfly” opening front center console allows for easy “pass-back” access to the second row. And, with the available Remote Engine Start with Intelligent Climate Control, parents can heat or cool the interior before placing a young child in a cold or hot vehicle.

Rear seat comfort features include standard reclining NASA-inspired Zero Gravity low- fatigue spinal support seating and available heated seats. And, for the first time, Rogue is equipped with available class-exclusive2 Tri-Zone Climate Control – meaning rear seat occupants can control their temperature separate from the front driver and passenger control. Both rear doors also feature available pull-up sunshades to remove unwanted direct sunlight.

The rear cargo area is accessible through the newly available motion-activated tailgate. Once inside, Rogue’s redesigned Divide-n-Hide® system can provide hidden and secure storage for essential gear. Also, the inner right side of the cargo area (behind the wheel arch) is intended for securing wider items or groceries like a gallon of milk.

Available advanced connected technologies

Nissan believes that technology should make life better, easier and more fun. Drivers can enjoy the ease of connecting without cords. Rogue also offers available wireless Apple CarPlay®, which will be available shortly after launch5, and allows the driver or passenger to initiate CarPlay® while leaving their iPhone ®in their pocket, purse or bag – so driver and passengers can seamlessly transfer their music from phone to Rogue.

A new wireless smartphone charger allows phones with a range of charge power applications (15-watt maximum) to be charged while driving. The charger platform is located on the center console, in front of the electronic shifter lever and twin cupholders. The console also houses both USB Type-C and Type-A charging ports.

Getting vehicle information is also easy, thanks to the 2021 Rogue’s digital display integration featuring three high-tech displays.

The combination of a full-color 10.8-inch head-up display, 12.3-inch “Digital Dashboard” gauge cluster and large, floating 9.0-inch touch screen display allows Rogue drivers to customize and enhance the driving experience.

The head-up display, another first for Rogue, is designed to help reduce the driver’s workload and stress – keeping surroundings and the road ahead in sight while accessing a range of vehicle information. At 10.8 inches, it is one of the largest head-up displays in the segment.

Below the head-up display in the instrument panel is an available advanced fully digital meter display, measuring 12.3 inches wide (a 7.0-inch center display replaces the previous 5.0-inch display on lower grades). Using specially designed background graphics, image quality and contrast has been greatly enhanced. Both the 12.3-inch and 7.0-inch meter displays are fully customizable, allowing drivers to personalize the information and appearance to their preferences.

The third of three Rogue digital displays is located in the center of the wide instrument panel. There, an available 9.0-inch “floating” touchscreen provides crisp, clear images for navigation, audio display, climate information, RearView Monitor and available enhanced Intelligent Around View® Monitor. The 9.0-inch screen is the largest infotainment screen in its class.1

The all-new Rogue also offers both Google Maps and Waze, with voice commands to help the driver switch between apps to access their preferred view of route conditions or to avoid construction zones.

New Available ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link

Rogue was one of the first vehicles to offer Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist, 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. ProPILOT Assist combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration, braking and steering in both heavy traffic and on the open highway.6
For 2020, ProPILOT Assist has been improved using 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.

In addition, ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link is standard on Rogue Platinum and available on Rogue SL bringing several new features. By linking ProPILOT Assist with Nissan’s Door-to- Door Navigation System, the navigation map data can now provide the ability to proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions and also help the driver slow for freeway exits.

Additionally, the hold time in stop-and-go highway traffic changes from the previous three seconds to up to 30 seconds (ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link only) – allowing the vehicle to remain stopped and automatically continue without the driver resetting the function or tapping the accelerator pedal. Finally, using traffic sign recognition, the system can also automatically update the vehicle’s speed when the speed limit goes up or down.

Design with commanding presence

The design of the 2021 Rogue, both exterior and interior, reflects the spirit of the vehicle – versatile, fun, edgy, and adventurous and always rogue.

The adventure-ready exterior combines athletic strength with a premium appearance.
The 2021 Rogue adopts signature Nissan design elements such as the floating roof and an evolved V-motion grille and adds exciting new features such as the unique headlight shape and “U-shape” bodyside highlights. New multi-level LED headlights with an expanded illumination area are standard on all 2021 Rogue grade levels and accent the powerful front grille design. LED fog lights are standard on SL and Platinum grades.

The body itself measures 1.5 inches shorter and 0.2 inches lower than the previous generation Rogue, adding to the look of strength while also enhancing driving maneuverability. Key aerodynamic features include “3D” tire deflectors in the lower front fascia, an active grille shutter to control air flow into the engine compartment, special A- pillar shaping, underbody covers to manage air flow under the vehicle and a unique “air curtain” that precisely directs air flow from the front to the sides of the Rogue.

The 2021 Rogue will be offered in a wide range of color combinations, including – for the first time – five two-tone combinations.

A modern, premium interior

Along with the new Rogue’s “family hub” functionality and premium look and feel, the 2021 checks all the boxes in terms of interior amenities and equipment for everyday and every weekend life.
There are available heated front and rear seats, heated outside mirrors and heated steering wheel – along with two-driver memory seat. The available Intelligent Around View® Monitor and standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Automatic Braking help get the day off on the right direction.

Front and rear Nissan Zero Gravity seats provide comfortable support whether the destination is close or far away. Leather-appointed seating is standard on Rogue SL, with quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seating standard on the Platinum grade. Three interior color choices are offered: Charcoal, Gray and Tan.

In the rear, ideal for weekend adventures, a split one-touch fold-down seat with an available remote fold feature provides versatile cargo capability. Combined with the reconfigured rear cargo area, easy-to-wash cargo liner and floor mats, and available, redesigned Divide-n-Hide® and Motion Activated Liftgate, Rogue is designed to help families take on all of their adventures.
The new electronic shifter design eliminates the need for mechanical equipment under the shifter, allowing extra storage space under the new “floating” center console.

The long list of additional technology includes standard Push Button Start, Rear Door Alert and Easy Fill Tire Alert. NissanConnect® featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android AutoTM is standard and includes Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Siri® Eyes Free, Google Assistant and SiriusXM® Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).

Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation is standard on Platinum grade and optionally available on Rogue SL, while NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM® is standard on SV grades and above (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).

Premium level driving dynamics

Not to be forgotten among all of the design, functional, safety and technology enhancements is the Rogue driving experience – featuring enriched performance and fuel efficiency and an all-new Vehicle Motion Control system.

“This is technology that does what a human can’t,” said Chris Reed, senior vice president, Research and Development, Nissan Technical Center North America. “The all-new Vehicle Motion Control predicts what the driver is trying to do to do by monitoring steering, acceleration and braking. It can then step in and help to smooth things out.”

Vehicle Motion Control works in conjunction with the available enhanced Intelligent All- Wheel Drive system and Drive Mode Selector to provide four-wheel individual control, enhancing line traceability through corners – even applying a single brake to smooth out a corner.

The chassis control module monitors and adjusts engine, transmission, Vehicle Dynamic Control, all-wheel drive and steering functions. For front-wheel drive modes, a switch on the console controls three drive modes: Sport, Standard and Eco.
Five drive modes are available with Rogue All-Wheel Drive models – Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco and Sport – engaged by the driver through a drive mode selector mounted on the center console. While engaged at all times, the Vehicle Motion Control system is particularly advantageous when driving on snowy slopes, deep snow, snow flat turning and off-road driving (such as beach or dirt trails).

The enhanced Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system uses a new electro-hydraulic controlled clutch as well, which can control torque more accurately and quickly by predicting front wheel slippage, making torque distribution to the rear more responsive.

Every 2021 Rogue features a standard 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine with Nissan’s Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) system. Horsepower is rated at 181, an increase of 11 hp. Torque is increased by 6 lb.-ft. to 181 lb.-ft. The new engine includes mirror bore coating, a variable displacement oil pump, and an integrated exhaust manifold and e-VTC intake valve among other refinements.

The 2021 Rogue also features a new Rack Electric Power Steering with a quick gear ratio, helping minimize steering corrections. The new suspension design features a rigid mount (six mounting points) and a new multi-link rear. Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System.

An expanded model lineup

As in previous generations, Rogue will be offered in well-equipped S, SV and SL grade levels. For 2021, a new Platinum grade is added, featuring quilted semi-aniline leather- appointed seating, the full 12.3-inch Digital Dashboard meter display, head-up display, heated rear seats, ambient lighting, wireless charging pad, ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link, Bose® Premium Audio System, Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation and more.

The 2021 Rogue goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in fall 2020.