2021 Nissan Rogue First Review

2021 Nissan Rogue First Review

All it takes is one look to see that the 2021 Nissan Rogue is an all-new vehicle, about the same size as before but with blocky, more expressive styling that draws inspiration from the X-Motion Concept shown in Detroit in 2018. It has an upright grille and a floating roof, and the flatter hood, along with the front fenders and door skins, is made of aluminum to save weight.

A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is the sole available powerplant, and Nissan says it has massaged the engine to put out 181 horsepower, an improvement of 10 percent. Peak torque has been upped by 3 percent to 134Kw. That power goes to the wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) tweaked for better acceleration and fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) models will continue to be available, the latter benefitting from a central hydraulic clutch that sends power more quickly to the rear wheels when needed.

All 2021 Rogues fitted with AWD have five different driver-selectable terrain modes: Standard, Eco, Sport, Off-road, and Snow.

Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying.

The Nissan Rogue’s resale value is still being predicted, as this is an all-new version. In the past, though, it has trailed that of the Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.

The Nissan Rogue has always stood out for its comfortable and quiet ride quality, and those traits have only improved with this all-new model. The all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue is its best driving to date and is especially impressive if you prioritize plushness as much as you do practicality. Yet Nissan has also enabled the Rogue to feel a bit more athletic, aided by a multilink rear suspension. It doesn’t exactly beg to be thrown into corners, but the new Rogue will tolerate such enthusiasm.

Like past Nissan Rogue models, power is competent enough. Driver-selectable modes change the behavior of the powertrain, but you’ll probably do best to leave it in Normal or Sport. The Eco mode mutes throttle response notably.

Nissan vehicles have long used continuously variable transmissions (CVT), a type of automatic with no set gears, and the Rogue is no exception. The Rogue’s latest CVT only makes itself known as one under hard acceleration, in which it can drone. Otherwise, it’s a smooth operator that does a fine job mimicking a traditional automatic.

Another plus is the driver’s seat. Here again, Nissan prides itself on its “Zero Gravity” seats, and the latest version in this new Rogue proved comfortable even over hours of driving covering hundreds of miles.

Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving also continues to evolve. Its adaptive cruise control with steering assist proved helpful in heavy freeway traffic, where it made sitting in stop-and-go scenarios less stressful. For 2021, the system can also use data from the navigation system to take proactive measures, such as adjusting speed for a curve or freeway exit. It can also hold for stopped traffic for up to 30 seconds.



In the spot where most vehicles have traditional analog gauges, the new 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum model features a large 12.3 -inch digital dashboard. Highly configurable and dazzlingly clear, the color display features a large central section that displays the vitals for the Rogue’s semi-autonomous ProPilot driver-assist program.


With this new technology, the 2021 Nissan Rogue predicts what the driver is trying to do by monitoring the steering, accelerator, and brakes, and then makes that happen. For instance, if the Rogue isn’t turning as sharply as the driver wants, Vehicle Motion Control will apply the brakes to a single inside wheel to help tighten the cornering line.

2021 Nissan Rogue Interior

Nissan spent much effort improving the Rogue interior. The company continues to use NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats that are a good blend of comfort and support, and the front seats offer a bit more travel. In back, the 2021 Rogue sees small increases in knee room and headroom.

What’s more, the new center console has a butterfly-style lid, and a move to an electronic-style gear selector has created space for a handy cubby directly below. Large 32-ounce bottles can fit in each of the 2021 Rogue’s four door pockets, and the rear doors now open almost 90 degrees to aid ingress and egress while making it easier to install a baby seat.

In back, the Rogue’s cargo area has a slightly wider and taller opening, and the capacity behind the rear seat has increased from 32 cubic feet to 36.5. With the seat folded, the cargo capacity has grown from 70 cubic feet in the previous Rogue to 74.1 in the new one.

The new top model, the 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum, distinguishes itself with digital gauges and beautiful semi-aniline interior leather with quilted diamond-pattern stitching.

There was also a great effort to make the Rogue quieter inside. Efforts toward that end were spearheaded by thicker insulation for the engine, plus better isolation for the new multilink rear suspension. The stiffer chassis and reshaped A-pillars also help to reduce wind and road noise, along with new acoustic front glass.

We like the blocky new look of the 2021 Nissan Rogue, styled at the company’s design center in Japan. It’s rugged but refined, with Nissan’s trademark V-Motion grille and a “floating” roof.

Although it’s a more upright design, the new Rogue is slightly more aerodynamic than before. Its coefficient of drag has been improved by five percent, thanks in part to active grille shutters, front air curtains, and underbody covers.

The new Rogue’s LED headlights, for the record, are not those thin slits up high on the nose of the vehicle. Those are the running lights, which also incorporate the turn signals. The Rogue’s headlights are just below the running lights but above the fog lamps.

At the base level, the 2021 Nissan Rogue S gets LED headlights and taillights, 17-inch alloy wheels, the Safety Shield 360 safety suite, and an 8-inch display screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


The Rogue SV, the expected volume model, comes with ProPilot Assist, 18-inch alloy wheels, NissanConnect, and an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar.

Leather interior trim and 19-inch alloy wheels are standard on the 2021 Nissan Rogue SL, joined by a panoramic moonroof, a motion-activated liftgate, tri-zone climate control, a power front passenger seat, and memory for the driver’s seat and steering wheel position.

At the top of the 2021 lineup is the Rogue Platinum. This new Rogue model comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge package, a 10.8-inch head-up display, and seats upholstered with a diamond-quilted semi-aniline leather. The Rogue Platinum also gets wireless Apple CarPlay (late availability), plus wireless smartphone charging, and a premium Bose audio system. The Platinum’s ProPilot Assist with Navi-link can adjust the Rogue’s speed based on map data, such as an upcoming bend in the highway.

2021 Nissan Rogue Options

A Premium Package is available on the SV, the Rogue’s expected volume leader. It includes a panoramic moonroof, leatherette seating, a hand’s free power liftgate, and roof rails.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue SL also is available with a Premium Package, but one that includes different features. It consists of an upgraded Bose stereo, navigation with a 9-inch center display, and ProPilot Assist with Navi-link. This last item represents a substantive improvement to ProPilot, as it allows the system to communicate with the nav system and slow the Rogue if necessary for upcoming bends in the road or if you’ve pulled into an exit lane while preparing to leave the highway.

2021 Nissan Rogue Engine

One engine is available in the 2021 Nissan Rogue, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. Massaged a bit for 2021 with mirror bore coating and a variable-displacement oil pump, it now puts out 134 Kw at 6,000 rpm and 245Nw of torque at 3,600 rpm. Last year, the aluminum block 4-cylinder was good for 131Kw at 6,000 rpm and 238Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.

The key takeaway here: The new 2021 Nissan Rogue has a bit more power and a bit more efficiency.


2.5-liter inline-4

134 Kw @ 6,000 rpm

245Nm of torque @ 3,600 rpm

LED headlights & taillights

17-inch alloy wheels

Safety Shield 360

8-inch infotainment screen

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

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