Nissan’s Rogue compact SUV receives a much-needed redesign for the 2021 model year and offers more attractive styling, modernized interior tech, improved performance, and more adept ride-and-handling. Historically, the Rogue has sold well against segment leaders such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Volkswagen Tiguan, but wasn’t as good overall, languishing far down in our rankings. With this redesign, Nissan’s money maker turns up the charm in an attempt to shake off its history of mediocrity–something we think has been relatively successful.
What’s New for 2021?
The 2021 model year will mark the start of a new generation for the Nissan Rogue. The compact SUV receives a ground-up redesign, and its new, boxier styling gives it a more handsome and truck-like appearance.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-level SV model offers the best mix of features for the money. It adds niceties such as 18-inch aluminum wheels, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 360-degree exterior camera system, and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode. We’d spring for the SV Premium package too, which adds a panoramic sunroof, a power-operated rear liftgate, roof rails, and faux-leather upholstery. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is optional on all trims for an additional $1400.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Like the previous generation Rogue, the 2021 model is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine but it’s received a slight power bump to 181-hp. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive will be standard; all-wheel drive is optional. We’ve criticized the last generation Rogue for its lackadaisical acceleration and clumsy handling; the 2021 model has improved in both categories. At our test track, we recorded a quicker, but still uninspired, 8.2-second run to 60 mph and noted more confident handling and a quieter interior when cruising. Nissan has also said it will be introducing a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine as an option, but we aren’t sure when that new engine will become available.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that front-wheel drive Rogues with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder should deliver up to 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway; going with all-wheel drive models are rated at up to 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, our all-wheel drive test vehicle managed 32 mpg. The new three-cylinder engine claims higher fuel economy numbers of 30 mpg city and 37 mpg highway when combined with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive models with this engine are rated for 36 mpg highway.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Rogue’s new interior borrows styling cues from both the Altima family sedan and the recently redesigned Sentra compact sedan. Thoughtful storage cubbies, a bi-level dashboard, and a squared-off shift knob are rich-looking design elements that improve usability and give the interior a modern flair. Cloth seating is standard but the mid-range SV model can be had with optional faux-leather upholstery; the upscale SL and Platinum Rogues get genuine leather, the latter being a semi-aniline hide with quilted stitching. Three-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel will all be available features. Passenger space inside is about the same as the outgoing model, but cargo capacity behind the rear seat has decreased slightly from 39 cubic-feet to 37 cubic-feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Standing proud and tall on the dashboard is a touchscreen infotainment system. While an 8.0-inch unit is standard on the 2021 Rogue, a larger 9.0-inch screen is available on SL and Platinum models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, and high-end features, such as in-dash navigation or a Bose stereo system, are optional. A 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster is unique to the Platinum model and it’s bundled with a large 10.8-inch head-up display and a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have performed crash tests on the 2021 Rogue. However, we expect both agencies to weigh in on the SUV’s safety soon. The 2021 Rogue comes with a host of standard driver-assistance features to help it compete with well-equipped rivals, such as the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode will also be offered as an option on the Rogue SL and standard on the Platinum. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Nissan’s standard warranty coverage offers no frills, and rivals, such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, provide longer periods of protection and, in the case of the Hyundai, three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs