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2021 Nissan Rogue Review

The Nissan Rogue has been totally revamped for 2021. Nissan’s 5-passenger crossover has been emboldened with a tougher yet handsome design, increased levels of safety and technology, and innovative new features. The result is a SUV that is now even more competitive with rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape.

This 2021 Rogue also gets a little more power and new Platinum trim with features like digital instrument cluster and enhanced ProPilot active-driving assistance system.

What’s New for 2021?

The Nissan Rogue is all new for 2021, marking its third generation. Bucking the usual way of such redesigns, this new Rogue is slightly shorter than before and has a more rugged and toughened look. Its newfound blockier design further separates it from the smaller and less-expensive Rogue Sport. The 2021 Rogue rides on an all-new platform, offers updated technology like wireless Apple CarPlay and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and premium features like tri-zone climate control and built-in rear-window sunshades. See the 2021 Nissan Rogue models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Comfortable and refined ride quality
  • Lots of family-friendly features
  • Standard suite of safety systems
  • New 24-hour concierge service
  • Improved cargo capacity and practicality

What We Don’t

  • No hybrid variant
  • Power remains merely adequate

How Much?

$25,650-$36,830 (plus $1,095 destination charge.)

Fuel Economy

Most 2021 Nissan Rogue models will be powered by a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) 4-cylinder engine. For this year it gains a little power – 181 horsepower vs. the previous 170 hp, and improved torque of 181 lb-ft vs. the previous 175 lb-ft. This power output is adequate, but still a bit below competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Those models also offer high-mpg hybrid variants.

Still, the Rogue is quite efficient thanks to its continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel-drive (FWD) models are estimated to earn 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined for S models. All other trims are estimated to earn 26 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/29 mpg combined. When equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), S trims are estimated to earn 26 mpg city/33/mpg hwy/29 mpg combined, while other AWD trims are pegged at 25 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/28 mpg combined.

Another engine that’s being launched as part of a “small pilot program” according to Nissan is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 engine. It’s rated at 30 city/37 highway/33 combined mpg in front-wheel drive with a 1 mpg penalty to the highway rating if you upgrade to AWD.

Unlike most other new cars, the Nissan Rogue does not use an engine start/stop system to cut power at idle. While these systems can save fuel, many drivers find these systems aggravating and often turn them off anyway.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Nissan Rogue comes in four trims: S, SV, SL, and the new Platinum model. Prices are before the $1,095 destination charge.

The base 2021 Nissan Rogue S ($25,650) includes premium cloth interior, 6-way manual-adjust driver’s seat, 17-in alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and 8-in touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and AM/FM/CD player audio system with four speakers.

The more popular 2021 Nissan Rogue SV ($27,340) includes 8-way power-adjust driver’s seat with lumbar support, 18-in wheels, surround-view camera system, dual-zone climate control, NissanConnect remote services, push-button start, 6-speaker audio system, in-car Wi-Fi, and dual rear USB ports. This model also gets Nissan’s ProPilot Assist with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue SL ($32,000) includes leather interior, tri-zone climate control, 19-in wheels, panoramic moonroof, hands-free power tailgate, 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror with universal garage remote, and Divide-N-Hide rear cargo system.

New for 2021 is the topline Nissan Rogue Platinum ($35,430) that has premium amenities like quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery, 12.3-in digital instrument cluster, 9-in touchscreen with navigation, wireless phone charging and wireless Apple CarPlay (late availability), Bose audio system, heated rear seats, head-up display, and ProPilot Assist with Navi-link.

Any model can be had with all-wheel drive for an extra $1,400. Other features vary by trim, such as available navigation and Bose audio on SL trims, and heated seats, power tailgate and moonroof on SV models.

Safety

All 2021 Rogue models come standard with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 system that includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning.

SV and higher trims add the ProPilot Assist system with Intelligent Lane Intervention lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. Optional on SL and standard on Platinum models is ProPilot Assist with Navi-link, which incorporates navigation data to anticipate freeway curves, junctions and exits.

All Rogue models come with 10 airbags, and Platinum models have an additional front central seat-mounted side-impact airbag.

Behind the Wheel

We spent several hours and hundreds of miles behind the wheel of a front-drive Rogue Platinum model and came away impressed with its above-average levels of comfort and refinement.

It has class-above levels of quiet and plushness. Power remains merely adequate, though putting the Roque in sport mode injects more vigor into its manners and the imaginary shift points of its continuously variable transmission. The eco mode, on the other hand, seriously muted throttle input. All-wheel-drive models have additional modes for off-road and snow.

The Rogue’s new multi-link rear suspension adds to its smoothness and even lets it tolerate some enthusiasm for corners. This latest CVT hides much of its CVT-ness, though it will drone under hard acceleration.

Like other Nissans, the Zero Gravity driver’s seat makes the new Rogue a friend for the long haul. The driving position is good, and controls are easy to see and use.

We also laud the new Rogue for its improvement in the kind of small details that are a big deal over years of ownership. The rear doors open very wide, allowing easy access for rear passengers and child seats. Available rear-window shades further aid rear passenger comfort. We also like the new rear cargo system, which has a lip to prevent groceries and gear from falling out.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Honda CR-V — One of the first and best compact crossover SUVs, Honda’s CR-V remains a benchmark in the segment that further allures with a new hybrid model.

2021 Toyota RAV4 — The most popular vehicle in its class by sales, the RAV4 is roomy, practical and available in trims ranging from off-road-oriented to a hybrid and new Prime plug-in hybrid with over 300 horsepower.

2021 Subaru Forester – the Subaru Forester starts at a lower price than the Rogue and has an outdoorsy attitude with standard all-wheel drive and ample ground clearance.

Used Honda Pilot – If you want the flexibility and larger size of a 3-row crossover, a used Honda Pilot delivers with more room and power.

Questions You May Ask

When does the new 2021 Nissan Rogue go on sale?
The new Nissan Rogue goes on sale this fall as a 2021 model.

Where is the 2021 Nissan Rogue made?
The 2021 Nissan Rogue comes from two places: Smyrna, Tennessee, and Kyushu, Japan.

Is the Rogue Nissan North America’s best-selling model?
It is. In the calendar year 2019, Nissan North America sold 350,447 Rogues. Next up was the Altima sedan, at 201,983.

Does the new Nissan Rogue have wireless Apple CarPlay?
It does. The new Platinum version of the Nissan Rogue is equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay. All other 2021 Rogues have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that requires a cable.

Autotrader’s Advice

With its revamp for 2021, this all-new Rogue is now more enticing than ever and a stiff competitor to other best-selling compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. We’d skip the base Rogue S and go directly to the SV or higher grade. For less than $1,700 more you’ll get features like Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, power-adjust seat, dual climate control and more. If you have more money to spend, even nicer features like hands-free liftgate and leather seating can be had. Find a 2021 Nissan Rogue for sale

Matt Degen
Matt Degen is an author specializing in interesting news and features about cars. Matt is a longtime lover of both cars and news, as well as the latest technology. He was the past automotive editor of The Orange County Register newspaper and a former board member of the Motor Press Guild, the nation’s largest automotive media association. He holds degrees in Communications and Culinary Arts.... Read More

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