By on September 10, 2016

2017 Nissan Rogue SL

The crossover market isn’t just hot — it’s radiating the brilliant, scorching intensity of a million suns.

Naturally, any automaker with the means to do so would prefer to offer a lineup as diverse as possible, allowing even greater numbers of utility-hungry buyers to fall into its arms. Nissan looked around, saw some spare cash, then looked over at the Toyota RAV4, America’s best-selling compact crossover, with its regular and hybrid variants.

“Gotta get us a hybrid Rogue,” Nissan execs thought.

For 2017, Nissan will offer an electrified Rogue, hoping to attract new buyers to its strong-selling compact crossover. The automaker unveiled the Rogue Hybrid yesterday with a promise that the model will be available before the end of this year.

Nissan anticipates the Rogue becoming the brand’s best-selling model. With this in mind, the automaker set out to boost its appeal, revising the model’s front fascia and adding new standard equipment like LED headlights and taillights, chrome trim and larger wheels on lower-end models. Inside, Nissan aimed for a more “premium” feel with improved fabrics, new door and instrument panel finishers, and a redesigned console and shift knob.

While conventional Rogues carry on with an unchanged powertrain, hybrid models sport a 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to a 30 kW electric motor. Available on front- and all-wheel-drive models, the hybrid drivetrain is intended to be unobtrusive, with no impact on cargo or passenger space.

The gas engine’s power rating is 141 horsepower and 144 pounds-feet of torque, while the electric motor generates 40 hp and 118 lb-ft. The combined output is 176 horsepower, or 1 hp more than a conventional 2.5-liter Rogue. An Xtronic continuously variable transmission is standard.

For FWD hybrid models, projected fuel economy rings in at 33 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined. Mileage for AWD models is projected at 31 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. That’s the same combined rating as the RAV4 Hybrid.

It’s unlikely the addition of a Rogue Hybrid will knock the RAV4 from its lofty sales pedestal, though Rogue sales have grown each year since its 2007 introduction, reaching 287,190 in the U.S. last year. More drivetrain offerings and a styling refresh can only help the model’s momentum.

It’s also possible that Nissan bigwigs heard the swirling rumors about a possible plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation Honda CR-V, and don’t want to be caught with an unelectrified crossover lineup.

[Image: Nissan]

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15 Comments on “Nissan Plays Catch-up, Debuts Hybrid Rogue Crossover for 2017...”

  • avatar

    When Nissan sold an Altima hybrid, a few years ago, it was a Toyota drive train. Is this Rogue hybrid also licensed from Toyota, or developed in house?

    • 0 avatar

      I think they only used Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, not Toyota engines or transaxle.

      They developed the poor-selling Pathfinder Hybrid (which has given way to the Murano Hybrid) in-house, I believe, so I think this one is too.

  • avatar

    I am beginning to think the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown is seriously affecting the drinking water in Japan. How else can you explain yet another hideous grille design from Japanese designers?

  • avatar

    “larger wheels on lower-end models” because everyone knows that bigger wheels improve economy. sorry about the sarcasm.

    “the hybrid drivetrain is intended to be unobtrusive, with no impact on cargo or passenger space” Proving that CUV’s are poorly packaged to begin with if you can just add a couple of motors and a slew of batteries.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This has been promised for a while, so I hope they really deliver.

    Hybrid CUVs are a must for that market segment; I’m surprised Toyota is currently the only one. CUVs getting 20-28 mpg doesn’t cut it anymore.

    Kia needs to get in on the act by hybridizing the new Sportage. The Niro will probably be too small to compete in the mid-size CUV arena.

  • avatar

    >>then looked over at the Toyota RAV4, America’s best-selling compact crossover<<

    RAV4 is #2. Altho closer than in the past as the HR-V has no doubt taken some CR-V sales as the HR-V has become its class leader.

    I'll bet many people will not know that either the Toyota or Honda (& Hyundai and Kia et al) are much MUCH better vehicles than the Rogue. In a sense, Nissan is the dominant brand in its high volume/low price race to the bottom.

    • 0 avatar
      Clueless Economist

      If the RAV4 is “much much better” then I can only imagine what a dreadful car the Rogue must be. I rented a RAV4 recently and found it to be reminiscent of an 80s era econo car. I felt cheap. I doubt the Rogue would feel as cheap.

    • 0 avatar

      I test drove the RAV4 Hybrid and the HR-V. I didn’t test drive the CR-V because I think it’s hideous. I really liked the HR-V but found the lower seat cushion to be too short for long drives and I really needed more than 60 cu ft cargo space, but the RAV4 was awful. No joy in driving that at all. The interior was the worst part. Cheap and styled by PlaySkool. A friend bought a Rogue and I think it’s a good looking vehicle and the interior is leaps and bounds above the RAV, but then I drove it. Ugh that CVT saps any fun from the experience. And they have to nerve to show it being sporty in comercials.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “The gas engine’s power rating is 141 horsepower and 144 pounds-feet of torque, while the electric motor generates 40 hp and 118 lb-ft. The combined output is 176 horsepower” and 262 lb-ft? If correct, that sounds kinda awesome, might make these both really quiet and almost quick.

    • 0 avatar

      It doesn’t sound terrible. I’m trying to figure out a replacement for my TDI wagon and so many of the potential replacements have engines with such low torque. This could be something to look at.

      Since it’s a hybrid, the hybrid warranty should hopefully be decent (at least in CARB states) as Nissan’s aren’t widely known for great quality at the moment.

      • 0 avatar

        I think you’re not going to be happy with Rogue interior appointments after owning a VW. Unless it’s an MKIV.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah, I’ve looked at 2016 Rogues on a Sunday and didn’t think they were too bad looking at first glance, except for the thirst of them. I’ll probably just end up with a Niro or a C-Max assuming VW doesn’t want to keep me as a customer.

          Or maybe I’ll end up with a TSI Sportwagen if they do want to reward loyal TDI owners.

          • 0 avatar

            I agree with you guys that sounds pretty decent for a Rogue. Hybrid is a nice alternative to turbo-charging everything.

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