Nissan Plays Catch-up, Debuts Hybrid Rogue Crossover for 2017

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan plays catch up debuts hybrid rogue crossover for 2017

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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  • Thornmark Thornmark on Sep 10, 2016

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

    • See 1 previous
    • N8iveVA N8iveVA on Sep 13, 2016

      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.

  • Compaq Deskpro Compaq Deskpro on Sep 11, 2016

    "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.

    • See 3 previous
    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 12, 2016

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

  • Jkross22 This might just be me, but the times that I've driven an EV, I use the brake regen paddles to quell my inner MT/control freak nature.
  • Randy in rocklin I had a 82 733 at one time. It was an awesome car. Good power and great handling. Smooth shifting and ride.
  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.
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