By on May 4, 2020


The Nissan Rogue compact crossover might not be everyone’s idea of a fun ride, to say the least, but it’s a crucial product for the automaker that builds it. By far Nissan’s best selling vehicle in North America, the Rogue is key to the automaker’s comeback hopes.

Maybe comeback is too strong a word…

Fiscal stabilization. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

As production schedules and launch dates suffer from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Nissan is readying a new generation of Rogue. Apparently we can’t expect something exciting, powertrain-wise, right out of the gate, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change under the 2021 Rogue’s hood.

According to a document meant for fleet customers’ eyes, the updated Rogue due for 2021 will receive a modest boost in potency. The document seen by CarsDirect shows an output of 180 horsepower, up from the current generation’s 170 hp. Torque will rise 9 foot-pounds, from 175 to 184.

This sounds like a direct injection 2.5-liter four-cylinder, like that found in the new-for-2019 Altima sedan, so the engine’s displacement and makeup (minus its fuel delivery system) will remain generally the same as previous.

Expected to ride atop a revised version of the previous-gen’s architecture, the 2021 Rogue is an important product for Nissan. Despite the overall slump experienced by Nissan (and indeed, the U.S. market as a whole) in 2019, some 350,447 Americans still showed up to buy an aging compact crossover from Nissan last year. That’s down 15 percent from the previous year, but the Rogue had no shortage of competition.

A bonus stemming from a rejigged engine is a slight increase in fuel economy — 30 mpg combined in front-drive guise, according to the doc seen by CarsDirect. An increase of just 1 mpg, yes, but a significant 1 mpg from an advertising and competition standpoint.

At this point, there’s no indication the next Rogue will don a hybrid drivetrain like that seen in the very short-lived current-gen variant. Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid tech remains a point of interest for Nissan and, with rivals like Toyota, Ford, and Honda all heading down the optional electrification road, it wouldn’t be odd to see Nissan go this route. That said, if Nissan bean counters don’t see decent volume in such an endeavor, forget it. Let the companies sitting on fatter stacks go after that crowd.

[Image: Nissan]

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7 Comments on “Upcoming Nissan Rogue Due for a Power, Economy Bump...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nissan’s attempts at doing hybrids have been met with silence. They already know Toyota will own they hybrid CUV market, followed by Honda and Ford.

    Right now, they should stick with what works.

    Even their early lead with EVs (Leaf) has been ceded to others, with the Leaf falling to #5 in BEV sales for 2019, being outsold by the Bolt (!) and by Tesla 17:1.

  • avatar

    Interesting offering. I tried the new RAV 4, but didn’t like the interior at all. The CR-V was more appealing, but the dealers are not discounting to any significant amount (The usual $500 off if you buy today.) If the Rogue has a decent price, and more importantly, a decent lease, they’ll do well. I had a rental AWD Rogue for a week about 3 years ago and it was OK, not great, not terrible; handled better than it looked.

  • avatar

    The way these are often driven, not sure a power bump is great news for the rest of us, though it seems pretty nominal.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    We did 225 miles yesterday in our ’18 Rogue, pressing 65-75 mph as conditions allowed. Steadily got 33-34 mpg which was pretty decent. Of course we’re in the flat part of Texas, so the steepest incline is a bridge abutment….

    • 0 avatar

      By my rough calculations, that’s about 30 mph slower than the average driver travels on the highway in one of these. Do you know what the mpg is at 95-105? That would give us a more realistic estimate of real world fuel use.

  • avatar

    The Rogue has been essentially lackluster, and devoid of any performance aspirations across two generations, and it looks like this will continue unabated. Nissan could lose that uninspired, corporate and underpowered 2.5NA, and replace it with their 2.0T, and swap the CVT for, well just about anything else. Would be the Asian answer to the Audi Q3, but they won’t do it, as Nissan is quite shortsighted these days. Hope their sales continue to plummet if they keep making the same terrible crossover.

  • avatar

    What’s the vintage on that Musk pic at the top?
    Lately he looks like they put a Schrader valve in his butt and added about 50 psi inflation pressure.

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