Just about everything is more expensive these days. Why, just last week, our Managing Editor was complaining about his trip to buy methylated spirits and a hammer drill as part of his planned New Year’s Eve festivities*. This is why it’s all the more remarkable when automakers essentially hold the line on pricing models for a new model year – especially when it is one of their best sellers.
This year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas is coming up fast, so you know there will be a rush of breathless PR about the rigs being hauled to the desert by manufacturers for this soirée. Nissan is getting into the game with a couple of concepts – one of which is inspired by cars used in a spec-racing series north of the border.
Most of us have seen a set of the so-called ‘jackknife’ ignition keys. You know the ones: a press of a button causes the business end of the key to flip outwards, permitting it to light the fires on a car and instigating those of us with active personalities to say “HI-YA!” while jabbing the thing skyward as if it were a real jackknife.
No? Huh; maybe it’s just me, then.
Anyways, that type of key is at the crux of a major recall for Nissan, one which involves nearly a quarter million Rogue SUVs.
The Nissan Rogue Sport will be leaving the United States in 2023, though it will remain available elsewhere in the world as the Qashqai compact crossover.
"With the all-new Rogue and recently redesigned Kicks, we will continue to cover this part of [the] market effectively," Nissan Vice President Scott Shirley explained in a memo to dealers.
While alchemy has famously spent the better part of recorded history trying to transmute lead into gold, the automotive industry has repeatedly managed to achieve the lesser-known act of sorcery where water is converted into fire. This usually occurs when humidity ends up corroding an essential electrical component, resulting in fire risk that becomes the deciding factor in a recall campaign.
This week’s corporate conjurer is Nissan, which has decided to call back 793,000 Rogue SUVs in the United States and Canada.
Fresh off a substantial redesign for 2021, the Nissan Rogue enters its sophomore year with a new engine option. On tap is a version of the brand’s variable compression technology, applied to a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-banger good for 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. And, as is Nissan’s apparent M.O., the CVT ‘box remains.
The word “rogue” has several meanings, and one of those meanings relates to someone who goes their own way – someone who has “gone rogue.” This is why it’s long been ironic that Nissan slaps the moniker on a conformist crossover.
I am sure I am not the first to point this out, but it bears repeating, especially as the 2021 Nissan Rogue conforms to Nissan’s newest design identity.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue has bombed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s front passenger-side crash test with a score of two stars. Since we’re not using the Michelin Guide, this is a stain on the freshly pressed slacks Nissan has put on as part of its all-important restructuring strategy.
The automaker has been shedding weight, dropping products, and losing employees in the name of profit. But it also has to restore public faith in a brand that has been caught in numerous quality control scandals and some ugly corporate infighting over the last few years. A crummy score on a crash test isn’t going to help, even if it does help spice up an otherwise bland vehicle segment. But let’s not overcook the eggs. There is a lot to unpack here before we jump on the bandwagon of calling it a cursed model.
Mitsubishi has an important product debut coming up: the all-new 2022 Outlander three-row crossover. In what will be the fourth-generation Outlander since 2001, the 2022 model ditches Mitsubishi’s ancient GS platform the Outlander has used since 2007 and sees a migration over to the same platform as the Nissan Rogue.
I think this is the beginning of the end for Mitsubishi in North America.
No one would accuse the current-generation Rogue of oozing too much testosterone. Few, if any, in its class do. The compact crossover sold very well, however, making it an absolutely crucial product for a company reeling from two financial body blows.
A bloated business and declining sales mingled with pandemic woes this year, making it all the more important for Nissan to streamline its operations while releasing new and improved product. And the 2021 Rogue is indeed improved.
With assembly plants shut down in North America and overseas, supply chains thrown into disarray, and workers and salaried employees either furloughed or working from home, it’s only natural to question the timing of future products.
When it comes to Nissan’s bread and butter, you needn’t bother. The automaker says virus or no, the next-generation Rogue will land in the fall as planned.
“Nissan will not offer the Rogue Hybrid for model year 2020. We will continue to focus efforts on the best-selling Rogue and new 2020 Rogue Sport,” said Nissan spokesperson Kevin Raftery following the release of a 2020 Rogue pricing sheet that omitted any mention of a hybrid. Raftery did not disclose how many Americans actually took home a Rogue Hybrid during the model’s brief lifespan.
Nissan added automatic emergency braking as standard equipment on eight popular models for the 2018 model year, looking to get a jump on the pact forged in 2016 that calls for mandatory AEB on all cars and light trucks by 2020.
That pact, covering 20 automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is already bearing fruit. Just last month, the NHTSA congratulated a slew of automakers, including Nissan, for including the safety feature on the majority of their vehicles.
One month later, and the NHTSA finds itself investigating Nissan for a potential fault with its AEB system.
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- Kcflyer This is a joke right? Kevin James invented this in a movie years ago. As I recall queen latifa loved it. The movie was called "The Dilemma". It was even a dodge. Life imitates art indeed.
- RHD This is the modern equivalent of the Horsey Horseless. (If you don't know what that was, look it up!)
- Loser What’s next, simulation of the “Hemi tick”?
- Ajla There's a melancholy to me about an EV with external speaker-generated "engine" noise and fake transmissions. It feels like an admission from the manufacturer that you're giving something up and they are trying to give back some facsimile of it. Like giving a cupcake scented candle to someone on a diet. If I was shopping for an EV I'd rather go to a company enthusiastic about it rather than apologetic.
- EBFlex More proof of how much EVs suck. If you have to do this, that means you are trying to substitute what people want...and that's ICE.