The 2021 Nissan Rogue is a bit disappointing under the hood

Introduced in 2013, the second-generation Nissan Rogue is still a solid SUV, but it’s a bit long in the tooth as of 2020. If you were waiting for a new version, the Japanese firm just unveiled the third-gen crossover for the 2021 model year. It looks fresh on the outside, more upscale on the inside, and packs lots of new technology and safety features. Let’s have a closer look at it below.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is now a larger Juke

left right
Okay, so it's not exactly a bloated juke, but it features a similar blocky design with angular lines in the front and on the sides

. It also borrows the Juke’s quad-headlamps layout with two sleek lights at the top and a pair of larger, rectangular lights lower in the bumper. The grille is of the usual Nissan variety with trapezoidal chrome trim, which is now thicker, and a big logo in the center. The front bumper looks somewhat boring, but the engine hood is now more muscular and raised toward the sides.

left right

The profile reminds of the old model, but the glasshouse seems a bit taller now. The quarter window is also a bit longer, while the D-pillar is thicker. Because the taillights are narrower than before, the rear section doesn’t look as weird as it used to when seen from the sides. The Rogue now also sports nicely sculpted side skirts. Around back, the tailgate’s design is split into three sections. There’s an almost flat center with a small bulge in the center and bloated areas above and below. The one above includes the new taillights with boomerang-shaped LED lights and big "Rogue" lettering. The rear bumper is as simple as they get with a big protection plate toward the bottom.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue features an impressive interior

left right
Just like the exterior, the interior of the 2021 Rogue is a big departure from its predecessor.

It comes with a digital instrument cluster as standard, as well as an infotainment display atop the dashboard. These are on par with the competition at 12.3 and nine inches, respectively, in the higher trims, but the cheaper models will have a seven-inch instrument cluster and an eight-inch touchscreen. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are obviously standard, but you can also get wireless CarPlay and wireless charging on some trims at additional cost. Nissan also introduced options like heated rear seats and multi-zone climate control.

2021 Nissan Rogue - Juke-Like Exterior DNA, Impressive Interior, Subpar Performance Interior
- image 912332
As far as materials go, the Rogue looks a bit more upscale now, despite the fact that the base model comes with cloth.

Opt for the SV model, and Nissan will upgrade to faux leather, while the SL and Platinum models will come with actual leather on the seats and some surfaces. There’s also contrast stitching and authentic wood trim. The safety package is now wider and includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic warning. You can opt for ProPilot Assist and navigation.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is a bit disappointing under the hood

2021 Nissan Rogue - Juke-Like Exterior DNA, Impressive Interior, Subpar Performance
- image 912346

While everything else changed dramatically, Nissan opted to keep the naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The Japanese firm made some updates, but the four-banger isn’t notably more powerful.

It now cranks out 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet versus the 170-horsepower and 175-pound-foot rating of the old model.

That’s an extra 11 horses and six pound-feet, which is disappointing for a new-generation model. The engine mates to a CVT as before, and it’s again available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

2021 Nissan Rogue - Juke-Like Exterior DNA, Impressive Interior, Subpar Performance Exterior
- image 912364

Nissan promises improvements in the fuel economy department, but the official stats show small gains. With FWD, the base S model returns an extra one mpg in the city two on the highway. The SV, SL, and Platinum gain just one mpg on the highway. Moving over to AWD, the S benefits from an extra mpg in the city and on the highway and an additional two mpg combined. The SV, SL, and Platinum gain an extra mpg combined.

2021 Nissan Rogue - Juke-Like Exterior DNA, Impressive Interior, Subpar Performance Exterior
- image 912351

Nissan has yet to announce pricing information for the 2021 Rogue, but it should come in at around $26,000 in base form.

2021 Nissan Rogue specifications
Drive configuration Front-wheel drive or enhanced Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
Platform All-new CMF-C/D with highly rigid body
Engine 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder with Direct Injection
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 181 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission Xtronic CVT
Drive assist New Vehicle Motion Control system with drive mode selector
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven

2017 Nissan Rogue

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: