Nissan Motor has redesigned its best-selling Rogue crossover, a key product in a global turnaround plan for the embattled Japanese automaker.
The third-generation compact crossover features a sleeker design, increased power and additional technology, including an enhanced version of the company’s “ProPilot Assist” driver-aid system. Nissan also added a new high-end trim to the Rogue lineup.
“It is one of, if not the most important product in our lineup,” Jared Haslam, vice president of product planning for Nissan North America, said during a Zoom media briefing. “This all-new Rogue is certainly fitting of that moniker, being the most important.”
The 2021 Rogue — available in the fall — is the first of five new or redesigned vehicles in the U.S. for Nissan in the coming year. They are part of a global turnaround plan unveiled in May. The restructuring includes cutting billions in fixed costs, axing several vehicle nameplates and closing or realigning production plants following the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance’s ouster of longtime leader Carlos Ghosn, now an international fugitive.
“It’s obviously a critical time for us, and a critical product for us,” Haslam said.
The newest version of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist includes enhanced performance and driving dynamics as well as the ability for the system to use the vehicle’s navigation to preemptively lower speeds when approaching a highway exit or freeway junction.
“This is basically bringing in the navigation map data into the ProPilot Assist system,” said Andy Christensen, senior manager, Nissan Technical Center North America. “It allows us to better predict the road ahead.”
Nissan is calling the navigation-linked system ProPilot Assist with Navi Link. It is a step up from the standard ProPilot, which is an advanced version of adaptive cruise control that can control a vehicle’s speed, braking and steering.
The system remains less advanced than Tesla’s Autopilot or General Motors’ Super Cruise driver-assist systems.
Drivers must still keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road at all times. ProPilot Assist can control the vehicle’s speed as traffic requires and, if stuck in traffic, stop and accelerate without any input from the driver as long as the stop is less than 30 seconds.
The ProPilot Assist linked to the navigation system will be available on the top two models of the vehicle, including standard on a new top-end Platinum trim.
After topping sales of more than 400,000 units in the U.S. for two consecutive years, Rogue sales declined 15% in 2019. The crossover accounted for 26% of the company’s domestic sales last year, which overall fell 9.9%.
Nissan did not announce pricing for the 2021 Rogue. Starting pricing for the current vehicle ranges from about $23,000 to $32,000.
Rogue models will continue to come standard with a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine. The engine is rated at 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, both improved from the current vehicle.
The Rogue is produced for the U.S. and Canadian markets at plants in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Kyushu, Japan.