I wish the 2021 Nissan Rogue was on sale when I started having kids. It’s laden with features designed for young families. Nissan even refers to the new interior as a “Family Hub”. Brand new top-to-bottom for 2021, this new Rogue has butched up the styling on the outside and improved or completely revamped the interior, tech features and driving dynamics. We’ll start with some of the notable family friendly features.
The rear doors now open nearly 90 degrees. Combine that with the ability to install a car seat in the rear middle position and you have parents’ attention. As well, the motion activated rear lift gate opens to Nissan’s “Divide-n-Hide” storage solution making grocery getting that much smoother. Inside, the front center console opens butterfly style making access easier for rear seat riders. And those in the back seat can now set their own temperature, recline the seatbacks and pull up integrated door sunshades. This is heady stuff for parents of whiny children.
Of course, safety is an endless worry for parents so the new Rogue comes with Nissan Safety Shield 360 (NSS 360) as standard equipment. Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning are starting to become more typical. However, NSS 360 also has High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking. That last one looks out for stationary objects behind the car and can apply the brakes as needed. There is also the Intelligent Driver Alertness feature that monitors the driver for drowsiness.
Let us not forget that parents are people too and do appreciate the finer things in life. Nissan has addressed this in the 2021 Rogue with luxury touches like quilted semi-aniline leather on the Platinum trim. You can also opt for the digital trifecta of a 10.8” heads up display, customizable 12.3” digital dashboard and 9.0” floating touchscreen infotainment interface. The tech upgrades continue with available wireless Apple CarPlay integration, a wireless charging platform and voice-activated Google Maps with Waze.
On the semi-autonomous front, Nissan offers Vehicle Motion Control that predicts the driver’s actions via steering, acceleration and braking sensors then steps in to smooth things out. In concert with the available AWD, this system can apply brakes on a single wheel to smooth out a bend in the road, for example. The Rogue can also be had with ProPILOT assist that works with the Intelligent Cruise Control and Navi-Link to simplify highway driving. It uses the navigation map data to proactively reduce speed for upcoming curves, slow for exits and manage posted speed limits using the Traffic Sign Recognition camera.
Powertrain wise, all 2021 Rogues come with a 2.5-liter, direct injection 4-cylinder motor producing 181 horsepower and matching amount of torque. This is paired with a continuously variable transmission and drives the front wheels while all-wheel drive is optional on all trim levels. For 2021, look for a new multi-link rear suspension and revised electric power steering that promises to improve road feel and overall driving dynamics.
Overall, the 2021 Nissan Rogue is a fully realized improvement over the last generation. Modern styling is complimented by a functional and luxurious interior on the Platinum model tested in the review video above. Loads of class exclusive tech and a quiet, comfortable ride round out the changes. Unfortunately, the ride is bumpy and the steering is on the numb side. Also, at the Platinum level trim, customers expect features like ventilated seats and HomeLink but you won’t find them here.
For more of George’s thoughts on the 2021 Rogue, please check out the video above. Drivers Only scores the 2021 Nissan Rogue 101. Be sure to visit our rankings page to see how it stacks up against the competition – Best Compact SUVs for 2020 & 2021.
Front engine, front- or all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
$25,650 – $36,830
16-valve DOHC 2.5-liter inline-4: 181 hp, 181 lb-ft
Continuously variable automatic
Wheelbase: 106.5 in
L/W/H: 183/72.4/66.9 in
Curb Weight: 3638 lb
0-60 mph: 8.2 sec
¼ mile: 16.4 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed: 116 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY