Nissan ups tech game on redesigned Rogue

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Nissan’s best-selling vehicle is receiving a makeover that loads up the compact crossover with family-friendly technology.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue introduces a more capable assisted-driving system — one that uses new radar and camera technology to deliver smoother braking, better steering assist and improved safety.

The third-generation Rogue, set to arrive in U.S. stores this fall, has been Nissan’s volume leader for the past four years. Last year, U.S. sales totaled 350,447, down 15 percent but accounting for nearly 30 percent of the brand’s volume. It is also the third best-selling compact crossover behind the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

The redesigned crossover is the cornerstone of a product offensive that Nissan officials say is critical to the brand’s rebound in the United States.

The Rogue is the first of five new or redesigned Nissan models that will enter production in the next year. It follows Altima, Versa, Sentra and Titan, which received recent updates.

The 2021 Rogue is not likely to be a “breakaway product,” Sam Abuelsamid, analyst at the research firm Guidehouse Insights, told Automotive News. Abuelsamid was briefed on the new model last week.

“It looks like it’s reasonably competitive with what’s out there, but it’s not going to suddenly grab Nissan an extra 5 percent to 10 percent market share,” he said.

Family-first design

The 2021 Rogue, based on the X-Motion design concept vehicle shown in 2018, offers more usable cabin space in a similar footprint.

The new Rogue adopts Nissan’s signature design elements, including a floating roof and an updated V-motion grille.

The redesign is targeted at Gen Y families, Jared Haslam, Nissan vice president of product planning, said last week. The new interior reflects that.

Rear doors now open wider — nearly 90 degrees — making entering and exiting easier. Meanwhile, larger door pockets and slide-up shades on the rear passenger windows are other family-friendly touches.

The new Rogue is designed for a generation that grew up on smart screens. The dashboard is available with three displays — a 10.8-inch head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a “floating” 9-inch touchscreen.

Nissan also has expanded trim options on the Rogue — adding a new Platinum package to the S, SV and SL grades. Nissan expects the Platinum package, which includes upgraded seating and larger displays, to have a 10 percent to 15 percent adoption.

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Saurabh Shukla

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