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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

The Beginning of Nissan's Comeback?

Nissan has been struggling as of late. Their products are aging and their sales are showing it. Look at their halo sports car, the 370Z which hasn't seen a major update since it was introduced in 2009. Their mid-size truck the Frontier has not seen a complete overhaul since 2004!

The company's current sales leader, the Rogue has been soldiering on without major update since 2014. We all know that crossovers are hot right now. There is no segment more popular than the compact crossover, which is replacing the stalwart midsize sedan in American garages. Nissan today introduced their completely redesigned entry into the segment, the 2021 Rogue.

There was a time when the Rogue was the King of the Nissan Hill, but those days have passed by. Nissan was slow to catch up to the new offerings from Honda, Toyota, and even Hyundai/Kia, all of which led to declining sales of their once mammoth Rogue. Today Nissan hopes to turn those tides with a much more masculine and boxy approach. Add to that the latest technology, and you have a competent entry into the most crowded segment in the business.

When setting about to redesign this all-so-important vehicle, engineers "focused on delivering functionality, flexibility, technology and safety aimed at simply making life easier." To that end, the 2021 Rogue will have the most standard safety technologies in its class, according to Nissan, including the company's new Safety Shield 360 (which includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking). The family hauler will also have Intelligent Driver Alertness Technology and Rear Door Alert as standard on all models and trims. Nissan's ProPILOT Assist will also be available, which includes Blind Spot Intervention, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Intelligent Cruise Control.

Matt is probably off rolling his eyes somewhere at all the technology packed in to this rig, but as our resident tech fanboy, I sure do love all these enhancements. Did we mention wireless Apple CarPlay®?

As far as design goes, we love the new, more rugged looks of this ride. It is far more boxy and angular than its predecessor. It features a new, more upright interpretation of Nissan's corporate "V-motion" grille, which is perhaps the best looking iteration to date, in my humble opinion. According to Nissan, "the body itself measures 1.5 inches shorter and 0.2 inches lower than the previous generation Rogue, adding to the look of strength while also enhancing driving maneuverability. Key aerodynamic features include "3D" tire deflectors in the lower front fascia, an active grille shutter to control air flow into the engine compartment, special A-pillar shaping, underbody covers to manage air flow under the vehicle and a unique "air curtain" that precisely directs air flow from the front to the sides of the Rogue."

As a fan of color on cars, I love the note that the Rogue will now come in 5, yes FIVE two-tone color combinations. No images have surfaced of this yet, but think Chevy Trailblazer, I am sure.

The interior is much improved on this people mover as well, given that will be the primary use of most Rogues sold. Nissan says, "there are available heated front and rear seats, heated outside mirrors and heated steering wheel – along with two-driver memory seat. The available Intelligent Around View® Monitor and standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Automatic Braking help get the day off on the right direction. The long list of additional technology includes standard Push Button Start, Rear Door Alert and Easy Fill Tire Alert. NissanConnect® featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ is standard and includes Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Siri® Eyes Free, Google Assistant and SiriusXM® Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately)."

The "floating tablet" design of infotainment rears its head again, but in an understated manner, not protruding too much into the sky...we have seen much worse (looking at you Ford Explorer). Personally, I LOVE the two-tone seats shown in the press images, the contrast between the tan and black leather sets this interior off. Add to that Nissan's Zero Gravity seats, and this ride is ready for a road trip as big as Texas.

We cannot wait to take the opportunity to drive one and give you our opinions firsthand, but until then, this post will have to do.Take a moment to scroll through the images below and let us know your thoughts on the new rig!

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