Nissan's refreshed crossover gains hybrid power
Right on the heels of the refreshed Pathfinder, the updated 2017 Nissan Rogue will gain a second powertrain option: its first-ever hybrid system estimated to return fuel economy figures rivaling the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Other updates include a mild face-lift, improved interior bits, and more safety technology.
Up until now, Toyota was the only automaker to offer a hybrid option in the compact crossover segment with its RAV4 Hybrid. Nissan will be the second with the 2017 Rogue Hybrid, which combines a 2.0-liter inline-four (141 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque), a continuously variable transmission, and an electric motor, rated at 40 hp and 118 lb-ft. The Rogue Hybrid is available in front- or all-wheel-drive configuration, the former estimated to return 33/35 mpg city/highway (7.1/6.7 L/100km). Meanwhile, Nissan says the Rogue Hybrid AWD will achieve an estimated 31/34 mpg (7.6/6.9L/100km). The RAV4 Hybrid AWD is EPA-rated at 34/31 mpg (6.9/7.6L/100km) and isn’t offered in a front-drive version, because it comes standard with two electric motors, one powering the rear wheels.
The Rogue’s conventional gas engine, a 2.5-liter I-4 making 170 hp and 175 lb-ft that’s mated to a CVT, carries over. Fuel economy ratings shouldn’t change, either, with the front-drive estimated to return 26/29 mpg city/highway (9.1/8.1 L/100km) and the AWD rated at 25/28 mpg (9.5/8.4L/100km).
You’ll be able to spot the 2017 Rogue by its revised front fascia, which features a bolder interpretation of Nissan’s V-Motion grille. The headlights have been redesigned, as has the rear end, which gets a tweak to the bumper and taillights. Other changes include the addition of chromelike accents at the lower edge of the doors.
Inside, Nissan redesigned the center console and gave the steering wheel a flat-bottom design. A heated steering wheel, remote start, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and a kick-activated rear liftgate are new available options. New available advanced safety features include a lane departure warning system, a lane departure prevention feature, forward collision prevention, and adaptive cruise control. Meanwhile, the blind-spot monitor and the rear cross-traffic alert features are now standard on the midlevel SL trim. The aforementioned features, along with the previously offered around-view monitor, make the 2017 Rogue one of the most technologically advanced offerings in its segment.
As before, the 2017 Rogue will be available in five- or seven-passenger configurations. The Rogue Hybrid, however, will only be offered in the five-passenger setup to accommodate its lithium-ion battery. That said, Nissan claims the hybrid will provide 61.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is only 0.2 cubic foot less than the normal Rogue.
The Rogue will continue its three-trim strategy, including the base Rogue S, the midlevel Rogue SV, and the range-topping Rogue SL. All Rogues come standard with Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch wheels, and hill-start assist. For 2017, the Rogue SV now comes standard with heated front cloth seats and remote engine start, and the SL gains standard automatic high-beam assist, a memory driver’s seat, and the motion-activated liftgate. Available 19-inch wheels and a Platinum Reserve interior package, which includes tan leather seats with quilted inserts, are also new for the Rogue SL. Meanwhile, the Rogue Hybrid will only offer a choice between SV and SL trim levels. The Altima is currently the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, but the refreshed Rogue has a strong chance of rising to the top, especially if the hybrid version generates lots of interest.