It’s still one of the most popular compact crossovers around, but the Nissan Rogue needs a serious revamp to keep up with the redesigned Toyota RAV4, strong-selling Honda CR-V, and other contenders like the Chevy Equinox and Ford Escape. Nissan knows that, but the company hasn’t been in strong shape these past couple years. A revamped model is coming, however, and Automotive News among others report it will arrive this fall.
Carlos Ghosn drama notwithstanding, Nissan’s current fortunes fall more or less in line with the rest of the industry. That is, their production facilities are currently shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Right now, the company is targeting late April to boot up manufacturing again. That could well end up happening in May, as other automakers eye later and later dates to restart their facilities, as April is set to be a watershed month for COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Nissan’s certainly not alone with its assembly line in Smyrna, Tennessee halted and dealers caught in the lurch as stay-at-home orders wreak havoc on sales. That said, it’s in a tougher position than most, as its sales fell 10 percent in 2019 from 2018 (including Infiniti’s sales).
Nevertheless, a representative told Automotive News that it’s still on track for a fall launch. Even accounting for the present circumstances, the company is determined to launch its new Rogue later in 2020 — ideally sometime this fall.
Spy shots that show the updated model show a more pronounced “V-motion” grille, as well as a more sculpted front end. Renderings show the rear end of the car isn’t drastically different, but the 2021 Nissan Rogue should land well among its rivals in the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Nissan’s been pushing technology in its newer models as well, bringing more safety equipment up and down its entire lineup. As for powertrains, we’re still left guessing exactly what the company has in store. Right now, the Rogue manages 170 horsepower from a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine, mated to a CVT. It’s down on power against most of the competition, so we expect more punch in the next generation.
Time will ultimately tell what happens with the 2021 Nissan Rogue launch. However, given that everything’s pretty much ground to a halt through March and April, any deterministic announcement about a new car launch is exciting news. For now, we can weigh what we’d like to see changed from the current model shown below: