Last April Nissan announced that it would be launching five new models over the course of fifteen months. So far we've seen new versions of the Altima, Pathfinder, Sentra and Versa Note. That leaves the Nissan Rogue compact crossover set for an overhaul.
The first generation of the Nissan Rogue was introduced on the market in 2008. Since then, the small SUV has managed to make it's way without stumbling, while attracting the favour of an extensive, though more demanding audience. As such, the company needed to balance sales volume against increasingly aggressive competition in terms of style, equipment and price. Nissan had no choice but to provide it's fans with a next-gen Rogue that is more modern, capable of responding to newer needs while sticking to the realities of the current automotive market. The Rogue's sales are second only to the Altima in Nissan's line-up.
What is most obvious about the 2014 Rogue are the CUV's completely new lines, completely unrelated to the ones we know today. Thus, the Rogue is definitely becoming more mature. We already know for certain that Nissan will be taking a few cues from it's current range and applying style ideas that have already proven themselves on other models. Moreover, brand fans will notice right away that some style elements, such as the curve of the wings at the front and at the rear are partially inspired by the Hi-Cross Concept, introduced a few months ago in Geneva.
This generation of the Rogue is expected to move to Nissan's new modular CMF chassis.
In the new generation of the Rogue, we should also find dimensions that are a little more generous than those found in the last generation. The interior space has been revised upwards, with a greater wheel height and more harmony overall than what we saw before. Again, the Rogue will need to do better than it's competitors, the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav4 or even the Honda CR-V, while trying not to alienate existing fans. The magic formula that will allow Nissan to maintain it's market share will be the combination of modern style blended with a level of technology not yet available on other vehicles in it's segment.
The 2014 model should be broken down into three versions, each of whose standard equipment will meet the needs of those unsatisfied by the preceding level, and keep demanding customers happy.
What should not change for 2014, and is a very good account of the Rogue's current qualities are ergonomics. The Rogue's five passenger seating and cargo space are above average in terms of ease of boarding and offers ample room for luggage or sports gear, especially when the rear seat is folded up to create more space.
From a mechanical standpoint, there has been little information offered yet. Recycling the current model's 2.5-litre four cylinder engine should be no surprise, developing a modest 170 hp with 175 pounds of torque. However, this engine has the advantage of not only being relatively frugal with fuel, it's existing design ensures a certain amount of reliability. Despite this, we're not ruling out a new engine from Nissan for 2014. The same goes for the gearbox, it will likely be an Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) with a version offering an optional Sport mode option. The 2014 Rogue should also have AWD available as an option.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca