Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue is shown from the side driving down a winding road.

Not Another Boring SUV You Buy in Your Sleep

Nissan lovers most likely know that the Rogue has been given a whole new design for 2021, and there are definitely reasons to talk about Nissan’s popular crossover SUV. For starters, Nissan chooses to appeal to make the Rogue sportier than ever. This isn’t your grandmother’s SUV masquerading as a minivan. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is funky and fresh with all the new fixings an SUV buyer could want, inside and out. It’s those fun extras that deserve air time, rather than the typical blather about cubic feet and torque.

No matter what age bracket you inhabit, the 2021 Rogue will replenish a sprightly glow in your driving experience. The shapely exterior with sharp black cladding, slanted feline headlights, and curvy back end will grab your eye every time you approach this spunky SUV. On the inside, thoughtful details for storage, connectivity, passenger space, and climate controls turn your experience on wheels into a smorgasbord of intelligent design. If you’re looking for something different in a crossover, the Nissan Rogue may just be able to deliver that this year.

Unique Convenience Features

If you plan to use this SUV as a family vehicle, the 2021 Rogue has a few features that parents of little ones might appreciate. For instance, unless you have a minivan, you have to contend with hinged doors that often hinder getting those massive infant carriers into and out of the back seats, a problem that only gets more frustrating with a baby screaming for a desperately-needed car ride to enter dreamland. Instead of the struggle for entry, Nissan gifts parents with wider-opening doors that swing out a full 90 degrees so you can tuck your baby right into the back with a swift click of the seat, meeting its blessed base. No more hinge troubles.

Both parents and the organizers of the world will love the rear cargo area’s functional floor with the customizable arrangements available. Six options await your neatnik nature with the dividing rear cargo area that can be configured as shelving, bins, hideaway storage for valuables, or just a flat load floor. Add to that the available hands-free liftgate, and there will be nothing stopping parents from getting on the road as fast as their kids can meltdown. Shopping and traveling will never be the same again. One wonders where this idea has been all our lives. Throw in the other thoughtful storage options found in the center console, particularly in the “bridge” beneath the shift knob where an open storage area can be accessed from the driver and passenger seats, and life might be complete.

In case you need more; however, there is a candy store beyond those shiny doors. All those years of fighting with back seats that are supposed to fold but usually don’t are over. Now you have split back seats that fold with the flick of a lever so you can further transform the interior of your Rogue into a gear-schlepping machine. Whoever might be sitting in that still-upright back seat may need protection from the sun in those hotter months of the year, so you can draw down the available shade for a cooler rear seat. For those families whose members seem to arrive from different planets, available tri-zone climate control is easily accessed from the center stack’s knobs and buttons that even your kindergartener can probably operate. Nobody needs to be in a bubble when they can have their own air supply direct from the vents while you blast “I’m All Out of Love” if you like.

A close up shows the moonroof from the passenger side in a 2021 Nissan Rogue.

Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility Gets Smarter

Whether you buy the Rogue for a family or just for yourself, safety features in every vehicle are on the rise to prevent accidents for everyone. Nissan has been working on its driver-assisted features in an effort to arrive at self-driving vehicles sooner rather than later, and the introduction of ProPilot Assist is the beginning of that end. Cadillac has a similar feature already, as well as other brands adding the tech, in which the driver can allow the vehicle to essentially steer on cruise control via the use of sensors in certain conditions. Nissan places a disclaimer on their website about this feature, stating that the driver needs to remain aware and engaged in case of the need for a human to take over again.

While the tech is still developing, it does seem like a lovely option to be able to just let the car drive itself for a while, doesn’t it? We all get sick of driving on the highway after hours on the road, so why not let the car take over instead of troubling your passengers to take a turn? Of course, this feature is not standard, but Nissan does make multiple driver-assist features standard, which is as good as Honda or Toyota who are at the top of the safety heap. A few extra features are available for upper trims, like “intelligent forward collision warning,” which scans two cars ahead in traffic to detect and anticipate potential slow-downs or stops, rather than just scanning the car directly ahead and reacting in short ranges.

A close up shows the grill and headlight on a red 2021 Nissan Rogue.

Intuitive Tech Anyone Can Use

Every car manufacturer is scrambling to make smartphone connectivity a standard feature in one way, shape, or form, and Nissan is no different. However, while most brands are slapping Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into their infotainment systems or dangling wireless connectivity like a carrot in upper trims, Nissan is treating tech like a best buddy instead of an afterthought. There are places in the car biz where you’ll find brands going crazy with tech in their electric vehicles, but they aren’t bothering to offer this fusion of technology into the gas-powered vehicles. Well, Nissan thought the Rogue should.

Buyers of the affordable Rogue can have customizable menus in the infotainment system so they can treat their touchscreen like they would their smartphones. The standard touchscreen itself is large at eight inches, and you can use the same gestures like tapping and swiping as you would on your phone or tablet. It makes the system much more intuitive to use since most adults in today’s world either own or use smartphones and are familiar with how they work. Now you don’t have to relearn a whole new system to be able to find apps you want to use in your car.

Being able to organize the apps according to how you use them is the same as organizing pages on your phone screen, and this extends to the gauge cluster in the driver’s dash. This feature is digital, so you can choose what data you see while you drive. Even the available head-up display can be customized, though these features are only offered with mid or upper trims. Still, they live in a much more affordable range than, say, the pricey Mach E Ford is only releasing as a pre-ordered run this year.

Nissan pulled out a lot of stops on the 2021 Rogue in an attempt to pull away from the pack of SUVs clambering for buyer attention, and it just may work. Pricing lands in a ballpark close to some of the most popular rivals, starting at $25,650. If you’re looking at Honda or Toyota SUVs, you might want to give the Rogue a test drive to see if this vehicle can woo you away from the bigger sellers. You might be surprised by the features in the Nissan that clearly got creative when it came time to get outside the box. Rather than hitting the snooze button on buying your SUV, maybe it’s time to grab the espresso and hit the road running.

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