A major update is in the pipeline.
The completely redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue looks great inside and out, but among some of the things we found disappointing was its engine. Every new Rogue comes powered by the familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. There is no longer a hybrid option that could boost both fuel economy and output. Nissan, being fully aware of this, has decided to take action.
Car and Driver confirmed with the automaker that a new listing on the EPA's website for a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-three gasoline engine is indeed accurate. Although its power output details are not yet listed, the new engine does offer a 2 to 4 mpg improvement over the 2.5-liter unit.
On front-wheel-drive Rogues, it'll return 30/33/37 mpg city/highway/combined. All-wheel drive drops those figures by 1 mpg. The 1.5-liter SL and Platinum trims, as it does for the 2.5-liter equivalents, have a slight mileage decrease as well. To compare, 2.5-equipped Rogues return, at best, 26/34/29 mpg. A continuously variable transmission remains the sole gearbox for both engines.
Rogue customers interested in this smaller, more efficient, and, hopefully, more powerful engine should be made aware it's part of a "small pilot program" for now. Nissan wants to evaluate customer interest, general feedback, and take rate before deciding whether to introduce a regular rollout.
No other specific details were provided, such as which regions will offer the new engine and, equally important, how much it'll cost. The Rogue is the first Nissan vehicle to receive this new powertrain, hence why we don't know much about it yet. The hybrid model's departure means there's a clear-cut opening within the Rogue lineup for something like this and we think the engine will prove to be popular among buyers.
We also wouldn't be surprised to see this engine make its way to additional models; it could make a great fit for the Sentra sedan and the Kicks crossover.