Reader Review: 2021 Nissan Rogue SV AWD
Calgarian with long commute loved how SUV drove but not impressed with lack of storage space
Nissan says the design of the all-new 2021 Rogue ‘reflects the spirit of the vehicle – versatile, fun, edgy, and adventurous.’ So, does it live up to that description? Calgary’s Pat English recently got behind the wheel of a ‘21 Rogue SV AWD to find out. First released as a 2008 model, the Rogue is a five door, five passenger compact crossover SUV. The second generation rolled out for 2013, and the 2021 model is the third generation Rogue.
In Nissan’s Rogue lineup, the SV is mid-range. It’s also available in base S and top of the line Platinum specification. The S and SV are offered with front wheel drive and all-wheel drive is a $2,300 option for both. On the Platinum, AWD comes standard. All Rogues are powered by a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is transmitted through a continuously variable transmission with an electronic shifter. The CVT features a ‘manual’ selection function operated via paddle shifters. On FWD Rogues three drive modes include Standard, Eco and Sport. On the AWD version, two additional drive modes are offered with Off-Road and Snow.
English’s tester, the SV AWD, was finished in Boulder Grey Pearl paint for $300 extra. It also came equipped with the $2,200 premium package that adds rear heated seats, leatherette seating surfaces, rear door sunshades and a power liftgate. With delivery and other charges, but before taxes, her Rogue rang in at just under $40,000.
“I liked the look of it,” English says of her first impression. “I wasn’t a fan of the colour, but that’s pretty subjective.”
Did she find it ‘edgy’? Not particularly. In fact, English says there wasn’t a single design element she could point out that really helped set the vehicle apart from those of its competitors. Those vehicles include the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson. For its part, Nissan has given the Rogue a floating roof – essentially created by blacking out all of the window pillars. The Rogue also gained what the automaker calls an ‘evolved V-motion grille’ surrounded by uniquely shaped LED headlights.
“Inside,” English says of the Rogue, “it’s roomy without being cavernous. I really liked the floating centre console and the little compartment with a coin holder, that’s handy. There’s a rotary knob for selecting the drive mode, and that’s easy to reach. The shifter was a little odd, because it was a short box with buttons for drive, reverse and park. The reverse button is to the front, and the drive button is to the rear. To me, that’s backwards.”
English could stow her medium-sized purse in the open space under the floating console, and she though that feature was a great concept. All controls were within easy reach, she adds, and there was no difficulty setting the position of the power adjustable seat or side view mirrors. The 8-inch infotainment touchscreen “juts up out of the centre of the dash with open space behind it, and I’d prefer to see that built into the dash.” Overall fit and finish was rated as excellent, without anything feeling plasticky.
Setting off down the road, English felt the four-cylinder engine offered good acceleration and plenty of pick up. “There was enough power to do what I wanted to do,” she says. “For the most part, I just put it in drive, and I didn’t investigate the manual feature of the transmission. It felt a little sluggish in Eco drive mode, while Sport was a bit more responsive.”