Author: Mark Elias

THE RAM 1500 TRX: A BEAST IN STREET CLOTHING

THE RAM 1500 TRX: A BEAST IN STREET CLOTHING

The RAM 1500 TRX is FCA’s entry into the Battle of the Pickup Truck Monsters. It’s not just the Silverado vs. F150 vs. RAM 1500 battles, either. While the F150 Raptor is already on the road, the Silverado ZRX is still in dress rehearsals. We can’t call the TRD Tundra anything more than a sticker car, even when sold as the Tundra TRD Pro. That leaves us with today’s topic, the RAM 1500 TRX.

rear hero
The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX

Is it a RAM 1500 TRX or a predator T-Rex? Yes.

And above all else, it doesn’t eat its young like some in the animal world. In the case of the RAM 1500 TRX, it eats its old. Hear us out: They tell us that oil, petroleum and gasoline are fossil fuels made from decomposing plants and animals found in the Earth’s crust. Since these are likely the result of long-departed dinosaurs and other animals from prehistoric times, and since the TRX needs petroleum fuel to run, you can see how the RAM 1500 TRX is consuming its forefathers. Yes, we know it’s a stretch but trust us at Mark Elias Media for this once!

What is the RAM 1500 TRX?

Hemi
RAM TRX 6.2-LITER HEMI

The new RAM 1500 TRX is the latest member of the RAM lineup but one of the most powerful and fastest pickup trucks on the road today. A Hellcat-powered half-tonner, the TRX is now the boss in these pickup wars until Ford and GM step up their game. The RAM 1500 TRX is powered by the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 found inside the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models.

This mill makes 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. It is matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. A fuel-sipper, this is not. Instead, figure this beast does its best Super Big Gulping to the tune of 12 mpg combined, with 10 city/14 highway. Bilstein remote-reservoir dampers and an electronic locking differential round out the package…almost. Add in the 35-inch beadlock-capable wheels and you have quite the off-road-ready dune buster, ready to take on the Baja 1000 or the Dakar Rally! As equipped, the RAM 1500 TRX can haul up to 8,100 pounds. Of course, it can “haul the mail,” too. But you knew that.

INTERIOR DECORATING

RAM 1500 TRX interior front
The Front and Rear (Below) view of the interior of the RAM TRX.
Ram Rear

With enough black leather to make a biker crowd proud, the TRX displays an understated yet subtly aggressive look that manages to inject just enough sportiness into the mix. Well-bolstered seats keep the driver and front passenger firmly in place, although we don’t suspect you’ll take the RAM TRX to the track for a day of corner-cutting. Still, they offer a comfortable ride that matches what you’ll get from the Bilstein shocks at all four corners. There’s a leather and microsuede-covered steering wheel with a flat-bottomed lower quadrant. A pair of paddle shifters take the place of a row-it-yourself shift lever, which is okay since the TorqueFlite 8HP95 8-speed gearbox will shift faster than you are humanly capable of doing.

Arm rest TRX
Builder’s plate of the RAM 1500 TRX

A huge armrest sits between us in the front, but it’s large enough to swallow a laptop and some camera gear if pressed. A builder’s plate with the RAM’s sequence number holds sway on the lid if anyone doubts its provenance.

The second row features limo-like legroom and seats that flip up for extra storage. It’s a good thing, too, because the RAM 1500 TRX is only available in crew cab configuration with a relatively small 5-foot 7-inch box.

RAM TRX Dash
The center console with 12.0-inch display screen.

If the sound from the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 weren’t enough, our test vehicle was equipped with a 12.0-inch Uconnect 4 system featuring a 19-speaker Harman Kardon 900-watt audio system complete with SiriusXM Radio as well as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

How does it look?

Ram hero
A beast, ready to eat its old.

With wild add-on bodywork details like hood scoops flared fenders and the widest stance from a standard half-ton pickup truck, the RAM 1500 TRX is pretty intimidating in its own right. Blacked-out grille trim adds to the intimidation, as do the black cladding that stretches around the vehicle. It’s a badass vehicle.

Behind the wheel.

Hit the starter and the supercharged HEMI roars from its slumber. It whirs to life thanks to the Roots-style supercharger atop the big V8. Once underway, a grumble manages to work its way into the interior despite the well-insulated cabin. But in many ways, it’s still music to our ears.

right hero
At Okeeheelee Park Equestrian Center.

Under normal conditions, the TRX acts like a docile (!) run-of-the-mill pickup truck. But stomp on the skinny pedal, and you unleash the beast in what can best be described as a Jekyll and Hyde fashion. This monster rears back, pushing us into the seats like a dropkick to the chest by a WWE wrestler. When it finally realizes what you want from it, it thrusts itself forward, ticking off 0-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The RAM TRX tops out at 118 mph, thanks to an electronic governor. Why? We are clueless as to the reasons.

Especially when this brute with the heart of a Devil is yearning to breathe freely!

Hyundai IONIQ5 EV: The Great Disrupter

Hyundai IONIQ5 EV: The Great Disrupter

Hyundai Motor North America introduced its new Hyundai IONIQ5 EV, an electric crossover utility vehicle (CUV) during Memorial Day Weekend in Miami Beach. Built with a targeted driving range of 300 miles, the IONIQ5 rides on Hyundai’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The IONIQ5 is part of Hyundai Motor Group’s goal to design 23 Battery-Electric Vehicle models and 1-million BEVs on the road worldwide by 2025.

A Hyundai IONIQ5 EV Walkaround

Hyundai’s Miles Johnson takes us around the new IONIQ5 EV

What struck us the most was how big the new IONIQ5 EV actually is. Here are some other highlights:

  • Extended 118.1-inch wheelbase – IONIQ 5 has the longest wheelbase in Hyundai’s U.S. product lineup
  • Cutting-edge Parametic Pixel LED lighting elements
  • Eye-catching V-shaped front bumper incorporates distinctive daytime running lamps (DRLs)
  • Flush door handles provide clean surface styling and enhanced aerodynamics
  • Front and rear forms merge together at the doors, another example of Hyundai’s ‘Parametric Dynamics’ design
  • Strong C-pillar shape, inspired by the ‘45’ EV concept, gives IONIQ 5 a commanding presence
  • Large 20-inch areo-optimized wheels echo the Parametric Pixel design theme and complete IONIQ 5’s perfected proportions, optimized for Hyundai’s E-GMP platform

A choice of IONIQ5 EV powertrains and drive systems

Hyundai IONIQ5 Right Hero
Hyundai’s IONIQ5 EV overlooks Miami Beach.

The IONIQ5 comes with two powertrains, and one 77.4 kWh battery pack. Buyers will select either one or two electric motors. Topping the range is a two-motor AWD configuration making 320 horsepower (74 kW front + 165 kW rear) and 446 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0-to-60 in 5 seconds, while the single-motor layout driving the rear axle makes 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Quick charge artist

With a 350-kW charger, IONIQ 5 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. In just five minutes, the IONIQ5 can gain 68 miles of range using a 350-kW fast charger. The standard Level 2 on-board charger completes a full charge in 6 hours and 43 minutes.

Hyundai has joined with Electrify America to support 2021 Kona Electric and IONIQ plug-in sedans owners with DC Fast charging with the Electrify America app. Owners will enjoy over 600 ultra-fast charging stations across the country. The companies will offer unlimited 30-minute charging sessions for two years from the date of vehicle purchase. Electrify America plans to have about 800 charging stations with more than 3,500 ultra-fast chargers developed by the end of 2021.

Hyundai IONIQ5 EV interior
The Hyundai IONIQ5 EV interior.

IONIQ5 also provides the ability to use or charge any electric devices, like electric bicycles, scooters or camping equipment. It serves as a charger on wheels. It can even charge a stranded EV. It’s perfect for powering necessities during a power outage, tailgate party, camping or outdoor projects.

Get in line!

Ioniq5 rear
The Hyundai IONIQ5 EV at 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

IONIQ 5 goes on sale this fall with a pre-reservation program for early purchasers that offers special benefits. Mark Elias Media is looking forward to testing the new IONIQ5 in the near future. Check back for a full report!

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Review

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Review

The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye is Daimler-Chrysler’s er, Chrysler Corporation’s er, Cerberus er, FCA er, Stellantis’ take on keeping a sedan relevant. First it ditched the former Charger’s coupe body style in favor of a four-door sedan loosely based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Charger Hellcat Redeye
The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye with Red Sky.

Then it brought back the HEMI engine. The original version, available from 1958 to the late seventies, was consigned to the history books as fuel prices and emission levels climbed. At that point, four-cylinder turbocharged Dodge Chargers based on the Dodge Omni became as powerful a charger as we would see in dealership showrooms.

In the early 2000s, the HEMI returned but in a new, more efficient form. Available in 5.7-liter iterations, it grew to a 6.4-liter and now 6.2-liter supercharged version that can produce 717 horsepower as found in the Dodge Charger Hellcat. Somehow, the Hellcat Redeye did some alley-catting after hours and was bitten by an additional 80 horsepower for an otherworldly 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.

Charger HEMI engine
The 797 horsepower HEMI powering the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

Like a Cop Car…on Steroids

The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye starts as a standard Dodge Charger four-door sedan. You are probably familiar with the tan and black units favored by the Florida Highway Patrol and other police agencies. Luckily Mark Elias Media Services is not familiar with any such agency.

Only this one actually has some serious guts inside. Start with the 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI engine. But make sure the supercharger is larger than the regular Hellcat’s version. Add an extra fuel pump because the HEMI is now more hella thirsty than before. Chip it for a higher redline and beef up many of the internal components. Fit it with the same TorqueFlite 8HP90 8-speed automatic transmission found in the regular Hellcat but this time beef it up with stronger axles and beefier driveshaft.

We’re just getting started. Add launch control, an array of SRT performance applications that mimic a dragstrip Christmas Tree, and a more robust A/C system to cool things down to a more suitable level. Finally, tweak the blower to close its bypass valve for more boost quickly.

flat right size charger
The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

How fast will the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye go?

The result is Hellacious. Factory numbers say the Hellcat Redeye runs from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. We’ve seen it do the deed a tenth faster at 3.5 seconds. That’s 0.3 faster than the non-Redeye model. The standard Dodge Charger Hellcat has a top speed of 196 mph, but Dodge says the new Hellcat Redeye taps out a 203 mph, making it the fastest production sedan in the world!

Charger Hellcat rear
The view most will see of the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

And all this power isn’t just for straight line speed. There’s also the available Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension. Steering is precise, and braking straight and sure. The result is a road racer that can kick equal butt on the twisties.

How does it look?

Start with a hunkered down look thanks to the adjustable Bilsteins. As a result of these and the low profile tires, the Hellcat Redeye is even more aggressive on the Charger than it is on the Challenger. Start with a new front splitter and spoiler that combines with a huge air intake to keep the big mill cool and fed with cold air.

front 3_4 Hellcat view
The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

There’s a blacked out stinger style hood that cuts down on reflection that could flare up on lesser vehicles. A small lip spoiler puts a bit of downforce on the rear wheels. Speaking of wheels, they are blacker than black so you won’t worry too much about brake dust soiling your alloys. At the rear, two exhaust dumps make their way through the rear diffuser. It’s a look that puts the sta’ in stance.

They lead into flares over the wheel wells that allow the use of monster-wide Pirelli P-Zero 305/35ZR20 tires. They aren’t for the faint of heart or wallet, seeing that they check out at $446 apiece. That’s just $1,784 for a set of four. Your right foot has been warned.   

What about inside?

Dodge interior
The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye business office.

Inside the Charger Hellcat Redeye is a tan leather interior that looks as though it was appropriated from the leatherworks that do the deed for Ferrari. Butterscotch tan, and highly bolstered, it looks good enough to eat. At the center of the dashboard is the Uconnect 4 system complete with 8.4 in touchscreen display. It’s one of the easiest systems to connect to and it actually sounds pretty good so kudos to the electrical engineers behind that!

dashboard
The dashboard of the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

There are touches of faux carbon fiber throughout, USB ports, a flat-bottom steering wheel and  paddle shift levers where they should be.

rear seat hellcat
The butterscotch interior of the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

There’s plenty of rear seat legroom. Just buckle up, because there ain’t no control from the cheap seats.

Behind the Wheel of the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

In a word, thrilling. There are very few cars short of some supercars that can go zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. This one does that and then some, reaching terminal velocity at 203 mph. The beauty of the Hellcat Redeye is that this car struts along like its doing a measly 80 mph.

Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye logo
The Hellcat Redeye Logo

There’s nothing else like it. Just make sure your insurance premiums are paid up.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade review by Mark Elias Media Services

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade review by Mark Elias Media Services

Now in its fifth generation, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade has stepped up its game to the point where it truly is the standard of the world once again. At one time, limousines used to ply their trade, carrying A-list celebrities, politicians, dignitaries and even a bunch of crazed bridal parties before, during and after the nuptials. Now it’s the job of the luxury SUV. While the Escalade was paving the way towards future greatness, it wasn’t all that it could be.

Left hero Cadillac
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the perfect match for Camera Copter’s helicopters.

That was the past. In those days, it seemed the Escalade was always a Chevrolet Suburban or a GMC Yukon that had a Cadillac grille slapped on the front of it.

Not anymore.

For 2021, the Crest club has really moved upmarket with an Entirely new Escalade. It could be Cadillac’s last great hope to save the brand. Mark Elias Media Services had a chance to experience the new Escalade for a week. Here’s our report.

above hood escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the perfect match for Camera Copter’s helicopters.

What’s new about the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

  • It’s all-new for 2021
  • It has been stretched out a tiny bit
  • Super Cruise for near-autonomous driving is optional
  • Choice of engines including new 3.0-liter Diesel.
  • Available air suspension to supplement independent rear suspension.
  • Platinum models are pricey (some over $100,000)
  • Available in regular and XL sizes!

And just what is it?

hero heli cadillac
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is parked alongside Camera Copter’s Hughes helicopter

The Cadillac Escalade is the fifth-gen luxury SUV from General Motors’ flagship brand. This latest version is a technological tour de force representing a quantum leap over previous models. It now rides on a specially-built ladder frame, which caters to more improved ride and handling. It’s a different arrangement than the tough truck-like box-frame underpinnings of other large luxury vehicles. This includes the outgoing 2020 model.

Power for the Escalade comes from a choice of two engines: the first, a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This direct-injection engine features cylinder deactivation that will shut down four cylinders once cruising is achieved to save fuel. The second choice is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 cylinder engine, which is a no-cost option. This powerhouse makes 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft at a barely-breathing 1,500 rpm. It uses a diesel exhaust fluid reservoir filled with urea to “scrub” the diesel exhaust gas. It needs refilling approximately every oil change or 10,000 miles.

rear view Escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade as seen from the rear view.

Both engines are mated to a stellar 10-speed automatic transmission. Our tester included the new Cadillac air ride adaptive suspension with magnetic ride control, which works to provide one of the smoothest and most isolated rides we have ever experienced in a luxury truck-based SUV. It is a GM product that has found its way into the new rear-engine Corvette Stingray and is used under licensing agreement in several Ferrari cars.

With all these features, it’s easy to see why some call this new Cadillac Escalade “the new King of the road.”

A jog around the 2021 Cadillac Escalade (as big as a) block.

Still looking every bit like the massive SUV that it is, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade features a newly designed front end with horizontal LED headlamps, vertical front lighting elements, three-dimensional taillights and a rear spoiler.

New 22-inch wheels are standard, while our Escalade 4WD Sport featured a large black mesh grille, and similar black features around the SUV. Our Premium model included a distinctive level of distinguished chrome brightwork both inside and out.

Speaking of inside…

Cadillac dashboard
The interior of the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade

This seven-passenger SUV has been re-engineered thanks to the addition of the independent rear suspension making its debut in the 2021 model. As a result, it has been designed with seats that ride lower and are positioned in a much roomier fashion. That redesign has opened up ten inches of extra legroom for third-row ADULT passengers.

There’s luxury everywhere. The sixteen-way power front seats offer massage and climatizing, depending on your needs and the ambient temperature. Middle-row seats are equipped with captain’s chairs, but if you need to transport up to eight people, the captain’s chairs can be replaced with a bench seat at no charge.

escalade touchscreen
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade touchscreen display.

Our Platinum Luxury version included a semi-aniline leather interior and a 36-speaker (!) AKG stereo system. Soft closed doors protected our sensitive ears from the sudden jolt of a door slam, while adaptive cruise control, automatic reverse braking and Magnetic Ride Control with Air Suspension helped to soften the ride and protect the passengers inside.

Magic Carpet Ride!

interior cadillac second row
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade 2nd row.

That’s exactly what it feels like in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum model. We can’t get that Steppenwolf song out of our head now, damn it! But crank up the 36 speakers from the AKG audio system. It will be good for you!

Behind the wheel, you’ll feel like you are in the cab of a big rig because in all actuality, you are. Thankfully this feels nicer than a Peterbilt or a Kenworth. Power from the big 6.2-liter V8 is satisfying, especially when you consider the Escalade is tipping the scales at over 5,600 pounds. That’s almost three-tons of fun!

backseats cadillac
The three rows of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

The Escalade’s new infotainment system with the 38-inch display is certainly impressive, with its directions that overlay on a live camera feed of the road ahead. It’s just the thing to keep you heading in the right direction. Which, after all, is the goal of life in the first place.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is on sale now.

Our sincere thanks to Paul Barth and Camera Copters for the assistance in making these photos. He is the best in the business for Aerial Cinematography piloting a variety of platforms. You’ve seen his work on Television and in Film. You just might not have realized it!

Mattel’s Matchbox Car brand goes green

Mattel’s Matchbox Car brand goes green

The maker of World-famous Matchbox Cars strive to use 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all Cars, Playsets and Packaging by 2030
 

The world’s largest maker of small (tiny) cars, Mattel announced their new program “Drive Toward a Better Future,” along with a product roadmap to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic by 2030. The new program coincides with Mattel’s goal to utilize 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all its product and packaging lines by 2030. We’re guessing Barbie will begin wearing her dresses more than once now.

Girl with Matchbox Tesla
A new Matchbox fan holds the Tesla Roadster.

First up: Matchbox Cars Tesla Roadster

The first Matchbox Car to be released by Mattel is a Tesla Roadster. It’s the perfect vehicle in the sense it is made from 99% recycled materials and according to the company, “certified CarbonNeutral.” The Matchbox Tesla Roadster will be available beginning in 2022.

The reimagined broader Matchbox brand will feature new product lines and packaging that will include:

  • More environmentally friendly and innovative materials across vehicles, playsets and packaging
  • Enhanced consumer recycling through product design and packaging labeling
  • The company will talk the talk and walk the walk by offering more e-vehicle models and electric chargers in Matchbox fuel station playsets.

Mattel and Matchbox Cars has a Car Czar

“Since the inception of the modern-day die-cast car nearly 70 years ago, Matchbox has been using design and innovation to connect kids with the real world around them through play,” said Roberto Stanichi, Global Head of Vehicles at Mattel. “Matchbox is committing to using 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials to do our part in addressing the environmental issues we face today, and empower the next generation of Matchbox fans to help steer us towards a sustainable future,” said the Matchbox and Hot Wheels Car Czar.

If it wasn’t for a Matchbox set gifted to me by my Grandmother, I might have gone on to a legal or medical career rather than one that puts me in touch with a wide variety of vehicles to this day. Mark Elias Media Services would only be a dream!

Matchbox Gas Station
Matchbox Gas Station Playset.

Matchbox fans will immediately notice the commitment through zero-plastic packaging using paper and wood fiber materials, on shelves now. The first die-cast vehicle to have zero-plastic packaging includes the popular Matchbox Power Grabs® assortment featuring a variety of licensed and original 1:64 scale Matchbox die-cast vehicles, while an EV-themed five-pack is now available with a paper foam inner tray.

Zero-plastic packaging

Matchbox Cars electric models
Matchbox Cars electric models.

In addition to its use of zero-plastic packaging, Matchbox is promoting proper recycling and waste recovery. Designed for recyclability with recyclable parts, electronics in playsets are consolidated into a single, easily removable module to help make the local e-waste recycling process easier. Matchbox is also exploring ways to reduce energy use, carbon emissions and waste in operations, while delivering the same standard of excellence across Matchbox products.

For more information on Matchbox sustainability commitments, you can visit:  http://www.matchbox.com/sustainability/

*The Matchbox Tesla Roadsters have been certified CarbonNeutral® by Natural Capital Partners with carbon offset credits going towards preserving grasslands in Colorado and Montana.

Roguish behavior: The 2021 Nissan Rogue

Roguish behavior: The 2021 Nissan Rogue

It’s one of Nissan’s most important vehicles. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the long-overdue replacement for this best-seller, and with the competition that exists in the segment, Nissan couldn’t afford another swing and a miss. As a prime vehicle in the super-competitive compact crossover SUV range, it needs to bring its A-game every time. Did they do that with the 2021 Rogue? Follow along as Mark Elias Media Services takes a look.

Nissan Rogue right side
The 2021 Nissan Rogue at the Lake Worth Lagoon.

What’s the Nissan Rogue got? Where’s it going?

The all-new 2021 Rogue takes a more grown-up approach to the compact crossover segment. Gone are the cutesy-curvy front end. Instead, Nissan has pulled out all the stops because, well, there is no crying in baseball.

The new 2021 Nissan Rogue is a four-door, five-passenger hatchback compact crossover utility vehicle. That’s a damn mouthful when it comes to describing the Rogue. It fits between the Nissan Kicks and the Nissan Murano. Segment-wise, it competes against such establishment stalwarts as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan.

2.5-liter engine
The 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder powering the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

The new Rogue is motivated by Nissan’s bread and butter 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine that now produces 181 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm. That’s an 11 horsepower increase and six lb-ft of torque. It’s not an incredible increase, but it is sufficient to give a substantial boost over the previous version. There’s also talk from Nissan of an upcoming turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine as an alternative, but no intro date has been discussed.

drivers side
From the Driver’s side: the 2021 Nissan Rogue interior.

The Rogue is available with front or all-wheel-drive using Nissan’s proven continually variable transmission (CVT), which has been tweaked, making it both livelier in the performance category and more stingy when it comes to fuel economy. The AWD system includes a central hydraulic clutch that accelerates power delivery as needed to the rear wheels for a torque-vectoring effect. There are five driver-selectable modes, including Standard, Eco, Sport, Off-road and Snow, that will allow the Rogue to take you almost everywhere.

But how does it look?

Nissan front
Nearly head-on: the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

In a phrase, the Nissan Rogue appears “grown-up.” Featuring a block-like aesthetic, the Rogue features the “two-box” arrangement that makes good use of the Nissan V-Motion grille and floating roof. More upright than before, it still has a certain sleekness that is helped by active grille shutters, front air curtains and flush underbody panels that help trim up the air channeling underneath the vehicle. They all do their part to lower the Rogue’s drag coefficient, improving it by five percent.

The front of the Rogue can be a bit deceiving. Let us explain: The “cool-looking” lights at the point where the hood and fenders come together are not the headlights at all. Instead, they are the daylight runners. What looks like turn indicators are the actual headlights just below. Crazy, those Nissan designers are.

What about inside the Rogue?

Zero Gravity
The 2021 Nissan Rogue’s Zero Gravity seats.

We’re in outer space! At least that’s how we feel with the NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats in the Rogue. Comfortable and supportive, they allowed us to travel for a while without fatigue. The backseat area has grown to include a few more inches of knee and headroom. The electronic gearshift lever has opened up more space underneath, allowing storage for sunglasses, phone cords and other personal effects. Finally, the cupholders at each door of the Rogue can now accommodate large 32-oz. bottles.  We see a lot of bathroom stops in your family’s future.

The new Rogue is flush with desirable features from the S model with premium cloth interior to its Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped 8-inch touchscreen. Step above to the Rogue SV with an 8-way power seat, surround-view camera, NissanConnect remote services, 6-speaker audio system and in-car Wi-Fi.

Nissan’s ProPilot Assist with adaptive cruise control lane keep assist is available on the Rogue SL and standard on the Rogue Platinum. The Rogue’s key safety features include;

  • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode.

Finally, new for 2021, the Nissan Rogue Platinum is equipped with premium features like quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch digital display, a nine-inch touchscreen with navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Qi phone charging.

All-wheel-drive is available on any Rogue trim level for a reasonable $1,400.

Is the new Rogue right for me?

The new 2021 Nissan Rogue gets the ball rolling again following a long period of dormancy. We have always been fans of the brand, and hated to see it languish while other manufacturers pressed on. With the appearance of the new Rogue, it is clear a new captain is steering the ship. The Rogue is evidence of smooth sailing ahead.

2021 Nissan Rogue

Words and Photos by Mark Elias

2021 Nissan Rogue Specifications and Photo Gallery

 2021 Nissan Rogue
Popular Powertrains 
Engine2.5-liter inline-4
Horsepower181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque181 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
TransmissionCVT
Fuel Economy28mpg (25city, 32 hwy)
Also AvailableAWD, 1.5 Turbo 3-cyl
Specs 
Warranty3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty5 years or 60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating4-star
Max Seating Capacity5
Wheelbase106.5 inches
Overall Length 183 inches
Width72.4 inches
Height 66.5 inches
Turning Diameter35.4 inches
Headroom, Front 41.1 feet
Headroom, Rear 39.2 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches
Legroom, Rear38.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume105.4 inches
Cargo Capacity (2nd row/1st row) 36.5/74.1 cu. ft.