Tag: Nissan

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.
2022 Infiniti QX55 First Drive Experience

2022 Infiniti QX55 First Drive Experience

The Infiniti lineup has been substantially overdue for a product portfolio refresh. With that in mind, the 2022 Infiniti QX55 was the right vehicle to get the ball rolling. The company introduced their new fastback crossover SUV with a staggered mid-pandemic launch that was both innovative, and at times, tedious. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

In the case of the 2022 Infiniti QX55, reacting in desperation sometimes leads to a masterstroke. Read on as we take a look at this new coupe’-style four-door fastback CUV. We think you’ll like what you see.

Infiniti QX55
The new Infiniti at North Palm Beach Marina.

What moves the 2022 Infiniti QX55?

The Infiniti QX55 is the first Japanese-designed sportback CUV available in North America. Using baasic bones found on the QX50, Infiniti created a design that was pioneered by German automakers and now adopted by others, including the Brits and mid-continent Europeans, it offers a stylish rear hatchback body with four-doors and room for five passengers. Its target audience is younger city dwellers desiring sports car styling with carry-all capabilities. The Infiniti QX55 is manufactured in Mexico.

the 2022 Infiniti QX55 engine
The 2.0-liter VC Turbo inline-4 cylinder engine.

Our slate gray launch vehicle is available with only one engine option. But it is a good one. The award-winning Infiniti 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine delivers 268 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400-4,800 rpm. Its innovation is in its name: VC stands for variable-compression, and this engine seamlessly alters its compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1 for improved power and efficiency as necessary. A patented multilink system can vary the piston’s stroke, based on the driver’s needs at any moment. It is mounted within the engine room via an active torque rod mount to dampen any extraneous vibrations from finding their way into the QX55 interior. According to Infiniti, it is the world’s first production variable-compression turbocharged engine.

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

The torque from the 2.0-liter finds its way to the pavement via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shift levers. Regardless of the trim level you select, your QX55 will be equipped with Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system. This “smart” AWD is designed to send up to 50-percent of the available torque to the rear wheels when sensors determine that better grip is needed. The system offers grip on low-friction surfaces or during takeoff. It can also be set to drive the front wheels only.

QX from the Side
The QX55 in profile.

Helping to drive our QX was Infiniti’s optional Direct Adaptive Steering that, through sensors, helps to optimize the steering feel. With this system, the driver can personalize steering modes with a specific feel for each driving style. The system works on an active basis, changing at various speeds for specific maneuverability.

The QX55 uses Active Brake Limited Slip systems to brake individual wheels for better grip but to engage Active Trace Control to brake inside wheels at entry, mid-corner or exit. Think of it as brake-based torque vectoring.

An Infiniti QX55 walkaround.

Origami grille
The origami grille found on the new Infiniti QX55.

Sure the trademarked Infiniti grille is here, looking more spectacular than ever thanks to the ribbon-like detail work that forms the origami-inspired double-arch grille. But something else makes the QX55 stand out: The roofline. Infiniti chief designer Taisuke Nakamura said, “with its unmistakable bold presence and uncompromised looks, thanks to its dramatic roofline, the QX55 is a beacon for style among Infiniti crossovers.”

And it did attract attention. We at Mark Elias Media were surprised at the number of people who approached us to ask about it. What surprised us more were those who actually knew the QX55 was soon to be introduced.

QX55 Monaco red
Zero Gravity seats in Monaco Red.

Inside this new Infiniti, we found a lot to like. Starting with the layout of controls in the driver-oriented cabin. The first thing we notice is the blindingly bright Monaco red interior covering the Infiniti “Zero-Gravity” seats. We like them more than any other for their comfort and fatigue-fighting design.

Trim enhancements in our demonstrator included aluminum bits throughout. They combined with dark maple open-pore wood trim to offer a spectacular counterpoint to the red leather. It’s music to the eyes. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make their way into the Infiniti QX55, allowing the driver to go hand and cable-free.

Music to the ears comes from the Bose Performance Series audio system with 16-speakers. Using Bose’s Centerpoint 2 Technology, the system automatically converts two-channel stereo sound into a surround-sound listening session using software to restore previously compressed digital music. The musical building blocks can be restored to a full concert hall-like experience using advanced digital signal processing.

interior QX
The QX55 Interior.

The second row of the QX55 is no slouch either. Moveable rear seating slides forward or backward up to six inches for more legroom or more cargo room. Speaking of cargo area, there are 26.9 cubic feet of it behind the rear seat. Tumble the second-row seats forward and that area jumps to 54.1 cubic feet.

Behind the wheel of the QX55.

Our QX55 was eager to please thanks to the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the ‘55’s all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration was brisk but was kept out of the cabin thanks to the acoustic glass featured throughout. The glass received an assist from the specially-stamped floor pans designed to work like baffles in a recording studio, eliminating reverberation through asynchronous harmonics.

Our slate gray example included the available ProPILOT Assist that helps control the QX55 via steering, acceleration, braking and lane-centering features. It’s a step towards autonomous driving but requires a set of hands on the wheel, which tends to cause the fatigue that the assist is supposed to eliminate.

The new Infiniti QX55 offers a refined and engaging look at the future of Infiniti. Our time was brief with this new Slate Gray sled but we eagerly await our next go-round but as the Kinks used to sing, Yeah, you really got me going.

How much will the Infiniti QX55 cost?

Base MSRP for the 2022 Infiniti QX55 is $46,500, rising to $57,050.

2018 Nissan Leaf EV First Drive.

2018 Nissan Leaf EV First Drive.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is the latest edition of the brand’s all-electric mobility solution. Improved in almost every way, it has turned the corner, away from the awkward looks of its predecessor, to a style resembling other vehicles in the Nissan lineup. Along the way, it receives a lot more content for a lot less money.

And lest you think Nissan is a relative newcomer to the electrification game, think again: The brand introduced its first electric vehicle more than 70-years ago with the 1947 Tama EV, which was built by Tokyo Electro Automobile Company, which was later to become part of the Nissan corporate umbrella.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf features a look that brings it more in line with the internal combustion engine side of the family, even going so far as to incorporate the floating roof of its big-brother Nissan Murano. The V-Motion grille is also along for the ride and a new revised charging port appears directly above the company logo, which requires less effort and bending to plug in the charging cords. We photographed it in the Napa Valley and at Trefethen Family Vineyards.

Three-Legged Stool.

Along with the new 2018 Nissan Leaf, the company introduced its new Intelligent Mobility initiative. Built like a three-legged stool, it is comprised of Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Power and Intelligent Integration. It’s the next step towards autonomous driving, at least as far as Nissan is concerned. To that end, they have introduced a lot of innovation that along the way makes way for a surprising amount of driving fun. That’s a big deal for us to say as we have found totally electric vehicles generally less than engaging.

Intelligent Driving.

The triumvirate starts with Intelligent Driving. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist offers a hands-on driver assistance function that tracks highway lines to assist in keeping the Leaf within its lanes. Combined with adaptive cruise control, the system uses cameras and works best on a limited access highway. It helps to make lane keeping a less fatiguing task, thanks to torque generating sensors that check the positions of the vehicle within the lines or when making lane changes. Hands ARE required, otherwise an alert will subtly remind you to replace them on the tiller. Failure to do so results in a visual, dashboard-based alert, followed by an annoying fast beep that will have your hands back on the wheel in no time.

Also a part of the Intelligent Driving suite, the Leaf’s e-Pedal simplifies driving controls to a single pedal although the brake pedal remains. With the e-Pedal, control is placed in the accelerator only, which delivers power while being pressed by the foot, and conversely offering braking when the accelerator is released, bringing the vehicle to a slowdown and complete stop depending on speed and following distance. Similar to the operations seen in the Chevrolet Bolt EV, it makes the operations in the Leaf more satisfying and engaging. A multi-function pedal, engaged by flicking a switch on the center console, it is capable of accelerating, decelerating, stopping and holding the Leaf on grades up to 30-percent. Along the way, it can also use regenerative and friction braking to send power back to the battery, which in turn helps extend the range of the vehicle. When it feels the e-Pedal feels won’t do the job, the standard brake pedal is still there for the driver to apply full braking pressure.

Intelligent Power.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

Power for the 2018 Nissan Leaf comes from a new electric motor making 110 kW, a 37-percent kick in the pants, going from 107- to 147 horsepower. Torque has improved from 187 to 236 lb-ft of torque, a gain of 26-percent. Both help to present instantaneous torque and more than enough power to safely merge onto high-speed motorways.

The Leaf’s battery pack is larger, climbing from 30kW to 40kW. That’s a 33-percent increase in power from a series of battery cells that fit the same footprint. The range has increased, give or take a few miles depending on driving style and power regeneration, but with an expected range of 150-miles, it sits within a white space that Nissan says is not currently being served. The battery cells sit under the front and back seats, just as they did on the previous version. Charging is improved, with a portable Level 1 and Level 2 charging cable included. It supports 240 and 120 volt charging and no longer requires a 240 charger hard-wired into the garage. Using a DC Quick Charger, an 80-percent charge, good for approximately 105 miles, can be had in 40 minutes. A Level 2 charger can do the same task in 7.5-hours while the Level 1 120V charger can do the job in about 35 hours.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

Inside, the Leaf features three grades of interior ranging from fabric to leather-faced seating. A seven-inch display helps to control nearly every aspect of the car, including the navigation and Bose premium audio system. The Leaf provides a comfortable ride with a couple of caveats: The steering wheel does not telescope which might make for a difficult driving position for some bodies, and the center console only sports a single USB port. With most Leaf buyers, and their friends, likely to be tech-geeks, there is a good chance of charge-port wars breaking out.

From the standpoint of competitors, the 2018 Leaf goes up against the Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai’s Ionic Electric, Volkswagen’s E-Golf, the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Intelligent Integration.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

The 2018 Nissan Leaf takes a full buy-in on the concept of connected car. Nissan Connect with Navigation is front and center, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration is included. From a safety standpoint, Standard Automatic Emergency Braking, and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection are now part of the suite.

NissanConnect EVs and Services incorporates features from the smartphone app that includes Find My Car, Cool My Car, a customizable dashboard and remote door lock and unlock. Amazon’s Alexa is part of the effort and includes such functions as saying “Alexa, cool my car or set the radio to Sirius Outlaw Country.”

A Value Proposition.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf plays the added-value game, being loaded with a lot more content for a lot less money. Available in three levels ranging from base model S at $29,990, it features $4,500 more content for $690 less dollars (2.2-percent decrease). The mid-ranged Leaf SV includes an extra $5,000 in content and a price reduction of $1,710 (5-percent decrease) starting at $32,490. Finally, the top-shelf Leaf SL that we sampled on the roads around California’s Napa Valley, arrive with an additional $6,783 in value and a 1.6-percent price reduction to $35,200.

Behind the Wheel.

Our previous ride in the 2014 Nissan Leaf, had us in a mood that can be summed up as anxious. Anxious because of the limited range of +/- 87 miles per charge; it had us driving with one eye on the road and the other on the power meter. We needed a shower when finished.

What a difference a few years makes. We found the 2018 Leaf more elegantly refined over its predecessor, offering an inviting interior that didn’t dwell so much on the electrification of the car as much as the enjoyment of the ride.

Acceleration rivaled a high-performance hot-rod, without the Brrrrrrrrrrrp from the tailpipes, because truthfully there are none. Instead, think of it as a slot car without the slot. There’s no gas cap either. Just some subtle blue badging to let you know that this is an e-vehicle.

In standard mode the Leaf is very car-like with a ride that is less artificial than the previous version. But our real joy happened while driving in the e-Pedal mode, which applied the brakes as soon as the accelerator is released. Truly engaging and exciting, it turned out to be our favorite available driving style.

The new Leaf is the perfect car for those needing more than an around town cruiser, but not as much as a higher mileage Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt EV. It bridges the gap between both realms, but if you need even more, sit tight until 2019, when Nissan announced they will bring a Leaf with battery range that reaches over 200 miles.

2017 Nissan Leaf

Story and photos © by Mark Elias

Leaf S $29,990

Leaf SV $32,490

Leaf SL $36,200

 

Configuration: Five Passenger, four door midsize hatchback.

Power:           147-horsepower electric motor

Torque:         236 lb-ft

Charging:     220V-7.5 hours

110V-35 hours

Range:          150 miles

Battery:        40kWh Lithium-Ion battery. 192 cells.

Drive:           Front Wheel Drive

Transmission: Single Speed Reducer

Drive Mode: Normal

Eco-Mode

B-Mode

Wheelbase:   106.3-inches

Length:          176.4-inches

Width:            70.5-inches

Height:          61.4-inches

Ground Clearance: 5.9-inches

Curb Weight: 4,453 pounds

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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport – First Drive

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport – First Drive

NissanUSA’s headquarter city of Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Official estimates state that around 85 and as many as 100 new residents move to the city each day. Many of them will become urban dwellers, and Nissan thinks they are the perfect customers for the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport in Nashville.

Billed as a “right-sized” vehicle for Millennials and others, they may be on to something. The newest member of the Nissan Rogue family, the Rogue Sport joins its slightly larger sibling in a quest for total CUV world domination. With sales figures otherwise starting to slump, the Rogue family is a bright spot in the lineup with sales of 27,400 units, which was an increase of 18-percent in April 2017, alone.

Built for City Service.

The five-passenger Rogue Sport shares a platform with its larger garage mate, although it now rides lower, has a 2.3 inch-shorter wheelbase, and 12.1-inch less overall length than its big brother Rogue. The net result is a vehicle that is easier to move, maneuver, and park within a city center than many other CUVs in service today.

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is available in three trim levels ranging from base S, mid-level SV and top-shelf SL trims. All of the vehicles made available to us by Nissan were of the SL variant, which is what we will base our report on. Likely competition will come from the Honda C-RV, Chevrolet Trax and Mazda CX3.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that utilizes direct-injection to feed the four pots in the mill. This small-but-somewhat-mighty four banger produces 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission that is also equipped with a standard Eco Mode option for increased fuel economy.

Nissan Rogue Sport’s 2.0-liter engine.

In its standard configuration, the Rogue Sport is equipped as a front wheel drive (FWD) vehicle. Buyers in the Snowbelt regions can opt for Nissan’s intuitive all-wheel drive system (AWD), which provides an all-wheel-drive bias at launch, which then reverts back towards the front wheels, again in an effort to save fuel. This compact CUV rides on a MacPherson-style independent front suspension and a multilink independent rear kit equipped with a 19mm stabilizer bar.

My SL tester was equipped with nearly every available item included in Nissan’s Platinum package. That’s in addition to heated seatbacks, 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated outside mirrors, seats and steering wheel and leather wrapped shift knob. Available safety features included blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, and prevention, intelligent cruise control and forward emergency braking with pedestrian protection.

Interior decorating.

Smartly appointed inside, the Rogue Sport featured a new “only as needed” interior design that was spacious and efficient at the same time. Featuring nothing truly frivolous, it seemed that everything was in its place and within a short arm’s length reach of the driver’s seat. We quickly found comfort in the six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and thought the rear seat offered adequate legroom, if even for just a short while. Fold the rear seats down and you will quickly realize up to 61.1-cubic feet of storage space.

The Nissan Rogue Sport’s Interior.

Our SL variant was zooted out with everything from leather seating to a sunroof and six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM audio system. With more cars opting for larger screens, we felt the 5.0-inch color display monitor that also serves to show the available Around View Monitoring system with Moving Object Detection, was just a touch on the smallish side. While not featuring Apple CarPlay, our Rogue Sport was equipped with Siri Eyes Free, which we think of as the next best thing.

But not all was perfect inside. We would deduct a couple of points for the low-powered (1mA) single USB connection at the base of the center stack, seeing that the first move most people make after buckling up is to plug in their phone charging cable. If the driver gets first dibs, the rest of the passengers are all odd men- or women out. Even then, and owing to the low amperage rating of the USB port, the amount of charge realized may be very low. In other words, it takes longer than usual to charge an iPhone battery. As always, YMMV.

Drivetime.

Ergonomically speaking, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport fit drivers ranging from a big guy and a small girl to everything else in between. Power was adequate for most urban driving situations, which saw us stop and start with such frequency we felt we were delivering the US Mail. We can see most buyers will be urban dwellers, and this is where the safety features of the Rogue Sport will really shine, especially some of those like the Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian detection.

Rogue Sport in the City

Acceleration was adequate in the sense that everyone buying the Sport knows it’s not a speed demon. Instead like a Slo-Poke All-Day Sucker, it’s an all-day steady cruiser that offered good road feel while negotiating both city and country drives. In highway situations, even with the low-profile sport tires, I felt the ride of the Rogue Sport displayed extreme poise, while offering little in the way of road noise-a feature that really surprised me. So quiet on the highway, we only heard the engine and the CVT transmission when we kicked it down a notch to pass slower moving traffic. Nissan officials tell us the ride becomes even quieter with the taller sidewalls of the 17-inch wheels.

Don’t even think of doing any serious off-roading in the Nissan Rogue Sport. It’s just not that kind of beast. Instead figure it will do everything to take you through the urban jungle and back. And that’s just what most people want in a compact CUV these days.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

Story and Photos by Mark Elias. Additional Photos by Nissan USA.

Rogue Sport S FWD $21,420 USD
Rogue Sport SV FWD $23,020 USD
Rogue Sport SL FWD $26,070 USD
Rogue Sport S AWD $22,770 USD
Rogue Sport SV AWD $24,370 USD
Rogue Sport SL AWD $27,420 USD
   

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    I-4

Displacement:                            2.0-liter

Power:                                          141 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque:                                         147 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Fuel System:                                Petrol Direct Injection

Fuel:                                               Regular

Drive Type                                    FWD or available All-Wheel-Drive

Gearbox:                                       Xtronic With Eco Mode Switch

Tire Size:                                       19-inch

Length:                                          172.4-inches

Width:                                           72.3-inches

Height:                                          63.3-inches

Wheelbase:                                   104.2-inches

 

AWD                  FWD

City:                                             24                        25

Highway:                                    30                        32

Combined:                                  27                        28

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Nissan USA’s Nashville Skyline Revisited.

Nissan USA’s Nashville Skyline Revisited.

Whenever we receive an invitation to see Nissan USA’s headquarters, it’s rare the invite is refused. That’s because the company HQ just happens to be near one of the most exciting cities in America, Nashville, Tennessee. That it was to test-drive the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is just icing on the cake. Nashville is the home of Country music, which despite the current fascination with the “Bro-Country” genre, is definitely not lost on me, so naturally, there was just no way I was going to miss this excursion.

Sure, I own a pair of Justin boots that don’t get nearly as much wear, as they should. I also own a Stetson hat but don’t even go there. Hats, and my diabolically shaped head don’t play well together. So, while the Stetson cooled itself in my closet back home, my Justin’s made it through the TSA checkpoint just fine.

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport at Nissan Headquarters in Franklin, TN.

The 2017 Rogue Sport is the newest family member of the best-selling model in the Nissan lineup, and this continuation looks to be right in line to continue the CUV’s good fortune. With seating for five, it should be just the thing for urban-dwelling millennials to haul around close friends and their stuff.

Landing at Nashville International Airport was a familiar beginning to an adventure that started with a troubadour playing classic country right outside Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge airport outlet. Shortly thereafter, a greeter from Nissan and Prestige Auto Specialists was whisking us away to our hotel in Nashville’s “Gulch” that was formerly a Louisville & Nashville Railroad freight yard in another life. Now a hipster haven, it is home to artist’s lofts, galleries, excellent restaurants, whiskey tasting rooms, music venues and even a few progressive recording studios.

But the one thing we did notice was a considerable downturn in the boot-wearing population. Normal kicks seem to be the order of the day, and despite the image of a rhinestone cowboy dancing around in your head, there was no hint of a Nudie suit to be seen anywhere.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans with the Sons of the Pioneers in their Nudie Suits.

With those thoughts in mind, Nissan took us on a deep dive, which included visits to microbreweries, visual art museums, artist workshops, artisan chocolatiers, and recording studios that favor new alternative artists including one actually owned by one of the most prolific alt-rockers of this age. Although we missed seeing him in person, we spent several evenings at Jack White’s Third Man Records studio, checking out new era vinyl and one very old do-it-yourself recording booth as used by Neil Young on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Venture over to East Nashville for a taste of the up and coming, which will satiate the eyes and the stomach. They include incredible street art curated by the Nashville Walls project. Co-founder Éva Boros described a life of eating Ramen in the rain, before finding her calling in Nashville’s art world. The result is now some of the most incredible mural designs on earth by artists such as Banksy and Nathan Brown.

Third Man is a crossroads where classic country, alt-rock, shredding and other styles of music intersect and the result couldn’t be any better. Founded by the leader of the White Stripes and Raconteurs, not to mention numerous other music projects, it has been the scene of groundbreaking recordings such as Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose album as well as the studios where chanteuse Margo Price cut her latest. The gift shop is well stocked with vinyl from the Third Man catalog as well as anything else a JW fan could want.

Jack White’s Third Man Records.

Owners of Nashville’s Native Magazine told of the city’s burgeoning art, food, and fashion scenes, which show no signs of letting up. With upwards of 85 new residents moving to the Music City each day, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is clear why there is a building boom going on downtown, as evidenced by the abundance of towering construction cranes along downtown’s skyline.

Inside the studio’s Blue Room which does double and triple duty as a dining room, soundstage or photo studio, performers like the Paul McDonald Band showed how being second or third place on American Idol can actually make you a winner everywhere else. Alternative rockers The Roosevelts showed great songwriting skills, not to mention some righteous beards during their set.

Nashville has been through more than a few changes since the Grand Ole Opry was founded in 1925. Opry show runner George D. Hay has more than likely turned a few RPMs in his grave as a result.

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