The 2014 Nissan Rogue compact crossover, unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show this week, switches to partner Renault's Megane platform and will be offered in two- or three-row seating configurations. Since the first-generation Rogue went on sale as a 2008 version, the three-row version Toyota RAV4 has come and gone, so the option seems a bit ill-timed for a segment which the RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape dominate.
The seven-passenger, three-row version could be a popular configuration in Europe, however, where the new Rogue will be called the Xtrail. And it probably won't matter much when the Nissan Rogue, the brand's second-bestseller, goes on sale in the U.S., probably by the end of this year. Nissan North America is emphasizing the two-row version of the new Rogue, which features a divide-and-hide cargo system with a two-part cargo cover and nine different configurations.
The second-generation Rogue will be built in North America, first time with this model, which has been second only to the Altima in U.S. Nissan sales. Sales through August total 113,316 units, 16-percent higher than the first eight months of 2012. The new model, as either Rogue or Xtrail, will be available in more than 190 markets worldwide.
The new Rogue is more upscale than its predecessor and looks a bit bigger, although it's actually 0.8 inches shorter in overall length, though cargo capacity is up.
LED taillamps, leather-covered seats and an eight-speaker Bose stereo are optional, and a hands-free Bluetooth system is standard, as is a seven-inch center screen with optional navigation. It will have Internet and iPhone or Android connectivity. Nissan's signature surprise-and-delight around-view monitor also will be an option.
There are wider-opening rear doors, an aluminum hood and an underbody spoiler. Nissan claims the new Rogue's optional panoramic roof is largest in the segment, and it claims a 0.33 coefficient of drag. The Rogue also gets "anti-gravity" seats, like the Altima. The second row reclines and adjusts fore and aft.
The European Nissan Xtrail will be available with 1.6L and 2.0L turbodiesels, of course, while the North American Rogue will come with one powertrain, the 170-hp, 175 lb-ft., 2.5L gas four, with a continuously variable transmission. Nissan says it will have an EPA highway mileage number of 33 mpg. The new Rogue shows how serious Nissan is about keeping, and even increasing, its share of possibly the hottest segment in the North American market.