Last year, Nissan announced that it would be introducing five new models over the next 15 months. Since then, we have seen the 2013 Altima midsized sedan, the 2013 Sentra compact sedan, the 2013 Pathfinder three-row crossover, and the 2014 Versa Note subcompact. With one month to go, last, but not least, will be the 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover, which our spy photographers recently caught testing in the desert.
Although you can’t see much through the disguise, the new Rogue seems to take its inspiration from the Hi-Cross concept that was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012. Nissan’s corporate grille design is visible up front and the basic shape is reminiscent of the Pathfinder.
Not much else is known about the mechanical details of the 2014 Rogue, but don’t expect a huge departure from the current model, which was introduced as a 2008 model and has soldiered on with only minor changes since then. If Nissan’s current trends are any indication, the Rogue should continue to be powered by a four-cylinder engine matched to a CVT. The 2013 Rogue is based on the Sentra’s platform and is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder producing 170 hp routed through a CVT to either the front or all four wheels.
The Rogue is an important model for Nissan, as it is the company’s second-best-selling model year-to-date—behind the Altima—in 2013, despite its age. The compact crossover segment is a hot one and the new Rogue will have to step up to compete with the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5, all of which have been redesigned or introduced within the past year. The Altima, Sentra, and Versa Note also each have impressive fuel economy ratings, so it’s likely that Nissan will be shooting to match or beat the current class leader, the front-wheel-drive CX-5 Sport that’s rated at 26/35 mpg city/highway with a six-speed manual and 26/32 mpg with the optional six-speed automatic.
If Nissan’s 15 month deadline can be trusted, the 2014 Nissan Rogue should be revealed sometime in July.