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2021 Nissan Rogue Performance

#5 out of 16 in Compact SUVs

U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Nissan Rogue Performance Review


Performance: 6.4

The 2021 Nissan Rogue delivers good handling and impressive fuel economy, but its powertrain can feel weak and unrefined.

  • "In fact, the smooth ride quality, minimal cabin noise, and an attentive CVT connected to all four wheels presented a satisfying driving experience. The new Rogue's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine … may not seem like much to work with, but the Rogue exceeded my initial expectations." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The engine itself may be pretty mediocre, but overall, the Rogue drives with confidence and composure." -- CNET
  • "The all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue is its best driving to date and is especially impressive if you prioritize plushness as much as you do practicality. Yet Nissan has also enabled the Rogue to feel a bit more athletic, aided by a multilink rear suspension. It doesn’t exactly beg to be thrown into corners, but the new Rogue will tolerate such enthusiasm." -- Kelley Blue Book

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)

The Nissan Rogue’s powertrain provides mediocre acceleration from a stop, and it's even less impressive as you try to get up to higher speeds. Under hard throttle, the transmission can be loud, but it otherwise operates smoothly.

  • "The weak link is the Rogue's powertrain. At our test track, our all-wheel-drive Rogue test vehicle accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, which is an average time for a small SUV with a base engine. But in everyday driving the Rogue just seems lazy. Pushing the gas pedal past halfway doesn't result in any appreciable power. Highway passes require planning well ahead." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.5-liter engine is smooth, providing adequate, unobtrusive power. But it doesn’t feel particularly eager. You need to tip into the revs to really wake up the engine. The CVT mimics how a traditional automatic transmission shifts." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Like past Nissan Rogue models, power is competent enough. … The Rogue’s latest CVT only makes itself known as one under hard acceleration, in which it can drone. Otherwise, it’s a smooth operator that does a fine job mimicking a traditional automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book

MPG Estimates

The 2021 Rogue returns some of the best fuel economy estimates in the compact SUV class.

  • Rogue S, FWD: 27/35 mpg city/highway
  • Rogue SV, SL, and Platinum, FWD: 26/34 mpg
  • Rogue S, AWD: 26/33 mpg
  • Rogue SV, SL, and Platinum, AWD: 25/32 mpg

Handling and Braking

The Rogue offers a smooth ride and composed handling. It isn't the most athletic vehicle in the class, but most critics think it's above average.

  • "You can feel the improvements to the chassis right away. It feels rigid and never creaks or quivers. The car has above average agility going through the corners and reasonable body control levels. From a driving dynamics point of view, it exceeded expectations. … And while this Rogue offers nice handling, the ride proved a bit bouncy, though not harsh." -- Autoweek
  • "The Rogue’s new multi-link rear suspension adds to its smoothness and even lets it tolerate some enthusiasm for corners." -- Autotrader
  • "Conquering twisty roads is not the Rogue's forte, but there aren't really any compact crossovers that get the pulse racing. This one at least handles better than the class norms dictate, with good body control and direct steering." -- Car and Driver
U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Nissan Rogue

MSRP: $25,650 - $36,830

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