As I bit down into a quesadilla, a stray thought wandered across my prefrontal cortex: The Nissan Rogue crossover that everyone keeps buying is pretty good. It’s spacious, well-appointed, and offers enough unexpected features to fill a Costco-sized shopping cart, from available semi-aniline leather to an infotainment system that supports FLAC files. Hell, judging by year-to-date sales figures, Nissan sells a Rogue in America every one minute and 18 seconds. So why had I forgotten about it despite the Rogue being the best-selling Nissan in America and Canada? Is it because I don’t see many in my local area, or does every compact crossover have its Warhol moment before being swept under the rug for something with a bigger grille and more ambient lighting? Something tells me the answer won’t fit on a postcard. Regardless, the current Nissan Rogue is looking for another turn in the news cycle, because the 2024 model gets a light facelift and a prescribed injection of available tech. Given how popular these cars are, shall we see what’s new?
Up front, the 2024 Nissan Rogue gets a new grille bountiful in horizontal slats. Does it look a bit like orthodontic gear? Sure, but it’s not quite as weird as the lines on the bumper that stretch down from the headlamp cluster bezels and just die when they meet a massive slab of lower valence trim. Yeah, this face will take getting used to.
Around the back, Nissan’s taken away the hardwearing unpainted plastic that previously stretched up to the load lip, replacing it with sleeker-looking but more scratch-prone painted surfacing that seems to take an unorthodox three-piece design. We’ll have to see the new Rogue in person to discern whether or not the center section of the rear bumper is truly separate, but modular construction could have potential collision repair benefits, an intriguing proposition to those with street parking.
Minor styling tweaks aside, the big story is a massive tech upgrade for 2024. The Rogue already had one of the best optional digital clusters in the segment, but the infotainment on pre-facelift models is rather barebones, with the UI sophistication of an off-brand tablet. For most customers used to just plugging their phones in and using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it was perfectly fine, but Nissan needed a new infotainment system for the electric age and it just so happens to debut in an entirely gasoline-powered crossover.
Powered by Google built-in, this largely tile-based infotainment system makes its future ambitions known in a press photo highlighting available apps. You won’t need Plugshare, an app for EV public charging system locating and rating, in a Rogue, but you might want it in an EV. Then again, all these downloadable apps suggest the need for an internet connection, so that raises some question marks.
In any case, the new Rogue’s Google-based infotainment system still features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as opposed to telling customers to take a hike like in certain EVs. That’s quite nice. Also nice? A big 12.3 inch screen so you won’t need fingers like cocktail sticks to poke icons, and a decent set of physical controls. Then again, only SL and Platinum trims get the new infotainment system, while S and SV trims make do with the old system.
Not exactly new but certainly novel, the engine in the Rogue is a liter and a half of mind-boggling complexity. This 201-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged three-banger can vary its compression ratio using a multi-link arrangement with an actuator instead of a traditional connecting rod and crankshaft arrangement. Unquestionably the weirdest engine in the compact crossover segment, time will tell whether it’s complex genius or a warranty department’s nightmare. Still, this complexity certainly hasn’t put a damper on sales.
In any case, expect the 2024 Nissan Rogue to roll onto dealer lots in 2024, with pricing likely to be announced in the next few months. We’d be surprised if it’s substantially more expensive than the current car. That being said, the current Mitsubishi Outlander is basically a Nissan Rogue with a normal 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine and a massive warranty, so if the Rogue strikes your fancy, it might also be worth swinging by your local Mitsubishi dealer. That being said, with 211,091 pre-facelift examples sold in America during the past three quarters, expect to see the new Nissan Rogue everywhere soon. Who knows? It might even be your next rental car.
(Photo credits: Nissan)
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