Nissan's redesign of its flagship Rogue model delivers an improved portfolio of family-friendly technologies expected of a crossover.
But also notable is what Nissan's volume-leading nameplate will not offer — a hybrid powertrain.
When the new 2021 Rogue launches this fall, it will offer a single powertrain: a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine. That's in contrast to Nissan's competitors in the critical compact crossover segment that are doubling down on fuel-sipping electrified vehicles.
Three of the Rogue's biggest rivals — the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V — are available with hybrid powertrains. At times, Nissan's Rogue has outsold all of them.
But the market is changing.
Hybrid variants give automakers a differentiator in a crowded segment, said Conrad Layson, researcher with AutoForecast Solutions.
"The RAV4 turned the virtue of a hybrid's fuel savings into a performance sales point," Layson said. Scheduled to launch in July, the 2021 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid's combined system delivers 302 hp and is touted by Toyota as its fastest model after the Supra.
Toyota's hybrid RAV4 dominates a growing subcategory that saw nearly 118,600 new hybrid compact crossovers registered in the United States last year, up from 6,566 in 2015, according to IHS Markit. Canadian numbers weren't avaialble.