Nissan introduced a new engine and a $1,050 price increase on the 2022 Nissan Rogue compact crossover, the brand announced on Wednesday at the Los Angeles auto show.
Just one year after redesigning the Rogue, Nissan swapped out engines in its bestseller to better compete with hybrid offerings in the cutthroat compact crossover class. A new variable-compression 1.5-liter turbo-3 replaces the 2.5-liter inline-4 used in the 2021 Rogue and in the Nissan Altima sedan. Nissan says the second iteration of its innovative engine boosts output while also increasing efficiency from 30 mpg combined to an estimated 33 mpg combined.
The second iteration of the variable-compression ratio engine is a smaller version than the 2.0-liter turbo-4 launched in the 2019 Infiniti QX50 crossover. This VC-Turbo is a 1.5-liter turbo-3 that makes 201 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque in the 2022 Rogue, compared to 181 hp and 181 lb-ft out of the 2.5-liter inline-4 in the 2021 model, representing improvements of 11 and 24%, respectively.
An upgraded CVT promising less friction between "gears" and a wider gear ratio coverage sends power to the front wheels or available all-wheel drive.
Nissan had been developing an engine with a variable compression ratio for two decades, and the automotive industry as a whole for much longer, because the design can change the character of the internal combustion engine without the knocking or harshness of high compression engines. In certain situations, the variable compression reduces the engine's displacement, acting like a smaller, more efficient engine; in other situations, under heavy throttle say, it effectively increases displacement to perform much larger than its size.
We've noticed only negligible fuel economy gains in other applications. The issue is that the gains in economy and power have not been as great as adding a hybrid motor to supplement engine power, which is something Nissan and Infiniti lack at the moment. The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Hyundai Tucson all have hybrid options and either current or forthcoming plug-in hybrid options. The RAV4 Hybrid costs about $2,400 more than its gas equivalent, so Nissan may have snuck in a value play in place of a hybrid option. And the leaner, meaner engine comes standard.
Sold in S, SV, SL, and top Platinum trims, the 2022 Rogue with front-wheel drive starts at $27,795 (including $1,095 destination), which is $1,050 more expensive than the 2021 Rogue. The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid starts at more than $30,000, but it also gets 40 mpg combined.
Standard Rogue features include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a bunch of standard driver assist features, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. All-wheel drive is available for $1,500 on all four trims.
The Rogue SV costs $29,485 this year, which is $1,150 more than last year's model. SV gets power front seats, wi-fi, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio trial, keyless entry and remote start.
For $34,145, the Rogue SL adds 19-inch wheels, leather memory front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a sunroof, but the top Platinum adds all the goods, including wireless Apple CarPlay, a Bose sound system, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster for $37,575, which is also a $1,050 increase from last year.
The 2022 Nissan Rogue goes on sale this winter.