Among most JDM automobile manufacturers, Nissan is one brand expert in producing SUVs and crossovers. Not as alone manufacturer of such classes among other JDM car makers but as good as Toyota or sometimes even better. Let’s not forget the Patrol.
But everything has changed entering the 21 century and Nissan was no exception. Going after the best-selling classes, Nissan Rouge came to replace some former smaller SUVs from the brand like the Mistral, X-Trail or the Xterra. Debuted in 2007, the Rouge, also known as Xterail in some other target markets, came along as a compact crossover looking more city civilized than being as outdoorsy as its predecessors.
The sales figures is all that matters now to automakers and Rouge is one good selling Nissan in USA, so who cares if it is not as off-road ready as expected.
The current Nissan Rouge available in USA is the second generation (codename T32) which was on production since 2014. Right after Renault and Nissan came together as strategic partners in 1999, there are a lot of common parts and infrastructures between the two automakers and one is the very platform that Nissan Rouge and Renault Koleos are based on. They also share the same CVT and some engine options as well. Designing elements of the second generation Nissan Rouge are close followings of Nissans new design language which is almost identically copied on other production models. Not necessary beautiful but it is safe to call it radical.
The third generation Nissan Rouge is what is still offered in USA as the final production year for this model in that region. Nissan Rogue is available in three different trim levels which is elevated in price range from the S trim to SV and SL respectively.
The engine choice for all trim level apart from being FWD or AWD is the 2.5L Inline-4 rated at 170 hp and 175 lb.ft mated to the only transmission available, the Xtroic CVT. The sole engine choice along with nonperformance CVT by nature shows that Rouge is only about dusty dome driving on the weekends and nothing more. Yet the considerable fuel efficiency for such vehicle shows how good it is set up. 25 mpg city and 32 on highway gives away a combination of 27 mpg which is quite good for the class. This makes Nissan Rouge a daily compact crossover to be used all day long without the need of changing vehicle to do other tasks of the day.
There is said to be the third generation Nissan Rouge available in USA since fall 2020. This newer generation is based completely on a new platform using a totally new engine with the same 2.5L of displacement and mated to another CVT.
The third generation Nissan Rouge (codename T33) will receive a thoroughly new look inside and out, with lots of new techs and electronics features added, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for instance.
Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in the first quarter of 2020 in USA is one of the most popular vehicle in that region. In 2018 Texas Auto Writers Association named Nissan Rouge “Compact SUV of Texas”. In the same year Rouge was named “America’s Best-Selling SUV”. In 2019, Nissan Rouge won Consumer Guide’s “Automotive Best Buy” award for the fifth time in a row. It was also named the “Best in Class Satisfaction Mid-Sized Crossover” by AutoPacific.
Considered as a high volume production daily drive compact crossover, Nissan Rouge is one fine set up SUV for 24/7 applications. Nissan Rouge is USA’s best-selling Nissan model which is closely followed by the famous Altima model. Retail pricing range is also reasonable starting at 25,300 USD for the FWD lowest S trim up to 33,040 USD for top of the line AWD SL trim before any options are included.