For the first time since the formation of the Nissan-Renault alliance in the late 1990s, Nissan vehicles will use the Nissan-Renault Common Module Family (CMF) architecture, which includes the platform/chassis as well as seat frames and HVAC modules. The 2014 Rogue and the X-Trail are based on the co-developed architecture.
“The use of CMF is not designed to limit customer options by making a one-vehicle-fits-all. Rather, the added efficiencies provided by the joint development allow us to deliver unprecedented value in this segment along with plenty of room for region-specific customization of design, drivetrains, technology, and equipment levels,” Carla Bailo, Senior Vice President of R&D for Nissan Americas, said during the 2014 Rogue’s unveiling at the Nissan Technical Center North America.
While the North American debut of the completely redesigned Rogue took place at Nissan’s Farmington Hills, MI, facility on September 10, the world debut of the Rogue’s European counterpart, the X-Trail, occurred on the same day at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Rogue’s active engine braking and active ride control technologies represent world debuts for Nissan, according to Dan Heur, Director of Vehicle Program Management and the Overseas Chief Vehicle Engineer for the Rogue at the Nissan Technical Center North America.
With active engine braking, the engine’s pumping losses are used as a braking mechanism. “Usually as a vehicle slows down, the driver applies a little more brake pedal travel to smooth out the transition from slowing to stopping. But with the Rogue, the engine applies an incremental amount of braking force to make the vehicle stop smoothly without additional brake pedal modulation by the driver,” Heur explained to SAE Magazines.
Active ride control automatically employs braking and engine torque adjustments whenever the vehicle hits a bump. “By applying nearly imperceptible amounts of braking as well as torque to the driven wheels, the Rogue helps to counteract pitch and bounce body motions to smooth out the ride,” Heur said.
The active engine braking and ride control technologies as well as active trace control—a version of which is offered on the Altima sedan—are packaged as standard equipment on the Rogue.
“Active trace control in this application is a technology to improve cornering in typical driving scenarios such that the vehicle follows the direction that the driver intended,” noted Heur.
Other features on the all-new vehicle are optional third-row seating (a Rogue first), the Divide ‘n Hide Cargo System (a class-exclusive), the Advanced Driver Assist display (largest display in the Nissan vehicle lineup), and a muffler spoiler (a Nissan first).
“The muffler spoiler helps to prevent airflow from going into the bumper itself. It’s just a small piece of material that helps to bridge the gap from the muffler, which in this configuration is a transverse muffler for packaging reasons, and the bottom of the rear fascia/the bottom of the rear bumper. It’s very simple, but it’s very effective,” Heur said.
Side spoilers on the rear of the vehicle are another new feature.
“It helps to define the sharp trailing edge of the vehicle body side—as you look at it from the side—and it helps to smooth the airflow as it comes from the side of the vehicle towards the rear. There’s also a very sharp edge on the rear combination lamp itself that helps to define the airflow transition from the side of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle,” Heur explained.
A rear suspension cover, fuel tank deflector, engine under cover, front tire deflectors, and sculpted exterior mirror skullcaps also contribute to the 2014 Rogue’s 0.33 Cd, an approximate 10% reduction from the previous vehicle’s 0.36 Cd.
The aerodynamic improvements as well as a new Xtronic CVT (with an improved belt and pulley system, new electronic control, wider gear ratio, and lower friction components) helped the 2014 Rogue achieve an 18% fuel-economy improvement vs. the 2013 model. With the carryover 2.5-L, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine rated at 170 hp (127 kW) and 175 lb·ft (237 N·m), the front-wheel-drive Rogue is projected to be best-in-class with estimated 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg city ratings.
Rogue’s new interior provides 70.0 ft3 (1982 L) of cargo room vs. the previous model’s 57.9 ft3 (1640 L) with the second-row seat folded flat. The reclining second-row seat also can be moved forward and rearward 9 in (229 mm). Both the reclining and fore/aft travel are new features for the second-row seat.
Two-row models offer the Divide ‘n Hide Cargo System in which a two-piece cargo floor can be reconfigured 18 different ways. The stow configurations include a vertical mode designed to keep wet or dirty items contained within an easy-to-clean framework and a maximum storage mode in which the two floor panels are repositioned to lower the cargo floor approximately 4 in (102 mm).
An optional stadium-style, third-row 50/50-split bench seat and “zero gravity” front bucket seats, similar to those in the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan (see http://articles.sae.org/11073/), are also new for 2014.
Rogue’s new 5-in color thin film transistor display is located between the instrument cluster’s two oversized gauges. This full-color Advanced Driver Assist display is used for audio and other information, such as turn-by-turn navigation if equipped.
“Because of the location of the Advanced Driver Assist display and its larger-sized, bright-colored numbers and words on a dark background, we think information can be processed quicker so the driver can get the eyes right back on the road,” Heur said.
The 106.5-in (2705-mm) wheelbase Rogue will be offered in S, SV, and SL trim levels with a starting price of $22,490. With vehicle assembly in Smyrna, TN, the 2014 Rogue with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is slated to go on sale at U.S. dealerships in November 2013.