2021 Nissan X-Trail (Rogue) debuts; new platform, fresh design

June 16, 2020

This is it. The all-new 2021 Nissan X-Trail (shown in US-market Rogue form). It showcases a fresh platform, significantly updated technology, and a bit more power compared with the outgoing model.

Firstly, check out that design. It not only looks completely different to the current mode, it also takes a neat step up in terms of appearing premium and sophisticated. The front end houses a split headlight design with a big new V-motion grille in the middle, while the sides showcase clean contours with nicely curvaceous wheel arches. The rear end is also tightened up, pinched, and modernised with fresh taillights.

Overall Nissan says the body is 38mm shorter for length and 5mm lower for roof height. Part of the dimensional changes is thanks to the new CMF-C/D platform. The platform helps bring in a new rack electric power steering system that features a quicker gear ratio than before, while a fresh suspension design includes six rigid mounting points and a new multi-link rear end.

Although the exterior takes a big step forward, you should see the inside. The decor and arrangement of materials and surfaces makes it look like a proper premium offering, at least in top-spec trim. There’s even an option for extended leather (could be artificial leather) that wraps up parts of the door trims and upper dashboard.

Sitting on the dash is a new 9.0-inch touch-screen, with a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster – a 7.0-inch central screen is used for the instruments in the lower grade models. These can be customised to show various information and in various themes.

Also new is an available 10.8-inch head-up display system, which is one of the largest in the segment Nissan says. An enhanced Intelligent Around-view Monitor system and RearView Monitor are also introduced. Although it’s not a new thing, the X-Trail finally supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well.

The other big technology feature that Nissan is pushing is its available ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link. This is an advanced adaptive cruise control system which uses radar and camera technologies to read the road ahead. It provides steering assist as well as automated braking and acceleration.

As for the engine, the 2.5-litre petrol continues. However, some changes are made – at least in Rogue specification – to lift power from the current 126kW out to 135kW, and torque is raised from 226Nm to 245Nm. As before, the engine is connected up to a CVT automatic transmission. Both front- and all-wheel drive options are likely to continue in Australia.

The new model is scheduled to go on sale in North America during the third quarter. An Australian introduction is anticipated to take place by the first quarter of next year.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.