2016 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, Also More Efficient Gas Model, To Join Lineup

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2015 Nissan Rogue

2015 Nissan Rogue

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The 2016 Nissan Rogue Hybrid isn’t due to arrive until late spring next year.

Yet through our reliable CarsDirect pricing channels we’ve already received full pricing and specifications for the Rogue Hybrid.

And if you like the current versions of the 2016 Nissan Rogue, with its smooth ride and comfortable cabin, but would like to see better fuel efficiency, you might consider waiting for the Rogue Hybrid.

Forget about a base S version of the Rogue Hybrid; only SV and SL versions of this model will be offered. And the starting price for the Rogue Hybrid will be $28,325, including the $885 destination charge. That’s $2,850 higher than the non-hybrid Rogue SV.

The more luxurious SL models will start at $32,935; and with a Premium Package on the top SL you’ll end up with a very well-equipped vehicle with heated mirrors and seats, navigation, an Around View monitor, a power liftgate, a panoramic moonroof, blind spot warning, forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking.

Both models will be offered with a choice between front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; equipped with AWD, the Rogue SL will top out at $34,285.

The Rogue Hybrid will use a version of the single-motor CVT hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack that have already been used in the much larger Nissan Pathfinder three-row SUV and its luxury Infiniti QX60 Hybrid counterpart. Except here it will substitute in a smaller 145-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 30-kW electric motor system (double the output of what’s in those larger models).

CVT Hybrid system: Back, better this time?

Currently, the best EPA fuel economy figure for the 2016 Rogue is 26/33 (28 Combined) in front-wheel-drive form. If you look at what this system has done in the Pathfinder, it improved city mileage by about 25 percent and highway mileage slightly. With the stouter motor system, we're expecting to see an improvement closer to the 20-percent combined-cycle gains that Nissan promised in the earlier stages of this system.

We're also hoping that drivability with the stouter motor will be improved; earlier Pathfinder and QX60 versions we tested were ultimately perky enough in flat-out acceleration, but sluggish to react when any quick burst of power was needed.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

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The top rival for the Rogue Hybrid will be the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is expected to be priced in the same range and, with a version of Toyota's familiar Hybrid Synergy Drive, expected to offer an EPA Combined rating of around 35 mpg. The RAV4 Hybrid could end up feeling quite a bit perkier than the Rogue Hybrid, as it features a 154-hp, 2.5-liter four paired with a 50-kW electric motor system—which in all-wheel-drive versions places an additional motor at the rear wheels (with no mechanical connection back to them from the gasoline engine). 

It’s part of Nissan’s aim to raise the U.S. Rogue to a 300,000 annual sales level. Automotive News also reported earlier this summer that while the Rogue Select, a version of the previous-generation Rogue, will be dropped from the lineup, the U.S. market will get a version of the European-market Qashqai—a somewhat smaller (and more attractively styled, we think) five-seater that’s closely related but about 10 inches shorter, with a two-inch-shorter wheelbase.

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