2021 Nissan Rogue toys with more efficient turbo-3

The 2021 Nissan Rogue compact crossover SUV will come with a more efficient 1.5-liter turbo-3, Car and Driver reported over the weekend. The smaller 3-cylinder option is at least 3 mpg more efficient than the 2.5-liter inline-4 currently standard in the Rogue, according to official EPA ratings. 

The turbo-3 gets up to 30 mpg city, 37 highway, 33 combined with front-wheel drive. Ratings with the available all-wheel-drive system are nearly the same at 30/36/33 mpg. The 2.5-liter inline-4 gets 27/35/30 mpg, but the addition of all-wheel drive shaves off 1 mpg. Higher trims also lose 1 mpg with either engine. 

This addresses one of our gripes with the redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue. The 2.5-liter standard at launch failed to match the efficiency ratings of gas models of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4. Those popular models also come with hybrid options that get about 40 mpg combined. The redesigned 2022 Hyundai Tucson also sports a hybrid powertrain and a forthcoming plug-in hybrid similar to the Toyota RAV4 Prime, but EPA numbers have not been announced. 

The Rogue needed a more efficient engine option to stay competitive, but Nissan is downplaying the turbo-3 for now.

"We are planning a small pilot program with a potential new powertrain, utilizing the 2021 Nissan Rogue," Nissan confirmed in a statement to The Car Connection. "We have nothing further to announce at this time.”

The option is not listed on the consumer configurator. An announcement has not been made official, and specs have not been released except for the fuel economy ratings.

The 1.5-liter turbo-3 will come in front- or all-wheel drive, and has the same continuously variable automatic transmission as the 2.5-liter.  

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