Last week Nissan released its new Rogue, their best-selling vehicle. The 2021 model features more aluminum throughout the body than previous iterations. Its hood, fenders, and doors are all made of aluminum.
According to Nissan, some aluminum exists on the current-generation Rogue. “The new model just has an increase,” said Jeff Wandell, electric vehicle and crossover spokesman for Nissan. Consequently, the 2021 model is expected to weigh about 100 lbs lighter than the previous version — due to both the increased use of aluminum, as well as the addition of a lightweight resin composite tailgate. The next-generation Rogue also includes 35% ultra-high-strength steel, up from 19% in the 2020 model.
Since it is a mixed material crossover (employing high strength steel, aluminum, and resin), knowledge of proper OEM procedures — including restrictions on joining, repairing, and sectioning of the materials — will be an important consideration for mechanics working on the car. They will likely need more space and equipment to separate the steel and aluminum work done in repairs.
“Body panels are either labeled as aluminum or marked with an asterisk* in the Electronic Service Manual (ESM) and have specific corrosion protection barriers in place,” said Nissan. “Replacement of these required barriers will help prevent galvanic metal corrosion leading to greater durability and overall customer satisfaction.”
Many design, functional, safety, and technology enhancements have been made including performance enrichment, fuel efficiency, and an all-new high tech vehicle motion control (VMC) system.”This is technology that does what a human can’t,” said Chris Reed, senior vice president, Research and Development, Nissan Technical Center North America. “The all-new VMC predicts what the driver is trying to do to do by monitoring steering, acceleration and braking. It can then step in and help to smooth things out.”
The Rogue’s motion control works together with an enhanced intelligent all-wheel drive system and drive mode selector to provide four-wheel individual control, enhancing line traceability for the driver when cornering turns. The chassis control module monitors and adjusts the engine, transmission, vehicle dynamic control, all-wheel drive, and steering functions. For front-wheel drive: a switch on the console controls the sport, standard, and eco drive modes.
Five drive modes are available in the All-Wheel Drive models – off-road, snow, standard, eco, and sport – controlled by the driver through a drive-mode selector mounted on the center console. While engaged at all times, the VMC system is particularly handy when driving on snowy slopes, deep snow, for off-road driving (such as beach or dirt trails).
According to Nissan, the 2021 Rogue sits on a more integrated chassis. “The new suspension design features a rigid mount (six mounting points) and a new multi-link rear,” the OEM wrote. Its body also includes “extended crumple zones to help protect occupants.” Ten airbags deliver further protection.
The standard model comes with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360, which includes: an automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking and cross traffic alert, blind spot and lane departure warning, and high beam assist.
The Rogue 2021 will be available at dealerships starting Fall 2020.