Nissan has restyled its popular compact SUV for the new model year, introducing the brand's dynamic "V-Motion" grille up front for an instant boost in eye-catching style. But the upgrades go beneath the skin, too, and include a high-tech, high-efficiency powertrain in the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid.

The Rogue Hybrid will showcase all of the 2017 enhancements as the rest of the lineup, then deploy a hybrid propulsion system that combines a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine, a compact lithium-ion battery pack and a 30-kW electric motor. Also in the mix: the Nissan-exclusive Intelligent Dual Clutch Control system. It contributes to efficiency with two clutches, one between the engine and the electric motor, and the other between the motor and the Rogue's continuously variable transmission. As a result, Nissan expects the Rogue Hybrid to receive fuel economy grades of 33 mpg city/35 mpg highway/34 mpg combined. That's a 14 percent boost in combined fuel efficiency as compared to the already economical gas-only Rogue.

Naturally, the Rogue Hybrid is offered with all-wheel-drive, too. In that configuration, the vehicle's estimated EPA grades are 31 mpg city/34 mpg highway/33 mpg combined.

But guess what? Not only is the Rogue Hybrid less thirsty than the standard version, it's also a bit more powerful. The "regular" Rogue, with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, serves up 170 horsepower-the combined output in the Rogue Hybrid reaches 176 horsepower.

Nissan's hybrid SUV is plenty versatile as well. Owners will enjoy 27.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and if they fold those seats down, cargo capacity expands to 61.4 cubic feet. (Note: The Rogue Hybrid is available exclusively with a two-row, five-place interior, although a three-row model is offered with the conventional gas powertrain.)

As mentioned, the Rogue Hybrid further shares the roster's many other improvements for 2017. For example, for additional cargo versatility, the 2017 Rogue will offer a motion-activated rear liftgate. With this premium feature, owners who have their hands full don't have to fumble for a keyfob to access the Rogue's cargo hold. As long as they have the fob with them, say in a pocket or purse, they can open the liftgate by merely passing a foot below the rear bumper.

The 2017 Rogue also bolsters its available Safety Shield technologies with two more driver-assistance measures: The SUV's Intelligent Cruise Control can prevent the Rogue from getting too close to vehicles ahead of it when cruising, while its Forward Emergency Braking system boasts a specific Pedestrian Detection capability. Two other new driving technologies for the Rogue are lane-departure warning and lane-departure prevention. A standard rearview camera and available Around View Monitor return to help fill out the Rogue's occupant protection portfolio.

It's also worth noting that technologies like blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, which were only offered for uplevel Rogue models in 2016, extend availability to the mid-range Rogue SV for 2017.

Needless to say, though the 2017 Rogue has yet to be evaluated by the IIHS for its Top Safety Pick program, Nissan expects the new model to achieve that recognition when it is tested. After all, the 2016 Rogue earned Top Safety Pick certification with the highest possible scores for crashworthiness.

Also serving up luxurious cues like heated leather seating, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and sophisticated infotainment technologies, the 2017 Rogue is now available at Edison Nissan. Look for the Rogue Hybrid to land later next year.



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