With a quick preview at the Miami Auto Show of its 2017 Rogue crossover utility vehicle and a high-performance version of the 2017 Sentra compact sedan, Nissan delivers the automotive version of the full court press.
The two new vehicles arrived after the Tennessee-based Japanese manufacturer, as part of its self-declared “Year of the Truck,” introduced three other 2017 models bumper on bumper: Armada SUV, Pathfinder crossover SUV and Titan half-ton pickup truck. It’s a market onslaught rarely accomplished by any manufacturer.
Of the two new machines introduced in Miami, the Sentra SR Turbo will get the juices flowing among budget-minded enthusiasts. It comes with a 188-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 177 lb-ft of torque.
It is available with what Nissan’s Brandon White called the “millennial anti-theft device”—a six-speed manual gearbox. He was reminding the audience that manual transmissions, already a rarity, may go the way of dinosaurs.
But for the masses, the Sentra SR Turbo also will be available with Nissan’s D-Step continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission. Ordinarily, CVTs, which use a system of belts and pulleys to multiply torque, have no shift points. The D-Step mimics shift points.
The Sentra SR Turbo is projected to start at less than $22,000, with a no-extra-charge choice of either the CVT or the manual gearbox. It should enhance Sentra sales, which at the end of August were running at an annual rate in 2016 of 233,709.
More important for the company is the new Rogue. As a compact crossover with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, it operates in the currently hottest segment of the market. Nissan expects it soon will become the company’s best selling model. That’s no small change. At the end of August, its sales already were running at an annual rate of 332,740.
To bolster the Rogue lineup even further, the 2017 model will be available, for the first time, as a gasoline-electric hybrid. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 141 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. Using a dual-clutch system, the engine works with a 40 hp electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to deliver 176 hp.
To enhance fuel economy, the hybrid also uses a stop-start system and regenerative braking. Nissan estimates the city/highway/combined fuel consumption at 33/35/34 mpg for the front-drive version and 31/34/33 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The standard Rogue power plant is a 170 hp, 2.5-liter four with 175 lb-ft of torque. Its city/highway/combined fuel consumption is rated at 26/33/29 with front-drive and 25/32/28 with all-wheel drive.
Though it bears an unmistakable family resemblance to its predecessor and other Nissans, the 2017 Rogue comes with a new front fascia and other exterior styling enhancements, along with an upgraded interior.