As emissions regulations get tighter, the number of hybrids on the road is increasing quickly. Rather than remaining the preserve of eco-warriors, hybrid technology has filtered into more mundane metal like the new Nissan Rogue, promising to meld big car practicality with small car running costs. Launched alongside a new, faster version of the Sentra, the Rogue Hybrid is almost 20 percent more efficient than its gasoline-fueled partner.
The Rogue will truck into 2017 with a fresh new face and a new hybrid option. Although the exterior tweaks are subtle, they bring the car into line with the styling direction previewed on the Sway and Gripz concepts launched last year. The grille has been made more prominent than before, and daytime running lights will help it stand out among the schoolyard carpark crush.
Power comes from a choice of two powertrains, one of which is a brand new hybrid option. With a compact lithium-ion battery stuffed under the boot floor and a 30-kW (40-hp) electric motor boosting the 105-kW (141-hp) four-cylinder petrol engine, combined fuel economy is an impressive 6.9 L/100 km (34 mpg).
Non-hybrids are powered by a 2.5-liter gasoline unit producing 127 kW (170 hp) of power and 237 Nm (175 lb-ft) of torque. As you'd expect, the pure gasoline Rogue returns a less impressive 8.1 L/100km (29 mpg) on the combined cycle in front-wheel drive form. Speccing all-wheel drive adds a bit of weight, and makes that fuel figure 0.3 L/100 km (1 mpg) worse.
Depending on the model chosen, the refreshed Rogue comes loaded with more driver assistance kit than before. Blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and auto-dipping high beam headlamps are all available, while a hands-free tailgate should make it easier to load the car up with an armful of shopping.
Sentra SR Turbo
It's not just hybrids that are multiplying rapidly, it seems everyone wants on in the performance game too. Hyundai has the Elantra Sport, and Volkswagen will sell you a hotter Jetta if the regular car is a bit bland. Now, Nissan has the Sentra SR Turbo, which injects a welcome hint of spice into an otherwise bland little sedan.
With 140 kW (188 hp) from its new turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, the SR Turbo is 48 kW (64 hp) more powerful than its normally aspirated brethren. There's also a stiffer body structure, revised steering tuning, bigger front brakes and a new six-speed manual on the menu. To make sure passers-by don't miss the fact this is a turbo, Nissan has fitted a bodykit and unique 17-inch wheels.
"The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance," said Nissan USA Product Planner Michael Bunce. "The SR Turbo builds upon the redesigned Sentra and adds 50 percent more horsepower and more than 40 percent more torque, as well as the upgrades where drivers will feel them."
Both the Sentra and Rogue made their debut at the Miami Auto Show, which runs until September 18.
Check out the Sentra SR Turbo in the video below.