Nissan’s hot-selling Rogue crossover is due for its first round of updates after its most recent redesign and this prototype spotted in Michigan is giving us an early glimpse of what to expect. In a word? Little. Despite the camo covering much of the front and rear bumpers, we’re struggling to spot any meaningful styling updates, but the interior may be hiding clues to a big tech upgrade behind the dash.
A typical mid-cycle update typically consists of new bumpers, new grille designs, new headlights and some interior updates. This prototype is wearing vinyl over most of the exterior bits in question, however the panel lines and creases appear to line up pretty much exactly with those of the existing Rogue. That either means that the changes are incredibly subtle, or the camo is just there to keep us guessing.
From a quick glance at the interior photos, we can see that the infotainment stack will be getting an update; the old two-knobs-in-the-bezel setup is out in favor of a single dial centered under the screen with audio controls surrounding it. No current Nissans ship with this setup (even the Ariya’s single-knob configuration differs), so it may coincide with the launch of a new iteration of the company’s much-improved infotainment system — perhaps based on Google/Alphabet’s Android Automotive?
The glare makes it tricky to spot in these photos, but the navigation widget being utilized here appears to be an integrated Google Maps app, rather than the smartphone-linked version utilized in Android Auto (no -motive). If so, that would make this the first native Android OS-based infotainment system to be made available in a production Nissan.
If we’re correct, this represents the first fruits of a partnership announced way back in 2018. Renault and Nissan were hoping to introduce native Google-based infotainment as early as the 2021 model year, but we’re guessing that pandemic-related supply-chain issues threw a wrench in the works.
In any event, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see exactly what Nissan has in store for the Rogue. Stay tuned.