The Nissan Rogue was all-new last year, but the automaker is already giving the crossover a significant update. Nissan will offer an all-new engine for the 2022 model year, a 1.5L variable compression (VC) turbocharged engine that will offer more power and, Nissan says, offer best in class fuel economy with all-wheel drive.

Related to the 2.0L VC Turbo engine that launched in the Infiniti QX50 and followed in the U.S. version of the Nissan Altima, this is a three-cylinder 1.5L engine that uses variable compression ratio technology to balance power and performance. It uses an actuator on the crankshaft to drop compression to 8:1 to allow more boost and more total power or as high as 14:1, much higher than traditional gas engines, to allow for more efficiency, meaning lower fuel consumption at cruising speeds. Crucially in this segment, the 1.5L version of the engine will run on regular (87 octane) gas rather than requiring premium fuel as the 2.0L VC Turbo does in the QX50.

The new engine will output 201 hp and 225 lb-ft, with that torque peak flat from 2,800 rpm through 4,000 rpm. It will also be partnered with an all-new continuously variable transmission (CVT) Nissan says offers 17 per cent wider gearing and 32 per cent lower friction. Those two changes should improve the efficiency and performance of the vehicle, and Nissan says the transmission will have better acceleration feel. Other changes for 2022 include a new engine mounting system to further isolate vibrations from the cabin.

Fuel economy for the 2022 Nissan Rogue 1.5L is estimated to be 7.6L/100 km combined with AWD. The figure would put it at the top of the class among AWD non-hybrid models in the segment. The new engine will be standard on SV and higher grades, offered only with all-wheel drive. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine will continue on S grade models, offered with front and all-wheel drive. The 2022 Nissan Rogue should go on sale early next year with pricing to follow.