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Nissan gives its popular Rogue model an electric motor

Nissan increases the options for its Rogue small SUV, adding a hybrid drivetrain option available with front- or all-wheel-drive.

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Wayne Cunningham

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Small SUVs have taken over the list of the top 10 best-selling cars in the US, and the Nissan Rogue regularly contends with competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape for position.

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Following in the footsteps of Toyota, which released its RAV4 Hybrid last year, Nissan offers a new hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain for its Rogue small SUV.

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The Rogue Hybrid shows EPA fuel economy of 31 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, along with 176 horsepower, six more than the standard, gasoline-only Rogue.

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The Rogue Hybrid is available in SV and SL trims, with the latter adding LED headlights.

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Nissan offers the Rogue Hybrid in front- or all-wheel-drive, with the former getting slightly better fuel economy. The all-wheel-drive system features a torque lock, to ensure power is going to all four wheels when needed.

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The Rogue Hybrid offers seating for five along with room for cargo.

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The hybrid drivetrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine complemented by a 30-kilowatt electric motor. A battery pack under the cargo floor stores energy gathered from braking.

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The Rogue Hybrid's available surround-view camera helps when maneuvering through tight parking garages.

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Given its pricing, commanding just a $1,000 premium over its gasoline-only sibling, the Rogue Hybrid looks like a good value.

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