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Nissan spiffs up the 2016 Rogue with additional tech

The 2016 Nissan Rogue may look the same on the outside, but behind the LED lighting slashes and shovel-shaped Nissan grille, it’s packing substantially more tech features.

This is the second model year for the current generation of Rogue, and to keep things fresh Nissan is adding some notable new equipment to various trim levels. Beyond that, though, everything else about the Rogue remains the same.

Ford has been making a lot of noise about its foot-activated tailgate, but now Nissan buyers can get one on the top Rogue SL model, allowing the Japanese carmaker to claim parity with the Blue Oval’s Escape in the tech options arms race.

The Rogue SL also gets SiriusXM-based NissanConnect Services connectivity, which incorporates navigation with Google point-of-interst search, apps for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and telematics services like vehicle maintenance reminders and emergency response.

Apple phone users can also get Siri Eyes Free voice control in the mid-level Rogue SV Premium Package and Rogue SL. This allows drivers to use the car’s built-in controls for Siri. Generic voice control for certain in-car infotainment functions is also available for non-iOS users.

Forward Emergency Braking, which slows the car if an imminent collision is anticipated, migrates from the Murano and Maxima to the Rogue SL Premium Package model. The Rogue’s blind-spot warning system also switches from a camera-based to a radar-based setup.

The 2016 Nissan Rogue’s sole engine option remains a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which produces 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. There are rumors that Nissan will bring a Rogue hybrid to the U.S., but the company won’t confirm anything.

New tech features probably won’t change the Rogue’s status as a competent-but-white-bread player in the small crossover segment, but for buyers willing to trade personality for technology, these features could make this Nissan worth a second look.