Car Chat members are animal lovers, which is obvious if one ever meets any of us. So it is no surprise when I say that one of the first exhibits that caught my eye was Nissan's update to the dog-friendly version of the Rogue: the Rogue Dogue 2. Anyone who is interested in this vehicle should head immediately to Level 1 upon entering the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Enter on the left side and go down the same row and past the Toyota and Mitsubishi displays. Nissan also has a great camping vehicle exhibit (you will see a large boat being towed by a white 2018 Nissan Armada), but that will be covered in a later article. When facing the Nissan camping exhibit, look to the right for a Nissan Rogue finished in sparkling "Monarch Orange" (looks like burnt sienna to me, but I suppose it is more preferable to refer to monarch butterflies), with Rogue Dogue written in big white letters on the side, and an unmistakable 'doggie clue' familiar to any small child who watches "Paw Patrol" on Nickelodeon: a paw print.
When Nissan displayed the Rogue Dogue last year at 2017 New York International Auto Show, after much titillation generated by the fact that it was built by Dennis McCarthy, car coordinator for Fast and Furious films, and citing a survey of 400 dog owners indicating that 83 percent said it is just as important for their dog to be safe and comfortable in their vehicle as other passengers, many dog lovers expected this concept vehicle to become available for sale. What happened? It is still a concept car not available for sale nor as a factory upgrade, even after an update. What's up Nissan? According to your own survey, we pet owners and dog lovers want this vehicle or one like it.
Regarding safety, the 2018 model features ProPILOT Assist technology, which provides assisted steering, braking and accelerating during single-lane highway driving. According to Nissan, this is "the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead."
Rogue, the canine member of the Car Chat team, was very excited that Nissan’s best-selling crossover had been made pet-friendly with features like custom removable dog bed, 360-degree dog wash shower and integrated dog drying system, and built-in food and water dishes, and most importantly, the Rogue Dogue had been named after him! He also likes that fact that he will be as safe as his humans with clip-in harnesses, and his beverages will also be secure in non-spill water dispensers. Furthermore, Rogue likes that he and his doggie pals will not be able to just jump out of the vehicle because they will be secured by leash fastening attachments in the second row and rear cargo area.
The following is a list of the Rogue Dogue modifications installed in the original project vehicle last year, with an infographic provided by Nissan:
- Secured, removable custom dog bed in the rear cargo area
- Built-in (fold-down) non-spill water dispenser
- Built-in (fold-down) non-spill dog food dispenser
- Slide-away dog ramp for easy access to rear compartment for small or elderly dogs
- 360-degree (hoop and hose) dog shower with 10 gallon pressurized water reserve
- Integrated dog drying system with compressed heated air dryer and outside hose attachment
- Heated air vents for rear cargo bed area
- Easy-to-clean custom interior materials
- Modified second-row/cargo area pass-through passageway
- Removable pet partition with Rogue Dogue logo between the second-row and cargo area
- Second-row dog hammock (clips around front and rear headrests)
- Raised rear floor in rear compartment housing utility drawer and dog ramp; drawer faces covered in custom easy-clean upholstery
- Side wall mounted poop bag dispenser
- Rear facing passive side view mirror cameras (video sent to hard drive) to capture dog’s road trip experiences – head out the window, interaction between dog and other drivers – for later viewing
- Dog first aid kit
- Harness clips mounted in rear compartment
- Rogue Dogue logo key fob
When Rogue and his pals want to strut their stuff as they disembark, like when it is time to join the second line in the Krewe of Barkus dog parade during Mardi Gras, they have a secure ramp to exit the Rogue Dogue 2. The ramp is also quite helpful for large dogs, small dogs (who want zero help from their humans), and also the people that care for them who may have back injuries and cannot lift heavy objects or lift objects at awkward angles. These features are not mere gimmicks, but are tools for those who work as pet groomers and caretakers. Humans and dogs have had a symbiotic relationship for several millennia, and it is both retrospective and forward-looking for Nissan to create such a concept vehicle. However, why leave it at the conceptual stage, especially considering the profound nature of the human-canine relationship?
Again, Nissan, we pet owners want this vehicle or one very much like it. Maybe one of your competitors will beat you to the punch if you do not act soon. This might also be a great opportunity for small manufacturer to create new, up-to-date aftermarket packages that will work in other new vehicle platforms. Are you listening Nissan?
What do you have to say Rogue?
2018 New York International Auto Show
Jacob Javits Convention Center
11th Ave. (between 34th & 40th St.)
March 30th - April 8th
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm
Sunday: 10am – 7pm