A veritable Swiss army knife even by the standards of its particularly versatile segment, the Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover that delivers a practical, well-trimmed interior, excellent fuel economy and a host of useful gadgets. It also offers an optional third row seat, a feature normally only found in larger, more expensive models.
For those seeking a more affordably priced crossover, Nissan also offers the last-generation Rogue as the value-focused Rogue Select.
After debuting as an-all new model year last year, the Rogue gets only minor tweaks for this year, including a new Eco powertrain mode and heated cloth seats for the SV Premium Package.
Pop open a dictionary, and you'll find rogue defined as a "dishonest scoundrel." Nissan's Rogue, however, has little in common with its namesake, being a dependable, utilitarian crossover that exists not to cause mischief but to make its owne's life easier.
For instance, the Rogue's interior, besides being attractive and upscale in both design and execution, is packed to the brim with useful touches. To take the difficulty out of parking maneuvers, the available "Around View" camera system provides a 360-degree bird's-eye view of the Rogue's surroundings, while the optional smartphone-based NissanConnect Apps furnishes Stitcher and Pandora radio functionality, access to Yelp and TripAdvisor, gas prices and more.
Technophiles will also appreciate standard features like the Bluetooth with streaming audio and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant setup that reads incoming text messages and allows drivers to reply without taking their hands off of the steering wheel. An available navigation system boasts a 7.0-inch touchscreen along with real-time traffic and weather updates.
When it comes time to use the Rogue as a people mover, the crossover offers space for seven passengers (a rare capability in this segment) thanks to an optional third row seat. Though best suited to children, the rearmost row can also accommodate adults for short journeys due to the flexible second row seats, which can slide forward up to nine inches to provide extra legroom for those behind.
The Rogue also excels as a pack mule, with 32 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the second row and a sizable 70 cubes with the second row folded down. Five-seat models benefit from a "Divide-N-Hide" storage system that combines an underfloor storage compartment with a removable cargo shelf for extra space and versatility.
Power, Fuel Economy and Handling
All Rogue models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor that produces 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. With the help of an efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Rogue is capable of returning an impressive 26 mpg in the city, 33 highway and 28 mpg combined, second only the Mazda CX-5 among compact crossovers.
Adding all-wheel-drive provides a extra dose of foul-weather traction while decreasing mileage slightly to 25 city, 32 highway and 28 mpg combined.
The Rogue comes standard with several technologies that serve to boost both handling and comfort. An Active Trace Control system - essentially an electronic torque vectoring setup - uses the brakes to curb understeer in turns. Reducing body movements and ride harshness over bumps by way of strategic brake and engine inputs is an Active Ride Control system.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Rogue is offered in S, SV and SL trim levels.
The entry-level Rogue S is fitted as standard with air conditioning, power windows and locks, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX and USB inputs, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, hands-free text messaging assistant, a rearview camera, a 5.0-inch instrument cluster-mounted info display, auto off headlights, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 17-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.
To those features, the SV adds or substitutes dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded sound system with SiriusXM satellite radio, roof rails, auto on/off headlights, NissanConnect Apps, a power-adjustable driver's seat and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The range-topping SL brings leather upholstery, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, a navigation system with a seven-inch touchscreen display, an around view camera system and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options include the Family Package, which adds third row seating, privacy glass and run-flat tires, and a panoramic moonroof. Notably, many of the SL's items are available at an extra cost on the SV.
All Rogues are equipped with dual-front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Safety options include Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning systems.
The Rogue faces off against a stiff competition in the form of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.