With class-leading fuel economy, a quality interior with a third-row option as well as available AWD, the new Rogue is not only much improved over the first generation, it's a serious contender. Drawbacks include a continuously variable transmission that's less responsive than the competition, and a single engine choice.
PerformanceBecause this is a CVT paired with a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, the Rogue accelerates tepidly off the line, more so than many rivals. Its handling, though well mannered, is characterized by soft response to inputs.
The Rogue's engine has adequate low-end torque, which helps control the high-rpm drone and engine noise typical of most CVTs. Acceleration is reasonable but uninspiring, with 0-60 mph in 9.3 sec.
Pedal feel is soft with a long travel, but it doesn't inhibit daily use. The Rogue's panic-stop distance of 124 feet from 60 mph is about average for the segment.
Steering effort is fairly high on the Rogue, but not enough to bother anyone. There's feedback to guide it with confidence at moderate speeds, but don't expect to attack any backroads.
The Rogue isn't the sportiest choice in the compact SUV segment. It exhibits ample body roll when taking corners with verve. But there's good control and it gives the driver confidence.
Although better than most CVT-equipped cars, the Rogue lacks the immediate throttle response of a conventional automatic. But in most other ways the Rogue is an easy-driving vehicle.
Though the Rogue has the ability to tow a trailer, its 1,000-pound capacity is low even for this segment.
The Rogue offers more hardware for light off-roading than most of its counterparts. It includes a locking center differential, hill descent control and brake-lock differentials front and rear.
ComfortMost buyers will be satisfied with the Rogue's ride comfort. It's not the softest in the class, but it's also not the stiffest. The front seats are particularly comfortable.
Front seat comfort is excellent, with six-way power adjustment plus lumbar. Nissan's attention to detail here is noticable. Heated front seats are standard on SL models.
Decently smooth ride in spite of the large, 18-inch wheels on our top-level SL test model. An easy-going SUV that makes long days seem shorter.
Some mild engine thrumming is apparent at the very low speed the engine is often turning because of the CVT. Otherwise, the Rogue's wind and road noise levels are acceptable.
InteriorThe Rogue's interior utilizes high-quality materials which are assembled well. Plastics are soft touch and leather surfaces feel genuine. Moving parts fits together well, work with precision. Third-row seating is available on S and SV models.
Other than a turn signal stalk that's too far from the steering wheel, the Rogue's primary and secondary controls fall readily at hand. Nissan's infotainment system remains cutting edge and intuitve.
Though its seat height is taller than some, getting in and out of the Rogue is still relatively easy. The doors open nice and wide, revealing large entryways.
You'll won't feel confined in the Rogue whether in the front or back. The rear seats offer 9 inches of fore/aft adjustment and there's a good sense of space in both rows.
Although the windshield pillars are slim enough, the remaining pillars are on the thick side which inhibits rear-quarter visibility in some situations. A rear-view camera is standard on all trim levels.
At 39.3 cu-ft with the second row up and 70 cu-ft with seats folded, the Rogue's cargo area is better than most rivals. Unique configurable cargo area. The power liftgate's convenience is hampered by slow operation.
ValueThe Rogue provides all of the features we'd expect at this price, such as Bluetooth, navigation, uplevel interior trim and a variety of safety features. Its value is on par with others in the class and it makes a competitive value statement.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Interior materials and assembly quality are high. Buttons and knobs are above average in feel. Our early production tester had misaligned hood/fender gaps, but you'll have to look hard to notice these.
The Rogue separates itself with powertrain features like a locking center differential and hill descent control as well as a configurable cargo area. Infotainment system is among the easiest to use in the segment.
You'll pay a fair price for the Rogue relative to others in the class. Though it?s not significantly less expensive, it does cost marginally less in top trim than its chief rivals.
Rated at 28 mpg Combined (25 City/32 Highway) by the EPA, the AWD Roque is at the top of the segment when it comes to fuel economy. It achieved 26.4 mpg on our 116-mile highway-heavy test loop.
The basic warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and drivetrain coverage for 5 years/60,000 miles are competitive numbers for the class.
Without free maintenance or roadside assistance, the Rogue lacks benefits offered by several of its key competitors.
Fun To DriveThe Rogue isn't a vehicle you'll want to drive like a sports car, but its combination of all-weather/dirt-road utility and a high-quality, multi-configurable interior makes it a desirable vehicle to own.
Car-savvy consumers might be annoyed by the CVT, but this is one of the better four-cylinder/CVT pairings available. Beyond the CVT, the Rogue's plentiful features give it capability and usefulness.
Nissan has hit a sweet spot with the Rogue when it comes to its useable interior along with good capabilities from behind the wheel. It's not the best handling compact SUV, rather it's a jack-of-all trades.
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