Like many of the two dozen or so compact crossovers on the market today, the Nissan Rogue seeks to provide the all-weather capability and commanding driving position of an SUV, along with the maneuverability and fuel efficiency of a typical car. It does this quite well, and it also adds bold, son-of-Murano styling to make it desirable for its form as well as its function.
Although the Nissan Rogue has never delivered an especially inspiring engine and transmission combination, performance has always been passable, and the current generation is notable for its stellar fuel economy. The second-generation Rogue also has a spacious interior with a large cargo hold and, rare for this class, an available third row of seating. Earlier Nissan Rogues weren't as roomy, but they were more nimble to drive through turns. Overall, we think a new or used Rogue presents a compelling overall package that merits consideration alongside traditional segment leaders.
Current Nissan Rogue
Completely redesigned for 2014, the current Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five or seven, depending on how it's equipped. Compared with the previous Rogue, it offers a much larger backseat, significantly more cargo capacity, higher fuel economy ratings and a longer list of safety features.
All Nissan Rogues are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard, and buyers have a choice between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. With either drivetrain, fuel economy ratings are above average for this class.
The Rogue is available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL. Standard equipment on the base S includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, iPod/USB connectivity and a four-speaker sound system. The SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, a power-adjustable driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, smartphone integration features and a six-speaker sound system. The SL comes with all that plus 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, voice controls, a 360-degree parking camera system, a navigation system (with a 7-inch touchscreen) and a nine-speaker sound system.
Key options include a two-passenger third-row seat (S and SV models only), a power liftgate and a panoramic sunroof. Optional safety equipment includes a blind-spot warning system, a lane-departure warning system, a forward collision warning system and "moving object detection" (which works in conjunction with the multi-view parking cameras).
One thing we always liked about the original Nissan Rogue that has carried over to the second generation is the smooth ride quality. Neither the steering nor the handling is particularly sporty, but most buyers will appreciate the Rogue's relaxed demeanor. In reviews, we've found the Nissan's 2.5-liter engine adequate to the task of commuting. During harder acceleration, there's a noticeable growl from the engine as the CVT maintains a constant high engine rpm to provide the motivation needed for passing and merging. This makes for a noisier cabin environment than in some competitors.
Otherwise, the Rogue's cabin is a pretty nice place to be. Materials quality is high, and everything is put together with care. Nissan's available infotainment interface is quite easy to use as well. Seat comfort is excellent in the first two rows, and thanks to 9 inches of fore/aft adjustment, the 40/20/40 second-row seat is adult-friendly. The available third-row bench is a kids-only proposition, but the fact that Nissan offers one at all gives the Rogue a leg up on its rivals from Ford, Honda and Toyota.
Read the most recent 2014 Nissan Rogue review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan Rogue page.