Like many of the 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 styling to make it desirable for its form as well as its function.
The Nissan Rogue has never delivered an especially inspiring engine and transmission combination, and performance is just passable compared to the competition, but it does offer impressive fuel economy — better, even, than Nissan's new and smaller Rogue Sport. The Rogue also has a spacious interior with a large cargo hold and, rare for this class, an available third row of seating. Overall, we think a new or used Rogue presents a compelling overall package that merits consideration alongside traditional segment leaders.
Current Nissan Rogue
The current Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five or seven, depending on how it's equipped. The standard powertrain is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Buyers have a choice between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, and fuel economy ratings are above average for this class. For those seeking even better fuel economy, the Rogue Hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter engine with a 30-kW electric motor, for a combined output of 176 hp. Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the Rogue Hybrid delivers an mpg figure in the low-to-mid 30s, quite good for an SUV of this size.
The Rogue is available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL, though the hybrid drivetrain is not available with the S. 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 with smartphone integration features. The SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a six-speaker sound system. The SL comes with all that plus 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, leather upholstery, a 360-degree parking camera system, a navigation system (with a 7-inch touchscreen) and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. The Midnight Edition adds blacked-out wheels and trim to the SV.
Key options include a two-passenger third-row seat (not available on SL or hybrid models), a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof. Optional safety equipment includes a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, a forward collision warning system and "moving object detection" (which works in conjunction with the multiview 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. The engine pulls decently off the line, but acceleration pales as speed increases, and the Rogue is relatively slow compared to other vehicles in this class. We've noted higher than normal levels of noise in older Rogue models, but Nissan has since added more sound insulation.
Otherwise, the Rogue's cabin is a 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-split 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.
Used Nissan Rogue Models
The second-generation Rogue appeared as a 2014 model, though Nissan continued to build the old Rogue as the Nissan Rogue Select (reviewed separately) for the 2014 and 2015 model years. The Rogue acquired an Eco mode in 2015 and an automatic braking system in 2016, but the biggest changes came in 2017 when the Rogue received refreshed styling, updated safety features, a Midnight Edition package and, most notably, an available hybrid drivetrain.
The first-generation Rogue debuted for the 2008 model year and was produced through 2013.
The original Nissan Rogue used the same 170-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as the current model. All versions were offered in both front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive configurations, and a CVT was standard.
First-generation Nissan Rogues were available in two trim levels: S and SV (known as the SL from 2008 to 2010). You got the basics with the S, including keyless entry, air-conditioning and full power accessories, along with an iPod interface. However, features such as privacy glass, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and satellite radio were available either within an option package or on the SV. Higher-end items such as heated leather seats, a navigation system and a Bose sound system were available as options on the SV as well.
Like the current crossover, the first-generation Rogue offered a smooth, comfortable ride. Handling was actually a bit sportier than on the current version, while acceleration was fairly quick for a small four-cylinder crossover. However, engine noise was a persistent annoyance during passing maneuvers, as the CVT kept engine revs high to maximize the available power.
Styling is a subjective matter, of course, but to our eyes, the first-gen Rogue cut a rather dashing profile compared to its compact crossover brethren. Rear visibility consequently suffered, as did cargo capacity and rear-seat accommodations. Although this Rogue represents a good value as a used vehicle, shoppers needing room for child safety seats or a large dog will likely find it short on space.
Changes to the Nissan Rogue were minimal during this generation. It received minor styling updates for 2011, and trim levels and option packages were reshuffled over the years. For 2010-2011, the Rogue was offered in a Krom Edition model, which added larger wheels and cosmetic enhancements, including centrally located exhaust outlets.