2018 Nissan Rogue

2018 Nissan Rogue Review

The Nissan Rogue scores high for comfort and space but lacks power for confident daily driving.
6.9 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The word "rogue" gets a lot of play in today's media and conversation. Similar to "maverick," it's often used flatteringly to describe someone who defies convention to forge his or her own singular path. While you can certainly credit Nissan's marketers for smartly tapping into this theme, the 2018 Nissan Rogue is not that kind of car.

Really, this is about as mainstream a choice for a small crossover as you'll find. Nissan sells loads of them. And there's a lot to like. Cabin and seat comfort are excellent, as are cargo space and utility. The Rogue's upscale interior materials and design also give the cabin a classy feel. Seventy cubic feet of cargo space makes it one of the roomier and more versatile small SUVs around.

But the Rogue's lethargic acceleration and poor visibility drop it a notch from competitors that do better. Its sole four-cylinder engine and sluggish continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) drag down an otherwise competent package, and there's nary a hint of handling spirit that you'll find in the Rogue's competitors from Honda, Mazda or even Chevrolet. The Rogue is enticing, yes, but it doesn't do much to stand out from the pack or measure up to its namesake.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the Nissan Rogue offers optional ProPilot Assist, a semi-autonomous system than can self-accelerate, brake and steer the car in certain conditions, such as dense highway traffic. Other changes include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all models, a second USB port, and an assortment of features added to various trims and option packages. A third row of seating is no longer available.

We recommend

For most uses — commuter, family and recreational — we'd recommend the SV trim with the optional Premium package. The latter adds useful features such as a surround-view camera system, navigation and a power liftgate. You also get some of the SL trim's more desirable items without the larger wheels that can detract from the ride quality.




Trim levels & features

The 2018 Nissan Rogue is a small crossover SUV available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL. The smaller Rogue Sport model is reviewed separately.

Most Rogues come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque) paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option.

The Rogue Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor (176 hp combined output) and either front- or all-wheel drive. It's available only in SV and SL trims.

Standard features on S trims include 17-inch steel wheels, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats that also slide and recline, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a four-speaker CD player with satellite radio and dual USB inputs. Safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking.

The SV trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a power liftgate, heated side mirrors, keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system.

The SV Midnight Edition styling package adds blacked-out body elements such as 17-inch wheels, mirror caps and roof rails.

The top-trim SL includes 18-inch wheels, automatic high beams, foglights, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, a surround-view camera system, a navigation system, NissanConnect emergency and convenience services, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system that adds HD radio.

Driver assist and safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, and upgraded automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Several of the SL's features are available on the SV as part of the Premium or Sun and Sound Touring packages. Options for the SL include a panoramic sunroof (also available for the SV) and LED headlights, while the Platinum package bundles 19-inch wheels, an electronic parking brake and the ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving features. Quilted tan leather upholstery is also available.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Nissan Rogue SL (2.5L inline-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, Nissan has revised the current Rogue, notably adding more sound insulation to curb excess powertrain noise and now offering expanded technology, including semi-autonomous driving features. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Rogue, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall6.9 / 10

Driving

6.5 / 10

Acceleration6.0 / 10
Braking7.0 / 10
Steering6.5 / 10
Handling7.0 / 10
Drivability6.0 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort9.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use7.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility5.0 / 10
Quality7.0 / 10

Driving6.5

The Nissan Rogue's continuously variable transmission paired with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes it feel weak compared to other SUVs in the class. Its handling, though well-mannered, is softer than we prefer.

Acceleration6.0

The engine has adequate low-end torque right off the line, but its rate of acceleration slows quickly. We measured a 0-60 mph time of 9.3 seconds, relatively slow for a vehicle in this class.

Braking7.0

The pedal feels soft and moves through a long stroke, but it's effective enough that we don't find it objectionable. The Rogue's panic-stop distance of 124 feet from 60 mph is about average for the segment.

Steering6.5

Steering effort is fairly heavy on the Rogue, which is something to consider if you prefer a highly assisted wheel that's easy to turn. There's a good feel for the road at moderate speeds, but don't expect a sporty response or feel.

Handling7.0

The Rogue isn't the sportiest choice in the compact SUV segment, but overall it handles well enough to make the driver feel confident in its abilities.

Drivability6.0

There's a rubber-band sensation that's typical of CVTs, meaning a noticeable delay between the application of the gas pedal and the delivery of acceleration. In most other ways, the Rogue is an easy-driving vehicle.

Off-road8.5

The Rogue offers more hardware for light off-roading than most of its competition. The all-wheel-drive model includes a locking center differential, hill descent control and brake-lock differentials front and rear.

Comfort8.0

Most 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.

Seat comfort9.0

Front seat comfort is as good as it gets in this class. Heated front seats are standard on SL models, and the backseat area has air vents for passengers.

Ride comfort8.0

Despite the large 18-inch wheels on our top-level SL test model, the ride quality was pleasantly smooth. The Rogue is an easygoing SUV that makes long road trips feel enjoyable.

Noise & vibration7.0

Before this year's addition of more sound insulation, we noted some mild engine thrumming at very low speeds, mainly because of the CVT. Otherwise, the Rogue's wind and road noise levels are acceptable.

Interior7.0

The Rogue's interior uses quality materials that are well-assembled. Plastics are soft to the touch, and leather surfaces feel genuine. Third-row seating is available on S and SV models. We do have a few ergonomic gripes, though, and outward visibility is below average.

Ease of use7.0

The Rogue loses a few points because of the hard-to-reach turn signal stalk and the distant navigation screen, but the other controls are within easy reach and intuitive to use.

Getting in/getting out7.0

Though the Rogue's seat height is taller than that of some rivals, getting in and out is relatively easy. The doors open nice and wide, especially for rear passengers, revealing large entryways.

Roominess8.0

You won't feel confined in the Rogue, whether in the front or back. The rear seats offer 9 inches of fore and aft adjustment, and both rows offer a good sense of space.

Visibility5.0

Although the windshield pillars are narrow enough, the other pillars are on the thick side, obstructing rear-quarter visibility in some situations. A rearview camera is standard on all trim levels, and it's needed.

Quality7.0

Interior materials and assembly quality are good. The buttons and knobs are above average in feel, but we noticed a few creaks from the cargo area.

Utility8.5

As far as compact crossovers go, the Rogue offers a lot of cargo space, and the clever organizer is very useful. Unfortunately, installing a child seat is more difficult than in rivals, and towing and interior storage come up short.

Small-item storage

Interior storage is adequate but not generous. There are several small trays and pockets, and cupholders are about average in size.

Cargo space

At 32 cubic feet with the second row up and 70 cubic feet with seats folded, the Rogue's cargo area is better than that of most rivals. The unique configurable cargo area gives it a further advantage, but the slow-operating power liftgate detracts from its convenience.

Child safety seat accommodation

Accessing the LATCH anchors is more difficult than in other vehicles in the class, and a rear-facing child seat will force the front passenger to move his or her seat uncomfortably close to the dash.

Towing5.0

Though the Rogue has the ability to tow a trailer, its 1,000-pound capacity is low even for this segment.

Technology

Although the audio and navigation system is fairly easy to use, we encountered several reliability issues. Points are also deducted because advanced safety features are available only on the top trim.

Audio & navigation

The infotainment screen is on the small side and slightly out of reach for the driver. We've also had some iPhone pairing issues and intermittent crashes in which the system shut down and rebooted.

Driver aids

Advanced safety features are available on the Rogue but are reserved for the top trim level only. The surround-view camera system (standard on the SL trim) is particularly handy considering the car's limited rearward visibility.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.