Compact crossover buyers have plenty of models to choose from these days. Nissan’s Rogue distinguishes itself with robust, shapely styling and, despite modest external dimensions, a choice of either five- or seven-passenger seating.
With a Rogue in upper trim levels, you also get access to sophisticated safety technologies that are typically reserved for more expensive vehicles.
What's New for 2016
Blind-spot warning has been updated from camera- to radar-based technology. SL models add Nissan connect services. SiriusXM radio and Siri Eyes Free have been added to the SL model and the SV Premium Package, while the SL Premium Package gains forward emergency braking. Body-colored mirrors in the S Appearance Package now have integrated turn signals.
Choosing Your Nissan Rogue
Like most crossovers of its size, the Rogue is front-drive, with all-wheel drive available as an option. Every Rogue contains a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, mating with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is estimated at 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway with front-drive, or 25/32 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The available third row boosts seating capacity to seven, which is a rarity in this class. Although the rearmost seats are really best for children, like many others, the sliding (and reclining) second row can help keep riders from getting too cramped. With rear seats folded down, the Rogue is ready to handle up to 70 cubic feet of cargo. That’s about as good as it gets for a compact crossover.
The Rogue is offered in three trim levels, each with its own option packages, with front-drive or all-wheel drive (which adds $1,350 to each price):
Because the price difference between the base S and mid-level SV is only $1,450, we can't think of a compelling reason to choose the S. In fact, there's a strong case for jumping straight to the SL, which comes in at just under the $30,000 mark (plus destination charge), even with all-wheel drive. If you’re seeking even better gas mileage, a new Rogue Hybrid is expected during 2016.
The 2016 redesign of the Nissan Rogue, a decent past-performer in the market, enters the market with new style and excellent fuel economy.
Pricing and Equipment
Pricing for the Nissan Rogue starts at $23,240 for the S trim package, which is the base offering in the series. Buyers might lean toward the SV with an MSRP of $24,690. There is a decent menu of optional upgrades, and it’s not as expensive as the top-spec SL, which starts in the high $28,000s. Features on the SV include:
17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
6-way power driver's seat
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Keyless entry and push-button start
An important note: Buyers who want features like Nissan Connect and the Around View Monitor must upgrade to the SL.
The Rogue's all-independent suspension, active ride control, and electric power steering deliver excellent handling.
We love the fuel economy of this model. The 33 mpg highway rating is impressive, but even the combined 28 mpg -- with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive -- make the Nissan Rogue a strong contender in the fuel savings department.
The Rogue is still powered by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine it's had in the past. Horsepower remains static at 170 which we think acceleration is mediocre at best.
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) allows heavy revving that can get noisy.
Seating in the Rogue is exceptionally comfortable, with gracious design and good padding.
Nissan added third-row seating to the recently redesigned Rogue. While that might seem like a "pro," the lack of headroom and legroom, along with smaller seating size, means it's should be treated an an occasional seat for children.
Although the folding/sliding seats add decent cargo capacity, the Rogue is at the smaller end of the compact crossover class.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The new model year has brought a sleek-looking design and some extra seating. The fuel economy on the Nissan Rogue, we feel, sets it apart in the market from its competitors.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The Rogue dropped the ball with the comfort of the additional seating. Though a nice effort, consumers would have been helped by roomier seating in the back and extended cargo space. The noisy ride and mediocre power output are also a bit of a disappointment.
The Bottom Line
This is a decent offering in the class. It has some real pluses with the design, fuel economy and technology being offered. For the price point it’s not a bad vehicle, as long as road noise and lack of power aren’t big issues for the consumer.