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Our Take: 2018 Nissan Rogue

, Contributing Writer -

Five years into its current generation, the 2018 Nissan Rogue, the brand's top-selling model, features a smooth ride, great interior space, and lots of advanced safety features. But its design is generic, the transmission drones, and performance is less than thrilling, while the base model looks and feels low-rent.

Best Value

Pricing for the 2018 Rogue starts at $25,775 for a front-wheel-drive S model and runs up to $36,760 for a fully-optioned, all-wheel-drive SL in available Pearl White. In all, buyers have a choice of three trims (S, SV, and SL), with a single engine/transmission combo (170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired to a CVT automatic), in either front wheel- or all-wheel drive.

Even the base S comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capability, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. However, we'd skip the S and choose the mid-range SV that adds such niceties as 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats (power driver's seat), steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, power heated outside mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rails, and a motion-activated liftgate.

Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Nissan Rogue SV
  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 170 hp / 175 lb-ft
  • Transmission:CVT automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 26 City / 33 Hwy
  • Options: SV Premium Package ($1,490, navigation with voice recognition, Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link, adaptive cruise control, an around-view monitor, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights).
  • Base Price: $26,995 (including a $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$28,485

Performance

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Rogue's 106.5-inch wheelbase translates to a composed and comfortable ride over most road surfaces, and the engine delivers good off-the-line acceleration. Available AWD and 8.4 inches of ground clearance make it a good winter hauler. Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology that, in certain situations, can automatically accelerate, brake, and maintain a set distance from other vehicles – without driver intervention – is a new option on the SL trim.

On the flip side, neither a manual transmission nor a turbocharged engine is offered. More importantly, the CVT keeps the engine revving loudly on hard acceleration because – unlike the Subaru Forester – it lacks paddle shifters and fixed ratio points that offer a more predictable throttle response.

Style

The Rogue's fresh styling is wrapped around a handsome, carefully-assembled cabin that features supportive front seats and enough room in back for three adults to stretch out. For 2018, it loses a cramped third row that won't be missed, which also increases cargo volume behind the back seat from 30 to 39 cubic feet.

At the same time, the Rogue's styling doesn't stand out in a crowd of like-sized crossovers. Plastic hubcaps, cheap interior trim, and the lack of tinted windows give the S model a low-rent look and feel.

The Best and Worst Things

The Rogue's good use of space and abundant standard safety technologies are enticing, but the near-constant droning of the CVT is the exclamation point to the Rogue's mediocre fun-to-drive character.

Right For? Wrong For?

Mitsubishi Mirage

A wide range of standard and available safety technologies should appeal to safety-focused buyers.

A lack of power with a droning CVT added to the mix will likely keep enthusiasts at bay.

The Bottom Line

While it's hardly exciting to drive, a smooth ride, comfortable interior with great cargo space, and a wide range of advanced safety features make the 2018 Nissan Rogue a solid choice in the compact crossover class.

Buying With CarsDirect

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Used Nissan Rogue in 20149

Insider Information

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