Going Rogue. After a comprehensive redesign for the 2021 model year, Nissan’s compact crossover is unchanged visually for 2022. That means it retains understated creases and folds, while the front is a rather gawky set of lower headlights away from resembling a Lexus. Splitting high and low beams has done nothing for the Rogue’s looks, but it’s a modestly handsome SUV nonetheless.

The big change for this year lies under the hood, where a 2.5-liter engine has been replaced with a far smaller 1.5. Don’t despair, though – the 1.5 is actually more powerful, returning significantly better fuel economy. There’s no hybrid tech here, but 33 mpg combined isn’t bad for the FWD base model; even a fully-loaded AWD version will deliver 31 mpg on the combined cycle.

Kit on the side. Standard equipment is an obvious way for SUVs to distinguish themselves from competitors, and Nissan has given the four-model Rogue range plenty of toys. Even base S trim receives a smartphone-compatible eight-inch touchscreen and power throughout the cabin, while mid-range SV gains adaptive cruise, WiFi, and keyless start. Platinum models enjoy a 10.8-inch head-up display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument gauge, quilted semi-aniline seats, and wireless smartphone charging.

If your budget allows, we’d recommend moving up to either SL or Platinum models for their more stylish interiors. The sea-of-gray theme in S and SV trims is replaced by characterful flourishes like quilted stitching on the synthetic leather seats, and woodgrain trim across the dash. The widescreen digital gauge display is something you’ll want once you see it, and a head-up display remains a vital safety aid. Speaking of which…

2022 Nissan Rogue Interior

Impressive safety features. The theme of generous standard equipment continues into the Rogue’s safety roster, with automatic emergency braking standard across the range. Other universal safety features include automatic rear braking, blind-spot monitoring, and auto high beams. You will have to move up the range for adaptive cruise control with intelligent route planning, which promises brief stints of hands-free driving.

Other safety pluses include impressive outward vision, though we’d draw your attention to a rather underwhelming four-star score from the NHTSA. On a brighter note, the IIHS gave the Rogue a Top Safety Pick + rating. All-wheel-drive is a $1,500 option on every trim.

Enthusiastic but limited performance. Few SUV buyers will ever find themselves out on the track at Laguna Seca with a stopwatch running. That’s just as well for Rogue buyers since it’s all out of ideas at 70 mph. It’s been geared for low-speed oomph – quite literally since the CVT box simulates seven gears. The 201 hp 1.5-liter engine is nippy enough around town, but freeway overtaking requires considerable forward planning.

If you don’t mind arriving slightly late, the Rogue won’t ruffle you along the way. The ride is comfortable and well-damped thanks in part to the independent rear suspension, the steering is responsive, and the handling is predictable if uninspiring. There isn’t much noise inside the cabin, and even the bucket seats on base S models are comfortable for long stints at the wheel. On the subject of comfort, the doors open wide for easy ingress and egress, while the trunk extends to 39.3 cu ft and almost doubles once the rear seats drop down.

Final thoughts. The Rogue is a quintessential head-over-heart car. It’s handsome in a bland way, which rather typifies the car’s personality. We struggle to find major issue with anything bar high-end performance; equally, there’s not much here that would make you rush to your nearest Nissan dealership. Space, comfort, equipment, safety, and build quality are perfectly good, but rivals like Honda’s CR-V and Hyundai’s Tucson are also wholly competent SUVs. The Rogue’s price range of $28,500 to $38,500 represents decent value, though higher trims will hold more appeal for passengers in particular.

On the road, the Rogue is a great town car, with decent steering and an absorbent ride complementing excellent visibility and strong safety. Nissan’s decision to give the CVT transmission seven false forward gears prevents the engine screaming under heavy throttle, and makes it one of the more refined CVT vehicles we’ve driven recently. One thing we would recommend is asking the dealer to let you stray beyond city limits on a test drive. It feels far more responsive around town, and the acute lack of high-end power could be an issue if you regularly undertake longer drives.

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