The Nissan Rogue is the best-selling Nissan in the US as of last year. That’s impressive, considering how ubiquitous the Altima and Maxima are on our roads. Though this Nissan isn’t very quick or sporty, its ride refinement, utility, and standard safety features make it an attractive buy in the compact SUV segment. The Rogue’s 2017 refresh has elevated this compact crossover to the best selling SUV in America so far this year. We can't argue with a formula like that, Nissan must be doing something right.
The Rogue is priced in the mid to high $20k range, like most of the SUVs in the segment. This years model separates itself from much of the competition by offering advanced safety features like forward automatic braking and rear cross traffic alert standard. In competing models, expect to pay an average of $3,000 more for a comparably equipped model. If you’re looking in the used market, the Rogue loses its value quicker than the Honda CR-V and RAV4. This means the Rogue will be more affordable if you’re buying and it’s about as reliable and functional as these two. We think the Rogue is well-rounded SUV that offers everything most buyers are looking for from an SUV.
The Rogue is powered by a 2.5 Liter dual overhead cam inline 4 cylinder that makes 170 horsepower and 175-pound feet of torque. It’s a little less than its direct competitors and the Rogue’s larger size puts it at a further disadvantage. This SUV isn’t quick, but the mated continuously variable transmission (CVT) does a pretty good job of keeping the Rogue in its useable power band. The Hybrid model offers similar straight line performance while improving overall fuel economy by quite a bit. It’s a rather inexpensive option, costing just $1,000 more than a similarly trimmed gas-powered model. What the Rogue lacks in quickness and comfort, it makes up in ride comfort and quality.
The Rogue absorbs bumps and rough roads better than its rivals. Road and wind noise are minimal unless you opt for a moonroof equipped model. The handling isn’t athletic, but steering is sharp and responsive. Fuel economy is rated at the top of the class at 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway, but many reviewers claim they never achieved these ratings. A combined figure in the low twenties may be more accurate. The Rogue’s driving dynamics are great for those who prioritize comfort and ease of use, those looking for high performance will want to consider competitors.
The interior of the Rogue feels open and bright, especially with the panoramic sunroof. The seating position is high and offers excellent vision from most angles. The fit and finish are simple yet high quality, with a soft touch dash and sparse use of hard plastic. The standard cloth seats are adequate but the leather seats are excellent, providing exceptional back support. The second-row seats are some of the best in the class, offering a recline function and above average leg and headroom. This SUV can also be had with three rows, making it one of the few compact crossovers that can seat seven. The third row is best left to tiny humans though, as legroom is nearly non-existent.
Most will opt for the five seat model that has Nissan’s nifty “Divide-N-Hide” cargo organization system that is configurable for many applications and features an adjustable shelf and waterproof storage section. 70 cubic feet of overall cargo space and 39.3 behind the second row place the Rogue at the top of the class in cargo capacity. The NissanConnect infotainment system is touchscreen and simple to navigate, though it may lag behind competitors a bit with no available Apple Carplay or Android Auto. However, Bluetooth connectivity is standard and functional, as is a USB port that may be less functional. Some reviewers complain of having to plug and replug their phone several times before the system recognizes it.
The four and six speaker sound systems are acceptable, but the available Bose premium sound system is one of the best and features two subwoofers for engaging bass. A rear view camera is standard, as is a driver information display between the gauges that displays all the information you could possibly need. The Rogue has a well-designed, practical cabin that will suit the needs of most and its top SL trim has seating that rivals luxury SUVs’ quality.
The Rogue has featured inspired, eye-catching style since its inception in 2008. The 2017 model receives a facelift of the 2014 refresh that includes LED daytime running lights and a hybrid model. A Rogue One Edition was also released as a cross promotion with the Star Wars film of the same name and equips black wheels and black accents on either black or white SV models with special Rogue One logos and a death trooper helmet.
The front fascia displays a trapezoid shaped chrome grille, flanked by modern headlights with LED running lights. The top trim receives full LED headlights and fog lights. The sides curve and contour with the wheel wells. The rear features oddly shaped tail lights beneath a rear window that extends across the entire rear, offering excellent vision. This design is well received and has propelled the Rogue to the top of Nissan’s sales chart in North America and is their best selling vehicle worldwide that isn’t a pickup.
The Nissan Rogue receives a 4 out of 5-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with all 4-star results except side impact which received a 5-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers a perfect crash test result for the Rogue and an award of Top Safety Pick+, the highest rating possible. They cite excellent side curtain and front airbags as the justification for such a high rating. They also rate the forward automatic braking system as superior when compared with other systems.
This system is standard in all 2017.5+ model years, a first for the compact SUV segment. A full suite of safety features is also standard including blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection. The highest trimmed SL model also adds a lane departure warning system and object/pedestrian detection. These features are costly or even unavailable in much of the market, so we commend Nissan for making them standard. The Nissan Rogue is an excellent choice for the safety-conscious consumer seeking a compact SUV.
JD Power awards the Rogue a 3 out of 5 predicted reliability rating, as it has for the several years preceding. Consumer reports offer a 4 out of 5 reliability rating, noting an improvement in reliability over the last two years. The current model is subject to only one NHTSA recall for airbag deployment failure, lower than the average of 5 recalls since the Rogue’s introduction. Buyers looking for a used Rogue should be made aware of a few known issues. There is a faulty fuel sensor in all models that will cause inaccurate fuel readings until it is replaced.
A poorly designed wind deflector may prevent the moonroof from closing fully in 2008 through 2012 year models. This issue can be resolved by replacing the deflector with the redesigned one. A more serious problem in 2008 through 2012 models is a transmission oil cooler that may crack, causing a lack of power. This is a costly repair, at an average of $700 dollars, and can even happen in Rogues with mileage as low as 25,000. In 2008-2015 models the check engine light may come on with the code P0444. This issue is allegedly caused by a sensor failure in the solenoid valve.
The sensor itself is roughly $120 dollars and can be replaced by the average Joe quite easily, expect to pay roughly $400 dollars for replacement by a Nissan dealer. All things considered, the Nissan Rogue is a reliable vehicle. We caution our readers to have a mechanic inspect a used model for these known issues before buying and inspect maintenance records to see if the transmission oil cooler has been replaced yet.
The Rogue is a member of the crowded compact crossover class. Therefore, there are many alternatives you should consider. If you need three rows in your compact SUV, the Rogue is by far the best. The Mitsubishi Outlander also offers 3 rows but is far less refined and suffers from abysmal reliability ratings. We’d avoid it. If you’re looking for a standard 5 seat compact crossover, the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape are all worth considering. The Escape and CX-5 offer less rear row room and cargo capacity, but handle and drive much better than the Rogue. The CR-V offers a similar cabin with cargo capacity within a few cubic feet of the Rogue’s. The CR-V’s advanced safety features aren’t available in the base trimmed EX, but the rest of the trims receive them standard. A Rogue will save you a few thousand dollars for these features but may cost you more in depreciation. The Honda holds its value better. Both have similar driving dynamics but the CR-V is quicker and Honda’s CVT is smoother. We’d recommend the Rogue as the more comfortable of the two, while the CR-V offers better performance while retaining equal utility. If you’re looking for a compact SUV with a fun factor, you’re better off with the Ford Escape or Mazda CX-5.
The RAV4 Hybrid is a better overall SUV than the Rogue Hybrid, but it will cost a few thousand more. Like the Rogue, it comes standard with advanced safety technology, including forward automatic braking and blindspot warning. Adaptive cruise control is standard in the RAV4 and is only available on the top trimmed Rogue. The Toyota handles better and makes more power, improving passing and highway ability. The Rogue Hybrid doesn’t do much better than the RAV4 Hybrid on paper, but some will prefer the ride comfort and driver-friendliness of the Nissan to the Toyota.
The 2017.5 Nissan Rogue S has a starting MSRP of $24,420 and now receives standard advanced safety features including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward emergency braking. Also standard is a digital driver information system, Bluetooth hands-free system, Siri Eyes Free, and rearview camera. Available packages for the S trim are a Family Package for $1,190 that adds a third row, window tint, and run-flat tires and an S appearance package for $500 that tints the windows, upgrades the mirrors, and adds chrome handles and roof rails. Upgrading to the SV trim for $25,640 equips 17in wheels, an Intelligent Key with push button start, a 6-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, a remote start system, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a six speaker sound system.
A Midnight Edition SV costs $990 more and appoints black 17in wheels, black roof rails and crossbars, black mirrors, black splash guards, a chrome bumper protector, and illuminated kick plates. The SV Premium Package costs $1,380 and installs NissanConnect with navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, an Around View Monitor, moving object detection, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a motion activated liftgate. The SV Sun and Sound Touring Package provides a power panoramic moonroof and a Bose premium sound system for $1720. The Family Package costs $940 on the SV trim. The SL trim retails for $30,360 and adds a motion activated liftgate, NissanConnect with navigation, Around View Monitor, moving object detection, leather-appointed seats, a 7in infotainment system, HomeLink universal remote, automatic headlights, memory driver seat, heated steering wheel, and a Bose premium audio with subwoofers. The SL trim is not available with a third row. A Premium Package equips LED headlights and a power panoramic moonroof for $1,820. The Platinum Package costs $770 and provides 19in wheels, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection. The Platinum Reserve upgrades the leather to tan with quilted inserts for $250. An SV Hybrid model is available for $26,640 and SL Hybrid model for $31,560 and isn’t available with a third row either. The battery cuts cargo space by 10 cubic feet. All-Wheel-Drive is available on all models for an additional $1,350.