ROGUE SALES SOAR
The Nissan Rogue was the best-selling car in the country for the first three months of 2017, according to the industry journal, Automotive News. Over 101,000 Rogues passed through dealer’s doors during that time. Why the Rogue, and not the perennial Toyota Camry? Well, Nissan hit the market with strong advertising, and attractive incentives. Furthermore, they improved the Rogue in several ways.
The ’17 Rogue sports a new bolder face. The designers, enlarged the chrome “V-Motion” grille to put the Rogue in line with the rest of the Nissan lineup. Revised headlamps with LED running lights are also sharper looking. Subtle upgrades at the rear, like stylish taillights, enhance the 2017 model as well.
Inside, the cabin shows off a new flat-bottom steering wheel, which eases entry and exiting for drivers. It coordinates nicely with the dash, which flows gracefully around into the doors. In the center of the dash, the control panel is a model of simplicity, with a touch-screen at the top and easy to access audio and air conditioning controls below it. Piano-black trim adds a classy touch, as does soft-surface material that covers most of the cabin surfaces.
Front passengers enjoy supportive chair-like seats. Those in the rear have comfortable accommodations too, with excellent head- and legroom. A third-row bench seat is optional, however you give up a lot of storage space if you select it. Without the third row, cargo area is one of the largest in its class at 39.3 cu-ft. Furthermore, it is the most flexible one you’ll find. Owners can divide the cargo floor in several ways, and install a two-tier shelf for added convenience.
A 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine powers the Rogue. It generates a modest 170 hp.It’s teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels on most models. (All-wheel drive is optional.) Nissan’s CVT is one of the better ones, it puts power to the pavement without making a racket. The Rogue is not especially quick off the line, but most buyers will find the power adequate. Furthermore, the Rogue gets good gas mileage—26-27 mpg. A hybrid version of the Rogue, with even better fuel economy, is due soon.
The Rogue comes in three favors, S, SV and SL. Forget about the S, it is pretty bare bones. The SV is a much better choice with upgraded exterior trim and more amenities inside. Buyers get heated front seats with a power adjuster for the driver, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. (This last feature will save your butt in parking lots many times.)
However, if you want additional driver aides, you’ll have to order the much more expensive SL. It comes with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision emergency braking, as well as luxury items like leather upholstery. It’s a shame that the advanced safety features are not offered on the SV too.
Of course, the big question for any car is how does it drive out on the road? In the case of the Rogue, the answer is darn good. The handling is well controlled. The steering is direct, and there’s minimal body-lean on sharp turns. The ride is compliant over rough pavement, and is indeed superior to many of its competitors. Furthermore, the cabin is relatively quiet for a crossover in this class.
Now, to the next big question, how much does the Rogue cost? Pricing starts at $24,760 for the S model with front-wheel drive, and ranges up the $32,250 for the SL with AWD. My SL test car, with all available options had a hefty sticker price of $35,475.
Good Drive Qualities