- Spacious and user-friendly cabin with very comfortable seats.
- Quiet and smooth ride.
- Excellent fuel economy, especially from the hybrid.
- Low starting price with good value.
- Not as nice to drive as other small crossover SUVs.
- Roof angle somewhat inhibits rearward visibility.
- Interior styling is not as exciting as the exterior.
- Few standard driver safety assists on the base trim.
Vehicle Type: Four-door, five-or-seven-seat compact SUV.
Price Range: $24,815 to $32,155, including destination charge.
Powertrain: A 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel-drive.
A 176-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor hybrid system with a CVT and front-wheel-drive.
All-wheel-drive is optional.
The Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover SUV that is in its second generation of production and received refreshed interior and exterior styling for the 2017 model year. It competes against popular vehicles like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Rogue offers a comfortable and spacious interior at an affordable price. Many technology features are available and an available hybrid version that the EPA estimates at a great 34 mpg overall. The highlights of the Rogue's interior are its seats and cargo area. Interior space is excellent, especially in the front row, and the seats could be the most comfortable in the compact SUV segment. Meanwhile, cargo space is top-ranked as well. Drivers will appreciate the Rogue's quiet operation and smooth ride, giving it a level of comfort and relaxation at a relatively low price point.
Nissan refreshed the interior and exterior design for 2017. All models get a taller grille with more upscale-looking headlights, while higher trims get more standard safety technology, like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Rogue's interior comfort, quiet ride, and fuel economy are at or near the top of their class, making it one of the most comfortable small SUVs to drive. Other vehicles in the segment have better acceleration and more standard driver safety features, though. Nissan also builds the Rogue Sport, which is a smaller, separate crossover SUV. Shoppers in the market for a compact crossover will want to test-drive the 2017 Rogue.
Overall Score: 7.7/10
Safety Features: 8/10
All 2017 Nissan Rogues come standard with a rear backup camera. The mid-level SV trim adds advanced safety technology, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The top-of-the-line SL adds a surround-view camera system that can be a help for parking in tight spaces.
Many drivers will opt for the available AWD system. It costs just $1,000 over the FWD model, and while it uses the same variable transmission and engine, the AWD provides added peace of mind when approaching bad weather. It doesn't affect gas mileage significantly, either.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue received a 'Top Safety Pick Plus' designation from the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety, the organization's best-possible rating. The award applies to the SL trim equipped with the optional Platinum and Premium Packages.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Rogue a four-star overall safety rating out of five. It has a five-star overall side-impact rating and a four-star rollover rating.
The Nissan Rogue brings a lot of value to the table. It has a low starting price of roughly $25,000, and for that, shoppers get access to a sleek and modern small SUV with a comfortable interior. There is plenty of space in both rows, and Nissan offers a third-row that expands seating to seven.
Unfortunately, Nissan reserves many of its active driver safety aids for upper trims, and the only way to get LED headlights is as part of an optional package. Thankfully, even a fully-equipped Rogue is still relatively inexpensive for the level of tech and comfort buyers receive.
Shoppers can get a hybrid model with optional all-wheel-drive for under $30,000. That is a bargain compared to rivals, and hybrid technology helps save money on fuel costs. Few compact SUVs come with as many features as the Rogue for its price.
Tech Features: 8/10
The Nissan Rogue is better covered in the technology area than other compact SUVs, especially for standard features. Standard features on all trims include a CD player, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, a front auxiliary input, and a front USB port. The base Rogue has a five-inch infotainment screen, which is small but straightforward to use. Rivals come standard with six- or seven-inch touchscreens.
The top-flight SL trim level has unique standard details like automatic high beams, a hands-free power liftgate, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, navigation, and a seven-inch touchscreen. A heated steering wheel helps keep the driver's hands cozy in cold weather, and the surround-view camera provides added peace of mind. Other tech features include driver' s-seat memory functions and a Siri Eyes Free iPhone app that helps the driver keep their focus on the road.
Like most small SUVs, the Nissan Rogue is convenient. Unlike some SUVs, cargo space is excellent. Pop open the rear-lifting tailgate, and there is a 39.3-cubic-foot cargo area. That's better than many bigger SUVs. Folding down the rear seat expands that space even more, to 70 cubic feet, making the Rogue an excellent choice for hauling large and bulky items, antiquing, or trips to the hardware store.
There are many small bins and storage trays around the interior, like is a useful tray at the bottom of the center stack that fits a smartphone. The upholstered center console bin offers adequate storage space and doubles as an armrest. There are four cup holders, which are squared-off and aren't wide enough to hold oversized drinks.
A hands-free power liftgate is one of the key features included with the SL. It is optional on the SV. It makes accessing the cargo area a breeze when everyone's hands are full, with a sensor underneath the rear bumper that activates when it senses motion and the driver's key is nearby. It is one of the most advanced and easy-to-use systems in its class.
A third-row bench seat is optional on the S and SV trims. Its space for seven people makes the Rogue one of the most practical small SUVs for growing families. It is small, though, and it takes up cargo space.
Styling & Design: 7/10
The 2017 Rogue has a clean and straightforward cabin design. It is very user-friendly, with large and well-labeled buttons that are easy to access. It doesn't have a distinct style, though. Many of the Rogue's competitors have more stylish interiors that feel more luxurious or sportier. The Rogue opts for a more relaxed and traditional approach, though the SL trim does offer many fancy touches. Overall, those familiar with other Nissan vehicles like the Altima sedan will feel at home in the Rogue's cabin.
The infotainment screen and steering wheel are nicely angled for the driver to access. Nissan keeps most of the buttons centered around the media screen. There are buttons for phone calls, music, and vehicle settings on the steering wheel, and they are large and made of high-quality plastics. The wheel itself is a great shape and size, with adequate padding for long drives.
Interior space, especially in the first row, is excellent. The driver and front-passenger get 43 inches of legroom, which is near the top of the class. The headroom is also excellent, at 41.6 inches. The back seat is not as roomy, but it's competitive compared to rivals.
Nissan has an excellent track record with crafting supportive seats, and the Rogue's seats are perhaps the most comfortable of any small SUV. Nissan offers an optional third-row seat for the S and SV trim levels, but it is too small for adults and difficult to access. The first- and second-row seats are wide and have good cushioning, making the Rogue a worthwhile companion on long road trips.
Driving Experience: 6/10
While the Rogue drives and handles well in everyday driving, it isn't exceptionally fast or fun to drive like some other compact crossover SUVs. Its base engine accelerates smoothly but slowly, and there is no higher-performance motor available. Nonetheless, the engine is quiet, and, paired with the CVT and smooth suspension, the Rogue is very relaxing to drive for long distances.
The hybrid powertrain is even quieter to operate, thanks to its electric motor that assists the gas engine and takes over at low speeds. Fuel economy is excellent, but again, acceleration is slow.
The Rogue has good handling, though some of its rivals are downright sporty. There is no available sport-tuned suspension, and the steering feels a tad slow and not as sharp as it could be. But it's secure, and the available all-wheel-drive system may add extra grip in certain situations.
The Rogue has compact exterior proportions and excellent forward visibility, making it a cinch to maneuver in the city and on the highway. Unfortunately, the sleek body styling somewhat inhibits rear visibility. The backup camera helps. The available surround-view camera makes getting in and out of tight parking spots much more manageable.
Fuel Efficiency: 9/10
As previously mentioned, fuel economy is one of the Nissan Rogue's strong suits. It has some of the best efficiency in its segment, with an EPA-estimated 29 mpg overall for the front-wheel-drive model. With all-wheel-drive, that number dips slightly to 27 mpg combined, which is still better than some popular competitors.
Some drivers want even better fuel economy, and Nissan complies, with a hybrid powertrain that the EPA says should get up to 34 mpg in mixed driving. That makes the Rogue more economical than many small commuter cars, which is impressive when considering its cavernous interior and many standard features.
What’s it Going to Cost Me?
The entry-level S trim retails for a base price of about $24,815 (including destination charge), and it comes with many popular features for that price. It comes with Nissan's fuel-efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive. Key exterior features are 17-inch steel wheels, a backup camera, an alarm, automatic halogen headlights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, and power side mirrors. Inside the cabin, occupants have access to soft cloth seats, a one-touch automatic driver's window, a folding second-row bench seat, power locks, keyless entry, a leather steering wheel, air conditioning, and cruise control. Users get technology like four audio speakers, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port, and a five-inch display.
For an MSRP of about $26,235, the mid-level Nissan Rogue SV adds many convenience and technology features, including a driver safety technology suite. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking may help prevent and lessen the consequences of accidents, while blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert give the driver additional points of awareness when changing lanes or backing up. Other amenities include heated side mirrors, alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, a remote engine starter, dual-zone climate control, and six speakers.
The Hybrid SV has the same features as the standard SV, but it also gets a more fuel-efficient powertrain. It costs about $27,235.
Those seeking a near-luxury driving experience at an affordable price will want to research the Rogue SL. Pricing starts at $30,955. It gets standard details like leather upholstery, driver's seat memory, a universal garage door opener, a surround-view camera, a heated steering wheel, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio, voice-activated infotainment system, a seven-inch touchscreen, and a navigation system. Despite all of its great tech, the Nissan Rogue SL doesn't come with lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, or lane-keep assist; those are optional, part of the Platinum Package.
At $32,155, the Rogue Hybrid SL comes with all of the above, plus the hybrid powertrain.
Drivers who live in colder climes or want additional traction can add all-wheel-drive to any trim level for $1,350.
If we were in the market for a new Rogue, we would probably choose the Hybrid SV trim. It comes with many standard safety aids and desirable conveniences like heated seats and dual-zone climate control. The hybrid engine gets superb fuel economy and only costs $1,000 over the non-hybrid.