2017 Nissan Rogue AWDPosted on March 16th, 2017
Crossover gets new styling and active safety enhancements
By Nina Russin
With so many new models entering the compact crossover segment, it can be difficult for shoppers to separate wheat from chaff. What options fill all the squares- styling, versatility, safety and performance- while offering the best value?
For buyers with active lifestyles, the 2017 Nissan Rogue should make the short list. The automaker revised both styling and performance for the 2017 model year, with a refreshed exterior, available all-wheel drive and important active safety features including autonomous braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
Power comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 170-horsepower with 175 pound-feet of peak torque and continuously variable transmission. Standard convenience features on the upscale SL model tested include a six-way power driver’s seat, 40/20/40 split folding second-row seat, around-view monitor with moving object detection, heated front seats, NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps, seven-inch touchscreen monitor, satellite radio with real-time traffic updates, USB port, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth interface, Siri Eyes Free, dual-zone automatic climate control, Divide-N-Hide cargo management system, keyless start and high beam assist.
Base MSRP excluding the $900 destination charge is $31,310. Options on the test car include a panoramic moonroof, LED headlamps, 19-inch rims, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and assist, autonomous braking, leather seating and cargo area protector. Final MSRP is $35,475.
Test drive in southern Arizona
Over the past week I drove the new Rogue around Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley and through sections of the Gila River Indian Community to the south. The Rogue stands out as an easy car to live with, providing ample power and maneuverability for the daily commute as well as the creature comforts tech savvy-buyers are looking for.
The cargo management system is an important addition for buyers with active lifestyles. Movable shelving and dividers enables owners to make better use of the back space, from hiding valuables to securing smaller items. Fold-flat second-row seats make the Rogue bicycle friendly.
The 2.4-liter engine delivers good acceleration off-the line and in the 20-to-50 mile-per-hour range drivers use merging into high-speed traffic. Nissan’s continuously variable automatic transmission is one of the best in the industry, with positive transmission of power at all speeds and none of the rubber band feel some competitive units suffer from.
The around-view monitor enables drivers to see the car’s entire perimeter when backing out of a driveway or parking space: an important safety feature for parents whose kids might accidentally cross a blind spot when the vehicle is in motion.
For commuters, standard blind spot monitoring makes it easier and safer to weave through rush-hour traffic. When vehicles in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots, LED signals in the A-pillar illuminate as a warning.
At night, optional LED lighting projects longer, brighter beams than halogen while conserving energy.
At-this-time of year extreme temperature swings can make it difficult to maintain correct tire pressures, since each ten degrees equates to a pound of pressure inside the tires. An easy fill tire alert takes the guesswork out of airing the tires up by sounding a chime when tires reach the correct inflation pressures.
The electric power steering system offers ample assist for maneuverability at low speeds with a pleasantly heavy feel on the highway. There is a slight lag in on-center response, but drivers should feel well in control performing emergency evasive maneuvers.
A four-wheel independent suspension consists of struts with coil springs in front and a multi-link system in the back. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes stop the car in firm, linear fashion.
Engineers did a good job of minimizing engine and wind noise intrusion to the interior. I noticed some tire noise on some of the rubberized asphalt surfaces, possibly due to the car’s more aggressive wheel and tire package.
The Rogue’s versatile interior is perfect for buyers with active lifestyles. Driver’s seat memory positions make it easier for multiple drivers to share the vehicle while dual-zone climate controls keep both front occupants comfortable in temperature extremes. Keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for the key fob after dark.
Power driver’s seat adjustments offer plenty of lower lumbar support and enough upward range to give smaller drivers a clear forward view. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel enables those individuals to maintain a safe distance from the front airbag.
I found climate and audio controls easy to reach and intuitive to operate.
The split-folding rear seat comes in handy when an extra passenger is along for the ride, still giving the car owner an extended cargo area on half the vehicle to toss a bike, skis, kayak or snowboard inside. Rear seat hip and legroom is ample enough to make most average size adults comfortable.
The Nissan Rogue comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring with easy fill alert, blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert and hill start assist.
Nissan builds the Rogue at its Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant.
Like: A stylish, versatile crossover vehicle with available all-wheel drive for four-season capability. Unique cargo organizing system enables owners to make better use of the rear storage area.
Dislike: Tire noise on some paved surfaces.
Model: Rogue SL AWD
Base price: $31,310
As tested: $35,475
Horsepower: 170 HP @ 6000 RPM
Torque: 175 lbs.-ft. @ 4400 RPM
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 25/32 mpg city/highway