It’s not easy for a small crossover sport utility vehicle to get noticed, thanks to the popularity of the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, the class leaders for years.
Other notable performers like the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and Kia Sportage can cloud the picture as well for a small SUV looking to gain some notoriety. With that in mind, one can understand why the Nissan Rogue seemingly gets overlooked.
However, the hidden truth is that Ford sells quite a few Rogue models. In fact, according to JD Powers, the Rogue had sales of 182,181 in 2016, ranking third behind the CR-V and RAV4. So, Ford must be doing something right.
Introduced in 2008, the Rogue isn’t overpowering in any one area, yet from an overall standpoint it’s a solid choice. It delivers good gas mileage, is reasonably priced, offers suitable handling, and receives good marks from an overall perspective.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue got a refreshing that enhances its appeal. The biggest addition is adding a hybrid model, which was tested here. Although possessing the general characteristics of the traditional Rogue, we loved the hybrid’s gas mileage (31-37 mpg) even though the battery pack reduces the cargo capacity.
One thing that no model in the Rogue lineup delivers is performance. One of the longtime knocks on the Rogue is its uninspired power and nothing has changed. Performance is average at best. The Rogue lacks adequate power on any sizable hill. It’s not too hot from a starting point either, clocking an unimpressive 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds.
The standard Rogue engine is a 2.5-liter, inline-4 that generates 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, and gets 25-33 mpg. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that directs the power to the front wheels. The hybrid model features a 2.0-liter, inline-4 with 176 horsepower.
Power might be lacking, but the Rogue does offer some other fine qualities. It has a quiet engine that elicits little road noise. This is an SUV that handles like a sedan, providing a smooth ride and efficient handling. The Rogue offers an overall feel of refinement and its braking is strong and firm, giving the driver a confident demeanor.
One thing we didn’t realize about the Rogue was it can transport up to seven people when a two-seat third row is added. The third row is for kids only, but does give the Rogue something that competitors typically don’t offer. The third row is not an option in several models, including the hybrid.
The Rogue features an attractive, comfortable cabin that employs quality materials, soft-touch surfaces, and lots of infotainment and connectivity features. The dashboard layout is smart and learning its nuances is fairly intuitive. Cargo area is 32 cubic feet and the space doubles when the second row is folded down.
2017 Nissan Rogue
- Performance: 2.5-liter, four cylinder, 170 horsepower; 2.0-liter, four cylinder hybrid, 176 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 25-33 mpg; 31-37 mpg
- Price estimate: $24,800 to $31,100
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
Overlooked by some, the 2017 Nissan Rogue is a competent compact SUV that delivers in a number of key areas like cost and gas mileage. Overall, it’s a solid performer that deserve a look when out shopping for a small SUV.
Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel. His “Weidel on Wheels” auto reviews are featured periodically on this website at www.tahoeskiworld.com.