2015 NISSAN ROGUE BEST SELLER AND AWARD WINNER
By Tom Crosby
A little more than a decade ago, Nissan recognized the trend toward crossover vehicles – actually sport utility vehicles designed to drive like a sedan – and introduced its Rogue in 2007.
The decision was successful with the Rogue now Nissan’s second best selling vehicle behind the Nissan Altima out of 17 Nissan choices and winner of numerous automotive and consumer awards after a second generation makeover last year.
For 2015, Nissan hasn’t messed with success and the only noteworthy changes are mostly within options. There are three trims – S, SV and SL – with either front wheel or all wheel drive, and a third row seat available on S and SV that eliminates the spare tire.
We test drove the SV with front-wheel drive, 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, roof rails and a six-speaker audio system with Sirius XM satellite radio. A $1,590 Premium option included a 7-inch dashboard touch-screen, voice-recognition navigation with real-time traffic link and heated NASA designed patterned cloth front seats that feel comfortable no matter how long you’re behind the wheel.
Safety features come with the Premium package and are excellent – around view monitor, blind spot detection, lane departure and moving object detection. The ride easily absorbed potholes and rough pavement with a four-wheel independent suspension. Handling was average with noticeable lean at speed in tight turns.
The Eco driving mode conserves fuel and sport drive mode adds some engine muscle and noise under acceleration but the Rogue isn’t built for quickness. The profile is elegantly simple, with raked windshield, minimal chrome except on surrounds, logo, door handles and some rear and front stripes.
Inside, Rogue is just plain comfortable with high seating positions, soft-touch materials including padded and stitched armrests and door cup holders capable of holding a Big Gulp.
Thick pillars slightly hinder visibility but blind spot detection alerts somewhat mitigate the problem. Gauges are easily read and a full-color screen between them provides trip and fuel information.
Versatility comes with 40/20/40 split fold-flat second row seats (which have 9 inches of fore/aft travel and recline) and trunk multi-level shelving that Nissan says can be maneuvered into 18 different configurations. The front passenger seat also depresses. The dashboard screen plugs into Nissan Connect for apps to listen to music, live streaming or podcasts. Text messaging is available with smart phones. Crash test scores were rated good. It’s a top-notch family of four vehicle.
LIKES: Price, comfort, versatility, mileage, ride
DISLIKES: Low horsepower, visibility
BOTTOM LINE: When comparison-shopping compact SUV’s, the Rogue’s functionally and price are competitive
- Base price w/destination fee $25,375 (as tested $27,175)
- Curb weight 3,413 lbs.
- Wheelbase 106.5 inches
- Length 182.3 inches
- Width 72.4 inches
- Engine 2.5-liter, DOHC, 4-cylinder inline
- Horsepower 170 hp at 6,000 rpm
- Torque 175 lbs.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
- Transmission Continuously variable with sport/eco modes
- EPA Rating 26 city, 33 highway
- Range 14.5 gallons, regular
- Performance 0-60 in just over 9 seconds