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2016 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2015

The 2016 Nissan Rogue stands apart by offering expressive styling, a handsome interior and unique features. The Rogue's 360-degree Around View Monitor and an available third-row seat are just two such features that help it shine a little brighter than industry leaders, like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. However, the Rogue still has some shortcomings worth noting. The Ford Escape, for example, offers two powerful turbocharged engine options and better handling, while the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offers a turbocharged engine and a longer standard warranty. The Subaru Forester offers an advanced all-wheel-drive system, the option of a turbocharged engine and better resale values.

Still, in the face of so many worthy opponents, Nissan hopes the Rogue's fresh styling, bright color palette and upscale interior will be enough to draw customers back to the brand. Younger buyers will appreciate features like the available Bose audio system and a panoramic sunroof, while families will love the advanced driver-assist and safety features.

What's New for 2016?

For 2016, the Rogue SL can be equipped with Forward Emergency Braking, while Siri Eyes Free is made standard on the SL and available on the SV via the Premium package. The Rogue S has a new Appearance package that adds body-colored outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, chrome door handles and roof rails and rear privacy glass.

What We Like

Handsome styling; competitive pricing; a lot of available technology; third-row option is nice

What We Don't

Needs larger available engine; no third row in top trim level; slightly noisy inside

How Much?

$24,125-$33,500

Fuel Economy

The 2016 Rogue is only offered with one engine, a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. That powerplant, in turn, only comes with one transmission, a continuously variable automatic. Fuel economy stands at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway for the front-wheel-drive base model or 25 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The Rogue is offered with three trim levels. There's a base-level model called the Rogue S, a midlevel Rogue SV and an upscale Rogue SL.

Shoppers who pick the Rogue S ($24,125) will have a 5-inch touchscreen display, power accessories, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port for music.

Next up is the Rogue SV ($25,575), which adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-in alloy wheels, keyless access with push-button starting, a power driver's seat with power lumbar support, satellite radio, an improved sound system, automatic headlights and tinted windows.

Finally, there's the Rogue SL ($29,525), which adds a Bose sound system, leather upholstery, Nissan's NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation, Siri Eyes Free, NissanConnect emergency services, a power lift gate, a larger touchscreen, heated seats, 18-in wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Nissan's Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, which provides a full image around the vehicle when reversing.

Major options include a panoramic sunroof (on SV and SL models), third-row seating (on S and SV models), heated cloth seats (with the SV Premium package) and a litany of safety features, such as a blind spot monitoring system, Forward Emergency Braking (on the SL model) plus lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems. All-wheel drive is optional on all three models.

Safety

The 2016 Nissan Rogue comes standard with a long list of safety equipment, including 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags, a reversing camera, traction control and daytime running lights. Options include automatic headlights, Nissan's helpful Around View Monitor, a blind spot monitoring system and Moving Object Detection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2016 Rogue four out of five stars in its overall crash-test evaluation, earning four stars in the front crash test, five in the side-impact test and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2016 Rogue its highest rating of Good in every crash-test category and awarded the 2015 model a Top Safety Pick.

Behind the Wheel

On the road, the Rogue quickly impresses. While noise from the continuously variable transmission and the road can be a little loud, such complaints are forgotten when you consider the Rogue's smooth ride, easy maneuverability and good visibility. While those traits won't win the Rogue any awards for excitement, they're among the most important when you're searching for a compact SUV. Also excellent is its interior room, though the third row is, of course, only intended for the smallest among us.

Inside the Rogue, the interior materials certainly impress. While most rivals don't bother to conceal inexpensive touches, the Rogue offers high-end stitching and leather where you might expect to find plastic. That's even true on the base-level Rogue S, which certainly boasts a higher-quality interior than entry-level versions of most rival small crossovers.

Our biggest complaint behind the wheel? The Rogue should simply be faster, and that's not just the opinion of a car enthusiast who enjoys strong acceleration. Today's Rogue is significantly larger than the original, and that version never really felt spry. A V6, such as Nissan's excellent 3.5-liter unit found in the Pathfinder, would do wonders, but Nissan may worry that drivers would never consider the Pathfinder if the Rogue offered such an engine.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Ford Escape -- Among the Rogue's best rivals, the Escape boasts a version for everyone. There's a standard model, a fuel-saving model and a more powerful model. The Escape's interior is among the nicer in the segment, though the Rogue boasts more tech and the all-important third row.

2016 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V remains the gold standard for compact SUVs, offering slightly better fuel economy and more horsepower than the Rogue. The CR-V also offers adaptive cruise control, but it doesn't offer a high-end audio option or panoramic sunroof.

Used Toyota RAV4 -- A used RAV4 offers a third-row seat option and an available V6 engine. The 2009-2012 RAV4 holds its value well and has an excellent reputation for reliability and durability.

Used Subaru Outback -- A used 2010-2014 Subaru Outback provides a larger rear seat, standard all-wheel drive and a choice between a 4- or 6-cylinder engine.

Autotrader's Advice

The Rogue is an excellent compact SUV, and it's hard to go wrong with any of its appealing trim levels. Our favorite is a Rogue SV with some options. The upscale SL includes a few too many features that aren't necessary and, with those features, comes a huge jump in price.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review - Autotrader