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2017 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2016

Insiders are predicting the 2017 Nissan Rogue will become the company's best-selling vehicle this year, and for good reason. The 2017 Rogue not only gets a mild makeover and more features, but it also gains a hybrid model capable of an estimated 35 miles per gallon highway fuel economy. The Rogue offers numerous options uncommon in this price range, such as a 360-degree Around View Monitor and an available third-row seat. However, the Rogue still has some shortcomings worth noting. The Ford Escape, for instance, 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, while both the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 come standard with collision-avoidance and driver-assist features that remain optional on the Rogue.

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

What's New for 2017?

For 2017, the Rogue gets a significant makeover both inside and out. Improvements are made to the Rogue's body structure to help quiet the cabin, while the optional equipment list is expanded to include such items as a motion-activated lift gate, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control. The Rogue Hybrid is introduced, featuring a 2.0-liter gas engine paired with a 30 kW electric motor. In a nod to the Star Wars franchise, a limited-production (5,000 units) Rogue One Edition is being offered with a special exterior color treatment, "Star Wars" illuminated kick plates and various Star Wars logos peppered throughout the vehicle.

What We Like

Handsome styling; competitive pricing; a lot of available technology; third-row option is nice; new hybrid model available with all-wheel drive

What We Don't

Could do with more power under the hood; not as sporty as a Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape; advanced driver-assist features only offered on most expensive trim

How Much?

$24,760-$35,500

Fuel Economy

The 2017 Rogue is offered this year with two powertrain choices. A 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is standard and is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission. 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.

The Rogue Hybrid offers a 141-hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine paired with a 30 kW electric motor (40 hp) for a combined output of 175 hp. The Rogue Hybrid's fuel economy is an estimated 33 mpg city/35 mpg hwy for front-drive models and 31 mpg city/34 mpg hwy when equipped with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

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

Shoppers who pick the Rogue S ($24,760, FWD), ($26,110, AWD) will have a 5-inch touchscreen display, power accessories, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls, NissanConnect with mobile apps, cruise control, air conditioning, a rearview camera, and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and a USB port for music.

Next up is the Rogue SV ($26,180, FWD), ($27,530, AWD) which adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-in alloy wheels, keyless access with push-button start, a power driver's seat with power lumbar support, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, remote start satellite radio, an improved sound system, automatic headlights and tinted windows. Hybrid models are offered in SV and SL trims and feature the same equipment as their nonhybrid counterparts, plus gauges for hybrid readouts, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, additional storage space and a sound generator for when driving in EV mode.

Finally, there's the Rogue SL ($30,900, FWD), ($32,250, AWD) which adds a Bose sound system, leather upholstery, Nissan's NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation, Siri Eyes Free, NissanConnect emergency services, a motion-activated power lift gate, auto high-beam headlights, a larger touchscreen, heated seats, 18-in wheels, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and Nissan's Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, which provides a full image around the vehicle when reversing.

Major options are bundled into packages. The S trim offers the Family package (3-row seating, privacy glass and run-flat tires) and the Appearance package (roof rails, privacy glass, body-colored heated outside mirrors and chrome door handles).

The SV trim offers a number of upgrades, including the third-row seat option. The SV Sun and Sound package adds a panoramic power sunroof and 9-speaker Bose audio, while the SV Premium package adds navigation with a 7-in touchscreen, the Around View monitor with Moving Object Detection, a motion-activated liftgate and a heated steering wheel. Only the SL trim offers features like forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning and prevention.

Safety

The 2017 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, forward emergency braking, lane-departure warning and Moving Object Detection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Rogue four out of five stars in its overall crash-test evaluation, with 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 2017 Rogue its highest rating of Good in every crash-test category, Superior in the crash avoidance and mitigation test, and a Top Safety Pick+ status.

Behind the Wheel

On the road, the Rogue quickly impresses. While noise from the continuously variable transmission and the road can be a bit obvious, 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

2017 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 the all-important third row.

2017 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V remains the gold standard for compact SUVs and offers more horsepower than the Rogue, plus standard safety features such as collision-mitigation braking. However, the CR-V doesn't offer a high-end audio option or panoramic sunroof.

2017 Toyota RAV4 -- The RAV4 comes standard with a number of driver-assist systems optional on the Rogue, and it offers about the same power and fuel economy as well as a hybrid model. But the RAV4 isn't as nice inside, nor does it offer a third-row seat.

Used Subaru Outback -- A used 2010-2015 Subaru Outback provides a larger rear seat, standard all-wheel drive and a choice between a 4- or 6-cylinder engine. Later models also offer Subaru's EyeSight collision-mitigation system.

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. However, the SL is the only way to get things like adaptive cruise control and forward emergency braking.

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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.
2017 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review - Autotrader