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2018 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2017

As predicted, the compact 2018 Nissan Rogue has become the company's best-selling vehicle, and its no wonder why. The Rogue's bold styling is one attraction, as is its versatile interior that includes Nissan's clever EZ Flex seating system. Although not the most powerful compact SUV out there, what the Rogue lacks in muscle it more than makes up for in fuel economy, earning an estimated 33 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. The Rogue offers numerous desirable options such as a 360-degree Around View Monitor and a new suite of driver-safety and collision-avoidance systems. Buyers will also appreciate features like the available Bose audio system and panoramic sunroof.

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 as standard, the option of a turbocharged engine and better resale values, while the Toyota RAV4 comes standard with some collision-avoidance and driver-assist features that remain optional on the Rogue.

What's New for 2018?

For 2018, the Rogue gains Nissan's ProPILOT Assist option on the SL trim. The system works to assist the driver with steering, brake and throttle inputs under certain driving conditions on single-lane roads and is the precursor to the autonomous driving cars of the future. NissanConnect gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, while a motion-activated lift gate is added to the SV grade. Adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and assist and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection is added the SL grade.

What We Like

Handsome styling; competitive pricing; a lot of available technology; versatile cargo area; hybrid model

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?

$25,655-$39,000

Fuel Economy

The 2018 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 mpg 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 ($25,655, FWD), ($27,005 AWD) will have a 5-inch touchscreen display, power accessories, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, NissanConnect with mobile apps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 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. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Next up is the Rogue SV ($26,875, FWD), ($28,225, 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, a motion-activated power rear liftgate, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, remote start satellite radio, an improved sound system, automatic headlights and tinted windows.

Finally, there's the Rogue SL ($32,035, FWD), ($33,385, AWD), which adds a Bose sound system, leather upholstery, Nissan's NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation, Siri Eyes Free, NissanConnect emergency services, 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. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning and prevention.

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.

Major options are bundled into packages. The SV trim offers the Sun and Touring package that adds a panoramic moonroof, Bose audio, navigation, the Around View Monitor, adaptive cruise control and a heated steering wheel. The SV Premium package adds navigation, the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, adaptive cruise control and a heated steering wheel. The SL Platinum package adds an electric parking brake, 19-in alloy wheels, Nissan's ProPILOT steering assist with adaptive cruise control and full-speed range and hold.

Safety

The 2018 Nissan Rogue comes standard with a long list of safety equipment, including 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags, a reversing camera, a blind spot monitoring system, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, traction control and daytime running lights. Options include automatic headlights, Nissan's helpful Around View Monitor, Moving Object Detection and high-speed steering and lane keep assist.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 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 2018 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 and cargo space.

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. The Sentra SR's 1.6-liter turbo might be another choice, but we'll just have to wait another year to see if either option materializes.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 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 a larger cabin.

2018 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V remains the gold standard for compact SUVs and offers more hp 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.

2018 Toyota RAV4 -- The RAV4 comes standard with a number of driver-assist systems unavailable on the base and midlevel Rogue trims. The RAV4 also offers about the same power and fuel economy, as well as a hybrid model. But the RAV4 isn't as nice inside nor is its optional feature set as robust.

Used Subaru Outback -- A used 2010-2016 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 the most advanced driver-safety features.

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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.
2018 Nissan Rogue: New Car Review - Autotrader