If you’re shopping for your next ride, then there is a good chance a compact crossover is on the list.
It used to be easy; one or two models stood out. But now the competition is so hot with a big group of solid crossovers vying for consumer attention.
To separate itself, Nissan has added some cool technology to its top-selling Rogue.
When looking at these crossovers, a lot of safety and driver aids are being added. Nissan is no different, adding those helpful items to the top-of-the-line $36,000 Rouge SL.
Nissan goes a bit further than the typical safety features with something called ProPilot Assist which helps out on the highway. This semi-autonomous system keeps safe distances, and will even stop and then accelerate again. But it will also help keep you in the lane and can handle some slight bends in the road. It works well, but don’t compare it to Tesla or Cadillac’s more robust self-driving systems.
The Rouge has all the other safety systems you’d expect, and adds a cool, 360-degree camera system, and even rear sonar that will stop you if needed.
The Rouge might have some high-tech features, but how is it as a daily driver?
It’s a comfortable ride with a quieter cabin this year. It was a pleasant, hushed ride with nice road manners on longer trips.
While the Rouge has large wheels, which I usually don’t recommend, but the bumps were handled without harshness, so stick with those stylish rims!
While not a back-road burner, the Nissan Rogue does well in the corners. It never makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure.
Where the Rogue falls short is when you hit the gas pedal for some heavy acceleration. With only 170 hp, expect slower acceleration. When we loaded five people and some gear into the SUV, it made merging onto highways a little daunting. The engine just moans without producing much movement. The CVT transmission seems to amplify noise on higher rev ranges. Bottom line … the easier you go, the happier you and the Rogue will be.
Fuel economy for my week was also a bit under what it could have been: 25.6 mpg, a bit off the 27 mpg sticker.
There’s a lot of good news inside the Nissan Rogue SL, however. There’s a high-quality interior with nice fit and finish. The seats are very comfortable up front. I found them as good on long trips as I did for running around the block. The leather looks good and the other materials are a step up for Nissan, with many soft touch finishes throughout. Even the back seat was good for adult riders with ample head and leg room for most people. The rear vents are a nice addition that not all crossovers have.
Two adults would fit better, but I had no problem with three kids fitting in the back. I wish the lower child seat anchors were easier to reach. You can’t complain about the cargo space because the Rogue delivers plenty. The Rouge is on par, or maybe a bit better, on rear storage in this class of compact crossovers.
A seven-inch touch-screen seems a bit small, but the NAV system with 3D buildings looks cool. The Bose audio system is good and clear.
The Rogue is becoming more mainstream when it comes to style. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s pleasant to look at. The unique grill design is expressive with bold shapes and the liberal use of chrome to get its point across. There’s a continuation of the curves and shapes on the side. The front fenders are stylish with some flowing lines down the side that seem to disappear after the rear doors.
Large 19-inch wheels add some sport, and fill out the wheel well nicely. The rear of the Rogue is a bit plain when compared to the rest of the Rogue.
The Caspian Blue is a great color on this Nissan: It looks rich.
The Nissan Rogue is a popular compact crossover and after a week, I see why. It has good space with an upscale interior that’s easy to love. Now Nissan steps up with the ProPilot Assist system that adds some new technology in this ultracompetitive compact crossover class, making the Rogue standout for now.
Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI or Motus One for the purpose of this review.
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