For 2017 the Nissan Rogue gets a slight makeover to update this ever so popular compact SUV. With sales over 40,000 units in Canada, it outsells a lot of vehicles in the segment.
In terms of what’s new, the exterior styling has been refreshed to add twin projector LED headlamps up front just to freshen up the styling. Also, it’s nice to know these projectors are extremely bright, especially the high beam. The corporate “V-grill” is now deeper and more prominent and behind the rather large Nissan badge is the vehicle’s frontal sensor.
Unlike most of the vehicles in the segment, the Rogue has an optional 3rd row to accommodate up to 7 passengers all thanks to the extended length making it one of the longer vehicles in its class.
Inside the Rogue, there are a few changes here as well. Starting with the steering wheel. Inspired from the Maxima with the flat-bottom and small airbag cover. It feels a little out of place considering the type of vehicle it is but it’s heated to keep the driver happy. Other design changes include the leather piece in front of the passenger to class it up the interior a little. Sadly these changes don’t hide the upper dash and centre console which is still made from molded plastic giving it a rough texture and feel.
As always technology can easily date a vehicle. The infotainment system is simply outdated by now. It’s able to do the average tasks like Bluetooth, Navigation and satellite radio but lacks features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Nissan does have the technology, in the bigger brother the Murano CarPlay is available so it’s definitely a missed opportunity here.
One of the best parts about the Rogue is the seats. Nissan calls them zero-gravity seats. With wide and flat seating surface these seats offer plenty of support and are extremely comfortable for the long haul.
And it’s not just for the front seats, the back seats are also very comfortable. Sitting higher than the front row, it’s has a nice view out and with the sunroof letting in loads of light it’s a very pleasant place to be. Because of the optional 3rd row, the 2nd row is on sliders which allow it to slide all the way forward kissing the back of the front seats. For parents with smaller children, this is great as kids in the back can easily be accessed and comforted from the front.
This particular model features Nissan’s Divide-N-Hide system instead of the 3rd row. This system is pretty fascinating. Using boards as dividers it can section out the hatch area to accommodate more items than just a flat floor.
With the divider up, it allows a shelf for smaller items to fit up top without squishing items below.
And of course, the seats can be folded completely flat for larger and longer items.
Behind the wheel, the Rouge is surprisingly quiet. For 2017 they have added thicker windows and more carpeting to reduce the noise entering the cabin. Along with a supple ride, the Rogue rides a bit floaty for the switchbacks but is excellent for everyday drives.
As it is 2017, Nissan did include a host of active safety features like radar guided cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Although the system works well it seems to be a little slow to respond. But these systems are built for those just in case situations and drivers should not be relying on the tech.
Powering the Rogue is Nissan’s 2.5L 4 Cylinder with 170hp and 175lb-ft of torque. This little powerplant is able to pull the Rogue’s 3550lb frame with ease. Aided by the CVT transmission the Rogue actually feels like it has some get up and go. It’s no rocket ship but it’s not designed to be, pulling the family SUV and maximum of 1000lb towing capacity is made effortless.
The transmission is actually pretty good. Nissan was one of the first to use CVT in their mainstream cars and it shows they have learned and evolved quite a bit since then. Dip into the throttle the engine revs up to aid acceleration and has virtual gears that it can shift through. During regular day to day drives the transmission allows the engine to stay below 1500rpm for better fuel economy and a reduction in engine noise.
Every vehicle has its trademark, the Mazda CX-5 has been known to be sporty, the Jeep Cherokee is great off-road, and the Rogue is designed to just give the passengers a great experience. A well-rounded vehicle that’s quiet and capable of handling the family and a few of their friends.