2017 Nissan Rogue: Classy–and affordable

5 Jun 2017 | 929 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds For 2017, Nissan's popular Rogue is a heck of a lot roguish--lowercase "r" intended. With more dramatic styling,  big upgrades in the interior, and more refinement overall, the compact CUV Rogue is a big player in the compact CUV market, and for good reason.  It's right-sized, reasonably nimble in the urban road and highway jungle, it's very comfortable, and as you can see, pretty good looking--enough to make us think of a small Volvo wagon. For 2017, there were a few changes made. There's a few tweaks to the exterior styling, making the car look even more rich and expensive, while some new, additional sound insulation makes an already quiet car even quieter.  Other changes? There's  a hands-free liftgate, adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation, remote ignition, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions and a premium Platinum Reserve interior package. Your choice of models and equipment are pretty clear cut for Rogue.  It comes in available in three trim levels:  S, SV and SL. All come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque) paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option. Our model was a fully optioned out SL with just about all the possible equipment you could want. In all wheel drive versions, fuel economy is rated at 25 city, 32 highway, and 27 combined, while the rating is 26/33/29 for the front wheel drive version.
There also is an all- new Nissan Rogue Hybrid, available in SL and SV versions, has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder along with a 30-kW electric motor (176 hp combined output) and is offered in front- or all-wheel drive.
We start with Rogue S. It has 17-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, sliding and reclining 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, a clever cargo management system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a 5-inch infotainment display and a four-speaker CD player with USB input and satellite radio. A good choice for those who want a bit ore but not the top of the line model can consider the SV, which has as standard equipment  alloy wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, and a six-speaker audio system. But the real head turner in the family is the snazzy SL model, which as standard equipment  18-inch wheels, automatic high beams, foglights, a hands-free power liftgate, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions, a universal garage door opener, a 7-inch touchscreen, a surround-view camera system, a navigation system, Siri Eyes Free iPhone control, Nissan Connect emergency and convenience telematics, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. As for popular options, consider  a third row of seats for the S and SV trims, which allows those two models to carry seven passengers, or a  panoramic sunroof for the SV and SL. The SL trim is also can be had for adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, and a new SL Premium Reserve package that spruces up the interior with premium quilted leather upholstery. Step inside the SL model and you get a tasty looking two tone leather interior  with a sharp racing style steering wheel with a flat bottom rim. This is far and away an improvement over the first Rogue models that came out years ago that appeared...well, modest. But the comfortable leather seats, two tone dash, tasteful application of metals, and easy to reach and understand gauges made us forget all about the earliest Rogues. Another wonderful interior feature is Divide-N-Hide, which provides an adjustable set of dividers and shelves to cerate a number of convenient configurations for customized  storage. There were only two niggles about the interior for us.  The first is the sometimes ratchety feeling, noisy shift linkage in the console mounted gearshift, and the really miniscule symbols for some control functions.  The cruise control apparatus also needs some rethinking. We also think the navigation system needs an upgrade--some streets were missing, there was some mixups with lefts and rights, and programming locations to get the system started need to be streamlined and simplified. Another bother for us?  A really noisy engine under acceleration.  Push the pedal and it really sounds as though the engine is straining tremendously to make it. But when it comes to overall value, Rogue with its snappy interior, bounteous standard equipment and an overall sense of stability and maneuverability, should be right at the top of the shopping list for compact utility vehicles.

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