The Rogue continues to enjoy its status as Nissan’s top-selling model; it’s also one of the few crossovers available in a hybrid trim. Lookswise, it’s safe, neither hideous nor especially distinguishable in a split second from the dozens of others of its ilk, although its V-shaped grille and boomerang-ish taillights will help you find it in parking lots. Where the $24,000 (starting price) Rogue excels is in interior comfort, first, but also in its mileage, which, depending on your trim and your right foot, can hover in the neighborhood of 27 miles per gallon.
All models are offered both in front-wheel and all-wheel drive (a $1200 option) that make either every day driving or navigating a snowstorm easy. It does not rock corners or blast off with any particular velocity, but it’s not meant to, nor is it meant to tow stuff. You’ll find plenty of room in the rear for a Home Depot run or a set of drums, though – its optional third row is no longer available. An interesting new developement, too, is the Rogue’s “ProPilot Assist” combo of an adaptive cruise control system, lane-keeping steering assist and a driver alertness monitor. Hit the blue “force field” button on the steering wheel, set your desired speed and you’ll maintain a safe following distance behind a car; there’s also an adding steering aid to help keep the Rogue from drifting out of its lane. While we feel drivers should be taught to pay attention to the road rather than adding gadget after gadget to compensate for inattention, anything that reduces road carnage can’t be a bad thing.
The Rogue’s ride is where it shines – it feels large on the inside but does away with that “I’m never going to fit in that parking space” bulk flavor, and its ride feel is smooth as you please. It got a facelift last year, adding more tech and safety features. It’s Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, too, are reasonably easy to figure out.
While not our personal favorite, sales figures last year were remarkable – 31% higher than 2016. Clearly, Nissan has hit a sweet spot with the public, and their Rogue is worthy of a tire-kick.