The Rogue offers huge value in terms of space, comfort, affordability, features and style.
Nissan’s Rogue has been at the forefront of the crossover craze, winning buyers with its affordability, efficiency and space. In fact, I’d say it’s been the most appealing mainstream offering in the Nissan lineup in recent years, so Nissan is making the right move by updating the Rogue for 2017 to ensure it stays fresh. To see what has changed, we decided to book a road test with a 2017 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum.
Our main issue with the outgoing Rogue was its outdated powertrain. Though many were hopeful it would be revamped for 2017, the 2.5L inline four-cylinder and Xtronic CVT remain unchanged. The engine develops 170 horsepower at 6000RPM, and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4400RPM. These figures feel completely overwhelmed by the Rogue’s relatively heavy all-wheel drive platform. All labour on the engine’s part generates a fair bit of noise, which makes its way into the cabin and interrupts an otherwise very comfortable space.
Surprisingly, despite the apparent strain, the little four-cylinder (codenamed the QR25) does a great job of saving fuel, with our road test average ending up right at 9.7L/100km on 87-octane regular fuel. This mighty impressive for a 3500-pound AWD crossover in February temperatures; especially one offering the space and amenities found in the Rogue. In fact, the fuel efficiency number is quite close to many mainstream front-drive sedans, even those without forced induction.
While Nissan hasn’t made any obvious improvements to the powertrain, it definitely feels like some tweaks have been made elsewhere. The updated Rogue (reviewed here) does feel a little tighter than the last model. Most notably, the steering feels more responsive and despite the fancy 19” rims on our SL tester, ride quality is exceptional. One quality of the Rogue that many buyers appreciate is that fact that it drives like a much smaller car. Handling is nimble in the city, the turning radius is extremely tight for a crossover, and the 360-degree SurroundView camera in the SL trim parking very easy. Without that camera though, rearward visibility is a bit of an issue thanks to unusually thick D-pillars in the rear.
Exterior updates to the Rogue for 2017 are fairly minimal and consist of new front and rear fasciae and LED tail lights, which a dramatic improvement over the of the previous model. This vehicle came finished what Nissan calls Palatial Ruby; the overall finish is quite nice and the deep paintwork serves to distract from minor panel gap and fitment issues that are only noticeable on close inspection.
The new 19” wheels look great and the black inserts compliment the body cladding very well giving the Rogue a very cohesive look. The SL trim level now comes with LED headlamps, which perform very well and are a welcomed feature on these dark winter nights. While the changes might be minor, the Rogue is still a decent looking crossover and the general design has aged well.
The interior has seen a bit more of an extensive update with a new centre console, some updates to the dashboard layout and some definite improvements to materials used on high-touch areas such as door panels and the center console. The new front seats in the SL feature ‘Zero Gravity’ technology and they’re found to be some of the most comfortable seats in the segment. When equipped with the Reserve Interior Package, a $500 option, you get exceptionally soft quilted leather on those seats, making them all the more luxurious to spend time in.
The Reserve interior also comes in a Saddle Tan color and includes matching leather accents throughout the interior such as on the dash and center console, similar to what you would find in a full-size pickup truck like the Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve (reviewed here). The package itself is very well done and definitely gives the interior a more upscale feeling, allowing the Rogue to stand out from the sea of beige in its segment.
Ergonomically, the interior designers’ work is evident, as the new centre console now includes a gear indicator next to the shifter, an annoying omission in previous years. The driving position is comfortable thanks to the great seats, but we took issue with the audio control knobs. They’re recessed just enough so that you cannot easily grip the rubber sides, only the decorative chrome rim of the knobs, which makes them difficult to operate while driving.
The new interior doesn’t just feel more upscale, it offers the features to back it up as well. This fully loaded SL model came with heated memory seats, a full-length panoramic glass sunroof, dual-zone climate control, navigation and a powerful Bose audio system. The infotainment systems still need an update, as there is minimal smartphone connectivity, and the navigation looks and feels dated.
This Rogue was equipped with the optional Platinum package as well, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure prevention, forward emergency braking, auto high-beam control, and a power passenger’s seat. With these option boxes ticked, the as-tested price rises to $35,698, about $10,000 more than the Rogue’s base starting price, but still a very fair price for the amount of space and content offered.
Nissan prides itself on the Rogue’s versatile interior and the space is well laid out to maximize storage. The Rogue is notably larger than most of its compact CUV competitors and Nissan makes the best of that additional space. The door pockets are large, as is the centre console, and moving towards the rear, the second row seats can be slid back and forth, or fold completely flat. The Rogue is also the only crossover in this segment to offer an optional third row, until the new Volkswagen Tiguan shows up later this year. Considering the size of the car, it’s probably best used for occasional situations.
If you do opt for the third row, it can be folded flat and out of the way to maximize cargo space. This space can be modified to meet your particular cargo needs using Nissan’s Divide-n-Hide cargo system which looks like it does a good job keeping smaller items organized, but doesn’t necessarily help with the bulky stuff. The armrest in the second row can also be dropped to create a clever pass through for longer items, like skis, without restricting available seating.
The bottom line on the 2017 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum is that it offers huge value in terms of space, comfort, affordability, features and style. The new interior, especially when equipped with the relatively affordable Reserve interior package, is certainly one of the best in the segment. It still is in desperate need of a powertrain update, which is the only thing holding it back from being the de-facto compact crossover to have.
2017 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum Gallery