For those looking for a car-like ride with the versatility of an SUV, the Nissan Rogue is a compelling choice. Nissan uses what they call Active Ride control to smooth out the bumps and it works. The Rogue’s cabin is high on the comfort meter and is a strength for this class. This week we’ll be test driving the mid-level SV with All-wheel drive.
What’s New for 2015?
The 2015 Nissan Rogue carries over without any significant changes from the previous model. Rouge was completely redesigned in 2014 and is all-new from the ground up.
2015 Nissan Rogue features options
The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV AWD ($25,840) comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, power driver seat, fold-flat front passenger seat and add a 6-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, push-button start, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio capability, Bluetooth, the NissanConnect interface, automatic headlights, roof rails and 17-inch alloy wheels.
This tester came with the optional SV Premium package ($1,590) that adds navigation, a bigger 7-inch color touchscreen, Around View camera and power liftgate. It also features heated outside mirrors, Quick Comfort heated front seats, a blind-spot warning system, a lane-departure warning system, a forward collision warning system and moving object detection.
The interior of the new Rogue is a comfortable place to spend time commuting or transporting the kids to and from school. The front seats are very comfortable, and use what Nissan calls their Zero Gravity design. It has the feeling of almost being suspended in the air. The seats are the most comfortable we’ve seen in the mid-size segment. We used the heated seats on a cold morning and the “Quick Comfort” option gets them warm very quickly. The cabin gets lots of soft touch materials and the quality and fit and finish is better than most in this class. The dash is also new and has a unique and elegant look.
The second row is also quite comfortable, and now has the ability to slide and recline. The second-row seats are split 40/20/40 and feature 9 inches of fore/aft travel for extra versatility and passenger comfort. With the new redesign, the 2015 Rogue offers a maximum of 70.0 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded flat, which is much more than the previous generation. The power liftgate option was a welcome feature when we needed to load boxes in the back and used the remote to power it up and down.
There’s only one engine for the Rogue and it uses Nissan’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to an updated Xtronic CVT automatic, which Nissan says is 10 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous transmission. Fuel economy for the 2014 Nissan Rogue is improved, with EPA estimates of 25/32 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. We didn’t get anywhere near those numbers but we were also pushing it hard at altitude.
On the road
The new Rogue offers one of the most car-like rides of any small SUV. It’s also one of the better handling SUVs out there and can smooth out the bumps. Nissan’s Active Ride Control keeps the SUV more firmly planted over bumps when traveling at speed of 25 mph or greater. Nissan definitely tuned the suspension for comfort and the ride is smooth and the SUV moves out easily and gracefully. There is a downside to the softer suspension, and when we pushed the Rogue hard around mountain corners, it was a bit slow and cumbersome. But in the city, the Rogue is a very comfortable commuter.
Rogue’s 170 horsepower 2.5-liter engine is fine for everyday commuting or running errands around town. Acceleration is smooth, and power is moderate when we traveled up I-70 at altitude. We had to push the pedal to the floor to get the SUV moving when passing and could have used a bit more power as we traveled up the hill from Denver. But for those living at sea level or on the flats, the power should be more than adequate.
The Rogue uses a CVT automatic to save fuel and like most Continuously Variable Transmissions it does wind up under powered. Aside from times when instant power is needed, most drivers won’t notice the difference between the Rogue’s CVT and a traditional automatic transmission. The AWD system features good for all-weather capability and we had no problem with the snow that covered the roads leading to my house west of Denver.
The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV AWD offers one of the most car-like rides and handling of any small SUV. It offers plenty of cargo carrying ability and will haul five adults comfortably. The cabin is a very comfortable place to spend time and makes the commute go by quickly. For city commuting and running around town, the Rogue’s 2.5-liter engine has just enough power for most driving situations.