WHAT IT IS:

The Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover that received a hefty face lift for the 2017 model year. It’s been a big hit with Nissan racking up just over 400,000 sales in the United States alone as popularity in the segment has exploded. My test model was the top of the line SL trim, which starts just above $30,000. Available in FWD and AWD, it is powered by the same engine as other trims, a 2.5-liter four cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Only a CVT is available, but I think Nissan has the best one, so I didn’t find it overly annoying. The gas savings from the modern drive train really add up, as my model was rated at a full 32 MPG on the highway.What it is: The Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover that received a hefty face lift for the 2017 model year. It’s been a big hit with Nissan racking up just over 400,000 sales in the United States alone as popularity in the segment has exploded. My test model was the top of the line SL trim, which starts just above $30,000. Available in FWD and AWD, it is powered by the same engine as other trims, a 2.5-liter four cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Only a CVT is available, but I think Nissan has the best one, so I didn’t find it overly annoying. The gas savings from the modern drive train really add up, as my model was rated at a full 32 MPG on the highway.

On top of the SL trim, the big exciting feature was the optional ProPILOT Assist, which is a form of autonomous driving capability. Part of the $790 Platinum Package, ProPILOT Assist provides you, in limited environments, with self-driving abilities like steering and adaptive cruise control. You do have to keep your hands on the wheel (or it beeps and buzzes and will eventually bring the car to halt) but the system will handle the bulk of the driving for you.

It’s designed for two lane highways, but I found that it was mostly happy to track multi-lane highway lanes as well. It’s certainly a surreal experience, because you start to let your guard down. Interesting things would catch my eye on the side of the highway, and I felt comfortable giving it a one or two second glance instead of the microsecond I would usually allow. It certainly lets your brain relax some while driving. Instead of being intently focused, it lets you roll that focus back by about 15 percent. It’s designed for two lane highways, but I found that it was mostly happy to track multi-lane highway lanes as well. It’s certainly a surreal experience, because you start to let your guard down. Interesting things would catch my eye on the side of the highway, and I felt comfortable giving it a one or two second glance instead of the microsecond I would usually allow. It certainly lets your brain relax some while driving. Instead of being intently focused, it lets you roll that focus back by about 15 percent.

At this point in time, that’s about as much autonomous technology anybody has released, and it’s a step in a more relaxed direction for commuters. Nissan is rolling this technology out to most of their models over the coming years, so it’s certainly a possibility that your next car will have something similar. At this point in time, that’s about as much autonomous technology anybody has released, and it’s a step in a more relaxed direction for commuters. Nissan is rolling this technology out to most of their models over the coming years, so it’s certainly a possibility that your next car will have something similar.

The Rogue itself is very good. Handsome looks, a great size, good visibility, and great gas mileage are a killer combination. The base model S trim starts at $24,800 and still comes with a huge infotainment screen, LED DRLs, and automatic emergency braking. My top-of-the-line version had great tan leather, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, active ride control and much more  for an MSRP of $36,915. The Rogue itself is very good. Handsome looks, a great size, good visibility, and great gas mileage are a killer combination. The base model S trim starts at $24,800 and still comes with a huge infotainment screen, LED DRLs, and automatic emergency braking. My top-of-the-line version had great tan leather, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, active ride control and much more  for an MSRP of $36,915.

MPG: 27 combined/25 city/32 highway

PRICE: $24,800 base. $36,915 as-tested fully loaded.Price: $24,800 base. $36,915 as-tested fully loaded.

UPSIDES: Flexibility. Great gas mileage. Comfortable.Upsides: Flexibility. Great gas mileage. Comfortable.

DOWNSIDES: None. Downsides: None. Wrap-up: Cars like the Rogue are the next step on the path to the future of the automobile. Nissan has taken all they have learned about cars and crammed it into a compact crossover that works great for 95 percent of households. It’s easy to drive, comfortable, luxurious, and has autonomous capabilities for under $40,000. Even if you aren’t comfortable shopping at the dealership, just look around; your neighbor probably already owns one and you can ask how they like it.

 

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.