The second-generation Rogue increases only slightly in size, but it’s enough to offer an optional third-row seat; with that, total seating capacity rises to seven passengers from five; surprisingly, the previous Rogue will hang around for another year.
A 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder carries over with an updated continuously variable transmission; all-wheel-drive offered for all trim levels.
Since the 2008 model year, Nissan has driven a wedge into the compact tall-wagon segment that was previously dominated by the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. For its encore performance, the second-gen version makes significant strides in interior and exterior styling. The latter comes in the form of an available third-row seat. Sure, it’s tight on space back there and, when deployed, pretty much wipes out any semblance of cargo space. But it’s also there when you need it and makes the Rogue practically the only small-and-tall wagon (with the possible exception of the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe) in its class to offer one. Physically the Rogue has shrunk by an inch in overall length (attributed to reduced front and rear overhangs), while the distance between the front and rear wheels is up by 0.6-inches and overall height has been upped by 1.2 inches. The sheetmetal that’s attached to the Rogue’s all-new platform is a bit bolder looking than before, although it might not be quite as attractive. Perhaps that’s why Nissan is keeping the previous top-selling model around for one more season, labeling it the Rogue Select and selling it alongside the new Rogue at a lower (by about $2,000) price point. The standard powerplant continues to be a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. It’s matched to an improved continuously variable transmission with a sport mode for snappier performance. Nissan has focused on reducing friction (by a claimed 40 percent) and improving the transmission’s belt and pulley system for better operating efficiency. That seems to have paid off since the new Rogue’s mpg estimate of 26 in the city and 33 on the highway beats the previous 22/28 rating. All models – S, SV, and SL – continue to be available with all-wheel-drive.
Base price (incl. destination): $23,350; $21,500 (Rogue Select, est.)
Type: Four-door compact sport-utility vehicle
Base engine (hp): 2.5-liter DOHC I4 (170)
Transmission: Continuously variable
MPG (city/hwy): 26/33 (FWD)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control.
Weight (lb.): 3,500 (est.)