Quick Spin

Similar packaging, improved insides | 2017 Nissan Rogue Quick Spin

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  • Engine
    2.5L I4
  • Power
    170 HP / 175 LB-FT
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain
    Front- or All-Wheel Drive
  • Curb Weight
    3,424–3,627 LBS
  • Towing
    1,000 LBS
  • Seating
  • Cargo
    32.0 / 70.0 CU-FT
  • MPG
    25–26 City / 32–33 HWY
  • Base Price
Nissan is so close. The perennial number three among Japanese automakers was, well, number three in the compact crossover segment last year, with the Rogue selling 287,190 units to the Honda CR-V's 345,647 and the Toyota RAV4's 315,412. But so far this year, the Rogue has overtaken the RAV4, with 241,619 units sold to the Toyota's 230,942, and the CR-V is in reach, with 263,493 sales through nine months. Again, so close.

Once refreshed 2017 Rogues go on sale, Nissan could close that gap. While a new hybrid variant hogs the spotlight – look for our review soon – there are also a number of updates to the standard model.

Driving Notes
  • Virtually every change to the 2017 Rogue relates to design or equipment, leaving the mechanical bits unchanged. A fine 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque works with Nissan's XTronic continuously variable transmission and standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. Nissan left the electric power-assisted steering and multi-link rear suspension alone, too. So yeah, the new Rogue drives just as well as the old one.
  • Nissan claims it has quieted the already quiet Rogue for 2017, thanks to an array of NVH upgrades. But the claimed improvements – a nine-percent reduction in road noise, an eight-percent drop in wind noise, and a six-percent decrease in engine noise – are so modest they're hard to appreciate. This is a quiet car, but most drivers won't notice the impact of denser rear glass, more dash insulation, thicker carpets, and increased sound deadening in the headliner.
  • What you will notice is the updated styling. Nissan hit the main points on the exterior, adding Altima-like LED headlight accents, a more prominent "V-Motion" grille, and a revised front bumper. The changes in back appear simpler, at least during the day – the taillights now feature a new "boomerang" lighting signature to better fit in with the rest of the Nissan family, although their overall shape is the same. The Jeep Cherokee is visually louder and the Mazda CX-5 simply looks better, but the new Rogue will at least stand out well among the anonymously designed top sellers in the compact CUV segment.
  • Nissan made similarly light tweaks in the Rogue's cabin, deleting the passenger-side IP's thin strip of plastic trim in favor of a cleaner, neater design. It gives the dash a considerably more premium, less rental-car-like appearance. The steering wheel was replaced with a Maxima-inspired, flat-bottom unit. While it's nice to hold, its tiny airbag cover and D-shape design feel out of place on such a mainstream vehicle.
  • The Rogue also gets a competitive set of safety and convenience features. Lane-departure warning and prevention join blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, while the existing forward emergency braking gets a pedestrian-detection system. BSM and CTA are now available on the volume SV model. Nissan also added adaptive cruise control, a motion-activated liftgate, remote start, a heated steering wheel, and heated outside mirrors. But those options will cost you – all of the new features require choosing either an option group or the top-end SL trim.
  • The 2017 Rogue S starts at $24,760, a $530 increase from the 2016 base price. The SV is now $26,180, just $500 more despite the added safety tech, while the SL sees a $1,270 price increase. All-wheel drive again adds a $1,350 premium to any of those sums. Nissan hasn't announced pricing for the new SL Platinum package or Platinum Reserve Interior pack – the former is the only way to add 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection for the forward emergency braking, and lane-departure warning/prevention, while the latter adds handsome tan leather upholstery with quilted inserts.

Better interior materials, additional equipment, and freshened styling will never be as exciting as big, sweeping changes, but the 2017 Rogue's updates go far enough to keep the model competitive. While the improvements could extend Nissan's lead over the Toyota RAV4, the real test is whether they allow the Rogue to overtake the Honda CR-V, which has been redone for 2017. This segment may not be exciting, but it is plenty active.

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