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2016 Nissan Rogue Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2016 Nissan Rogue

ENGINE: 2.5-liter DOHC I-4
TRANSMISISON: CVT
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 170 hp @ 6,000 rpm/175 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm 
WHEELBASE: 106.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.3 x 72.4 x 67.5 in. 
TIRES: P225/65 R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 9.4/32.0/70.0 cu. ft. (3rd row seats up/down/2nd row seats down
ECONOMY: 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/25.6 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.5 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,422 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Jeep Compass, Subaru Forester
STICKER: $28,465 (includes $900 delivery, $2,785 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Nissan Rogue is a capable small SUV with decent power and very good cargo capacity.

The first time I tried to load a package in the back of the Nissan Rogue I was surprised. The cargo area was minuscule at 9.4 cubic feet. My grocery bags would barely fit. That’s because the third row seats were up. I lowered them immediately, and suddenly had 31 cubic feet to use for my two bags. Eventually we would load up even the 31 cubic feet. A medium-sized dog carrier would fit nicely.

What I’m trying to convey is that the third row in the Rogue is more a hindrance than useful. Sure, you can put a couple of legless adults back there or children if they are suitcases, but otherwise it’s a waste of space (and $940), at least in my mind. 

I find that small SUVs like the Rogue are practical vehicles, in general, especially for empty nesters. They are big enough to carry all that’s needed when you go over the hills and through the woods to grandkids’ houses, yet small enough to offer decent economy. They also ride slightly higher than a sedan and give you a better view of the road. 

Rogue doesn’t offer the dramatic styling of its bigger brother, the Murano. There is still a strong family resemblance in the front. Dimensionally, the Rogue is five inches shorter in wheelbase and ten inches shorter overall. Second-row-seats-down cargo capacity is surprisingly greater in the Rogue. Rogue’s sticker is also $16,000 less than Murano.

Rogue was redesigned in 2014 and receives a freshening in 2017. The 2014 redesign results in a smoother package that makes the previous generation look old.

Ride comfort is good, thanks to Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, that are similar to those in the Altima. The adjustable seats offer continuous support from the pelvis to the chest, helping reduce fatigue on longer trips. When the old back does get tired, the heat feature helps to ease the aches. Second row seats offer good leg room. In addition, the wide (and wide opening) rear doors have large windows for good visibility. Third row access is difficult, with minimal third row legroom.

Rogue’s 2.5-liter inline four cylinder and CVT transmission are quiet at highway speeds. It also has a tendency to want to exceed the speed limit, which requires judicious use of cruise control to stay within bounds.

Among the options is the SV Premium Package ($1,620) are Nissan Connect that offers voice recognition for navigation and audio, the Around View Monitor that gives an “overhead” view of the vehicle’s position, Blind Spot Monitor, Moving Object Detection, and heated seats and outside rear view mirrors. The AVM switches on automatically in reverse, but there is also a button that you can use to turn it on when you are parking, just to make sure you are within the lines.

Moving Object Detection works with the AVM and alerts the driver if it detects a large moving object around the vehicle in dangerous situations as when pulling out of a parking space. It also detects pedestrians.

Instruments are clear, with a tachometer, info panel and speedometer. We chose from the info panel’s host of options to read, from the top, digital clock and outside temperature, fuel economy - overall and instant - odometer and gear. 

Interior storage consists of a large cubby at the base of the center stack that contains the USB and AUX plugs plus a 12-volt outlet. There are two cupholders up front with room for water bottles in all four doors. The deep center console/arm rest also has as 12-volt outlet. 

I appreciate the steering wheel with its many controls. The switches have back lighting that turns on with the headlights so you can read them in the dark.

There is a clear infotainment screen with a suite of options - SXM, FM, AM, CD, AUX, NAV and MAP. 

While the Nissan Rogue might not attract as much attention as the Murano because of its more conservative styling, it still does its job with a minimum of fuss.

(c) 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate

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