2015 Nissan Rogue: Versatile SUV Keeps Improving

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It’s hard to believe the Nissan Rogue has been around for eight years. It arrived in late 2007 as a 2008 model and joined the nearly exponentially growing crossover SUV segment with not much to differentiate itself.

The second-generation debut in 2014 is carried over for 2015, with Rogue now improved in the tough SUV category. Increased gas mileage averages and an upgraded interior ad exterior are among its strong points.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

I last drove a Nissan Rogue in August of 2013 for eight days and about 900 miles throughout Colorado. Mountain driving can stretch the limits of any vehicle, but the Rogue performed adequately even on some steep climbs to more than 12,000 feet into the Rocky Mountains. I averaged 26.8 mph on the trip, an impressive total considering the air conditioning was often on. I also drove at the flow of the traffic, which sometimes exceeded the posted 75 mph limit.

My weekly drive with the 2015 Rogue was mostly around town and a few short-distance highways treks. I drove the top-line of three trim levels, the SL. The base S model has a healthy list standard features, with the SV adding several technology features.

The SL trim further sweetens the offerings: standard 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, voice controls, a 360-degree parking camera system (Around View), a 7-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and an eight-speaker Bose audio system with a six-CD changer.

The 2015 Nissan Rogue is a carry over from the second generation debut in 2015.
The 2015 Nissan Rogue is a carry over from the second-generation debut in 2014.

The Rogue also included the SL Premium package features LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof and the safety features from the SV Premium package.

Regardless of trim level, all Rogues come standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines with 170 horsepower and continuously variable automatic transmission. It has front-wheel drive standard, with all-wheel drive as an option.

As I remember from two years ago, the Rogue’s overall strength is that while nothing is outstanding, everything is at least satisfactory. The drive is smooth and quiet and the interior is spacious. The radio, heat and air conditioning functions on the console are simply designed and intuitive. The result is a competent, comfortable car to operate and in which to ride.

As a four-cylinder SUV, the Rogue shouldn’t be expected set any speed records and its 0-60 mph time of 9.0 seconds is pedestrian. But performance isn’t the Rogue’s priority. With its second generation, the width, height and wheelbase were slightly improved. The interior space, including legroom and shoulder room, substantially improved. The cargo area is 32 cubic feet in two-row option and nearly 70 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down in the three-row Rogue.

The vehicle’s designers did a great job making use of all of the space. There are plenty of cupholders and storage bins, all of which add to the Rogue’s primary attraction. It’s a straightforward, utilitarian SUV, and its serves its definition well.

Likes:

Impressive fuel economy.

Efficiently designed and generous cargo space.

Handsome cabin.

Dislikes:

Mediocre acceleration.

Similar many other SUVs.

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 9.0 seconds.

Airbags: 6.

Fuel economy: 26 mpg (city), 33 mpg (highway), 28 mpg (combined).

Horsepower: 170.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $28,280.00.

Manufacturer’s Web site: www.nissanusa.com.

Price As Tested: $31,130.00.

Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion: 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“With a premium interior and available three-row seating, the 2015 Nissan Rogue is a versatile choice for shoppers desiring a comfortable and functional small crossover SUV.” — Edmunds.com.

“The 2015 Rogue sets itself apart from most rivals with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), fuel economy of up to 33 mpg, stylish yet mature design, and an available – albeit cramped – 3rd-row seat.”  — Kelley Blue Book.

“It doesn’t completely rewrite the compact crossover formula, but it doesn’t need to. Everything the Rogue does, it does well. There isn’t anything to get particularly excited about here, but all in, the Rogue is a competent and relatively enjoyable offering in this incredibly competitive class. And that, folks, is just fine.” — Autoblog.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“When the Rogue debuted, its name fit. It was another SUV in a category in which many competitors were largely interchangeable. But the Rogue just keeps getting better. The improvements — styling to increased gas mileage — make it a strong contender against a host of other SUVs.”

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