By Shari Prymak
The Nissan Rogue is the brand’s best-selling model. That title wasn’t achieved because it’s the most stylish crossover on the market, or the best performing, or even the most interesting. The Rogue is none of those things. Instead, its popularity stems from far more appreciated (and boring) crossover virtues.
It’s no secret that crossovers are quickly replacing sedans as the go-to choice for consumers. The combination of a high driving position, spacious packaging, and an overall trendy, anti-minivan vibe is a formula that’s just too hard to pass up for most.
The Rogue manages to nail these things magnificently. It is by no means a stylish crossover. From a handling and performance perspective, it isn’t much good either. Check out the Mazda CX-5 if that’s what you’re into. The Rogue is more of a tool. Its gig is to deliver one of the more usable, spacious, and affordable crossover experiences on the market.
In terms of size, it sits on the larger end of the compact crossover segment, and it shows. The cargo area, storage space, and overall interior spaciousness are quite impressive. There is even a rare for the segment third-row seating option, which is a little on the cramped side, but nice to have in any case. The instruments and centre stack controls won’t win any beauty awards, and the touchscreen graphics are rather dated, but everything is well laid out, accessible, and easy to use. The zero gravity front seats are truly impressive. Thanks to the use of memory foam, they are incredibly comfortable and well-suited for long drives or bad backs.
Straight line punch from the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and its CVT is a bit anemic and wheezy-sounding, but I doubt many will care. Be gentle with it, forget about any false hope of winning drag races, and it will return decent fuel economy figures of about 12L/100km in the city and 9.0L/100km on the highway. Taking a leisurely approach to piloting the Rogue also means that you probably won’t even notice the indifferent handling and cornering ability. Instead, you’ll just be enjoying the cushy ride and quiet cabin.
The list of bonuses doesn’t end there. The Rogue is listed as a top safety pick by the IIHS. Although, it could be considered safer still if active safety features were available on low trim levels. Reliability, build quality, and resale value are all excellent. And pricing at all trim levels is quite aggressive. The front-wheel drive S model goes for $25,248, and a full-equipped SL Platinum carries an MSRP of $36,098. Nissan is one of the more competitive automakers when it comes to sales incentives, which will help sweeten those numbers even further.
When you consider all of its strengths, it’s no wonder the Rogue has managed to become a hot commodity. It is an excellent choice for those who need a practical and comfortable A-B crossover for family duty and nothing more. The Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, and, my personal favorite, the Mazda CX-5 are all excellent alternatives. Be sure to give them all a try before making a final decision.
For more details, please visit the Nissan Canada website.