By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 8.7
The 2016 Nissan Rogue compact-crossover SUV is an intriguing prospect. Unlike the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Rogue offers a slightly different footprint with an available, albeit cramped, 3rd-row seat. A single engine choice isn’t the most powerful in this class, but the Rogue’s 2.5-liter 4-cylinder delivers an impressive 33 mpg. The Rogue’s true advantage lies in its smooth ride and upscale interior, plus its lengthy list of high-tech infotainment and safety features. Priced above a comparably equipped Hyundai Tucson but below the Ford Escape and GMC Terrain, the Rogue hits the sweet spot for most buyers. However, the Rogue lacks the fun-to-drive attitude found with the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and VW Tiguan.
Nissan’s 2016 Rogue is the compact SUV for those who favor style, fuel economy and a comfortable ride over sharp handling and brute power. The available 3rd-row seat can come in handy in a pinch, and the Rogue’s interior is one of the most elegant in this class.
The 2016 Nissan Rogue isn’t particularly sporty or powerful. A turbocharged Ford Escape, Kia Sportage or VW Tiguan is quicker and more fun to drive. If you want the best all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, a Subaru Forester offers a full-time system with fuel-economy figures nearly identical to the front-wheel-drive (FWD) Rogue.
KBB Expert Ratings
Nissan makes only minor changes to its compact Rogue SUV for 2016. NissanConnect and Siri Eyes-Free are added to the Rogue SL, while the Rogue S can be equipped with a new Appearance Package. Forward Emergency Braking is now available on the SL trim.
While the 2016 Rogue compact-crossover SUV from Nissan may look racy and fast, its driving style is much more relaxed. The Rogue’s ride never feels jarring or jittery, even over...
... rough pavement. Not that we are complaining, because while there are plenty of sporty SUVs from which to choose, those that emphasize a soft ride are becoming increasingly rare. Steering feel from the electric-assist power-steering system is actually quite good, and overall we found the Rogue’s ride to be controlled with noticeable lean only showing up during aggressive cornering. The 170-horsepower 2.5-liter engine isn’t exactly thrilling, but it does deliver adequate acceleration under most circumstances. When loaded with passengers, however, passing and merging can be tenuous maneuvers at best. Thanks mainly to the use of Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission, the Rogue’s fuel economy is near best-in-class.
AROUND VIEW MONITOR
Nissan’s brilliant 360-degree Around View Monitor uses cameras to simultaneously view all four exterior zones, helping the driver easily fit into tight parking spots, as well as avoid objects that might otherwise result in a collision.
DIVIDE ’N HIDE CARGO SYSTEM
Keeping smaller objects (gym bag or groceries) in place is always a challenge. The 2016 Nissan Rogue answers this problem with an ingenious configurable cargo system capable of accommodating various-sized cargo. Although not available with the 3rd-row seat option, the system provides 18 possible variations including a fold-back passenger seat.
The 2016 Rogue's cabin is typically Nissan, with attractively illuminated instrumentation, quality materials, soft-touch surfaces and several infotainment and connectivity features. The NASA-inspired “Zero Gravity” front seats – leather-clad in SL models – are supportive and comfortable. Front-seat legroom and headroom are good even for tall drivers, and rear-seat legroom has expanded over past models. Two-row Rogues can seat five passengers, while 3-row setups can seat seven. Nissan refers to the 3rd-row perch as “occasional seating,” but we'd lean toward "never," at least for adults. It's extremely tight. Storage space is ample and includes the slick cargo-system option mentioned above.
Nissan’s 2016 Rogue compact SUV has eye-catching styling with a youthful appeal. Bright colors pepper the paint palette, and there are a number of dealer-installed accessories, from external puddle lighting to a nifty 10x10 tent that can be attached to the Rogue’s open rear liftgate. The Rogue stands out with bright metal trim surrounding the side windows, a distinctive V-shaped grille carrying the floating Nissan badge, and even premium-look taillights. The Rogue’s aerodynamic styling helps contribute to better fuel economy. Overall, the Rogue's good looks make it a worthy little brother to the larger and also-dapper Pathfinder 3-row midsize SUV.
The new Nissan Rogue is available in three trims: S, SV and SL. A base S version comes with a rearview monitor, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, text-message assistant and 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with 5-inch color display and USB and auxiliary inputs. Mid-tier SV models come with NissanConnect mobile app service, dual-zone climate control, push-button ignition, 6-way-power driver's seat, six speakers, rear privacy glass and roof rails. The top-line Rogue SL has the most features, including power liftgate, navigation system with 7-inch touch screen and voice control, the Around View monitor, leather-trimmed seats and 9-speaker Bose premium audio system.
All-wheel drive can be had on any 2016 Nissan Rogue in lieu of the standard front-drive, while 3-row/7-passenger seating is available for S and SV trims. Many of the Rogue's other extras are bundled and vary by trim. The SV Premium package includes navigation, Siri Eyes Free, the Around View monitor, power liftgate, heated front seats, and safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and moving-object detection. At just under $1,600, the SV Premium package makes the Rogue mid-trim model a real value. The SL Premium package includes panoramic moonroof, LED headlights and forward-collision warning and emergency braking.
Nissan’s 2016 Rogue compact SUV is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is well-suited for everyday driving, but as we mentioned in our Driving Impressions, is not as powerful as what's found in many rivals. For those who need a vehicle that can tackle a variety of driving conditions and road surfaces, AWD is available and extracts only a minimal reduction in fuel economy vs. front-wheel-drive (FWD) models The Nissan Rogue's tow rating is only 1,000 pounds. If that is important to you, know that a
Jeep Cherokee is rated to tow up to 4,500 pounds.
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/33 mpg (FWD), 25/32 mpg (AWD)
The 2016 Nissan Rogue SUV has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $24,125 for an S model with FWD. Mid-tier SV models start at $25,575, and top-line SL versions bow at $29,525. Adding AWD to any model is an additional $1,350. Loaded, a new Nissan Rogue can pass the $33,000 mark. At its entry price, the Rogue undercuts the starting prices of competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. It is slightly above those of the Hyundai Tucson and manual-transmission versions of the AWD Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5. If you're seeking a smaller, value-based 7-row compact SUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander and Dodge Journey are worth consideration. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new Rogue. The Rogue's resale value is expected to be fair but lag those of the Forester, CR-V and RAV4.