Class: Compact Crossover
Dates tested: 10/05/2015 – 10/12/2015
Miles Driven: 169
Fuel Used: 6.0 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 28.2 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 25/32/28 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $25,840 (not including $860 destination charge)
|CG Report Card|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||B|
Options on test car: Splash guards ($160), floor mats ($210), SV Premium Package ($1590)
Price as tested: $28,680
The great: Balanced performance, cargo versatility
The Good: Plenty of features for the price
The not so good: Key safety features lumped into single package
If you need to drive something with close to off-road-SUV capability, and you need to buy it before your ship has come in, let’s say, then it makes sense to look into the Nissan Rogue SV. The middle entry in a three-tiered lineup, the SV delivers all the key qualities that this family of compact crossovers has to offer at a manageable price.
The example evaluated here represents Consumer Guide®’s second crack at a Rogue SV. Rick Cotta reported on a front-wheel-drive version of this 2015 CG “Best Buy” early in the model year. Now an all-wheel-drive job has passed through our hands. At $25,840 to start, the AWD model is $1350 more expensive and 132 pounds heavier than the front-driver. Along with the ability to hook up two additional driving wheels, the AWD Rogue also adds hill-descent control. Fold in options—splash guards, floor mats, and the big-ticket SV Premium Package—and the price of our tester with delivery was $28,680. That’s less than the base price of the leather-lined Rogue SL AWD that CGers sampled in 2014.
In that earlier SV test, Rick praised the vehicle’s cargo versatility, interior fittings, and fuel economy. This driver seconds the motion.
Standard in two-row models (kid-friendly third-row seating is available, a rare feature in the Rogue’s class) is the “Divide-N-Hide” cargo system. A couple of movable floor panels can be slotted in at different heights to reconfigure the fairly ample cargo hold, and create hidden storage spaces. Second-row seats fold in a 40/20/40 split, and one of the placement possibilities for the cargo-floor panels matches with the folded seats to form an uninterrupted platform.
While not as plush as the materials in the top-end SL, the SV’s hardy interior surfaces avoid coming off as cheap or stark. The textured cloth upholstery has a nice feel to it. Pliable soft-touch areas are found on all four door arm rests, and there’s give to the dash pad and tops of the front doors. (Rear doors, however, feature stiff molded-plastic panels from top to bottom.) A few bits of brightwork on the steering wheel and instrument panel raise the bar a bit, too.
As for fuel economy, in this test, two drivers teamed up to cover 169 miles, at the end of which they averaged 28.2 mpg. That nudges past the EPA combined-mileage estimate of 28 mpg for an AWD Rogue—not too bad considering that the driving in our recent test was biased towards city-style conditions (65 percent). Posted city/highway ratings are 25 and 32, respectively.
The sole Rogue powerteam is a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter dohc 4-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. This pairing makes for lively around-town performance and good enough midrange jump to make highway merging and passing undramatic. Except when pushed hard, the engine is generally smooth and quiet, and even when roused it is not especially noisy as it seeks cruising mode. (Indeed, a persistent wind whistle above 40 mph or so bothered this driver more than engine sounds.) Drivers who want to keep the revs up a little longer can select a “Sport” mode; a new “Eco” setting favors greater economy.
Steering is light and handling is easy, with moderate cornering lean. Smaller bumps, like the pavement joints that this driver encountered on his expressway commutes, were met with a quick rebound and no excess body motions. Braking was prompt and easily modulated.
There’s seating for five in two-row Rogues, though the rear three passengers may be a little close for comfort if they’re all adults. (An unobtrusive driveline tunnel helps out here.) Rear-row passengers sit a little higher than those in front, but head room is still good in back. Leg room isn’t bad, either. Rear seats are adjustable fore and aft, too.
To handle their inevitable stuff, passengers are served by a large glove box, a moderately sized console cubby with an electric power point, two open console cup holders, and a couple of shallow bins, including one under the dash with a USB port and another power plug-in. Rear passengers are provided with pouches in the back of the front seats, plus a pull-down center arm rest with two cup holders molded in. All four doors have pockets with bottle holders in them, though the rear pouches are barely larger than the diameter of a bottle.
Big analog gauges greet the driver, with a legible vehicle-information display between them. Climate controls, a mix of dials and push buttons, are easy to reach and use, as are audio settings accessed through the optional 7-inch color touchscreen.
Other standards on the Rogue SV include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime-running lights, automatic halogen headlights, LED turn signals built into the exterior mirrors, privacy glass, and roof rails. Driving aids run to hill-start assist and “active” trace control (an automatic cornering assist system), engine braking, and ride control. Comforts and conveniences consist of a 6-way power driver’s seat, 6-speaker audio system, NissanConnect infotainment with mobile apps, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, and push-button starting.
The extra-cost Premium Package on the test vehicle pumps in a navigation system (with voice-command capability) on the big touchscreen. Other components include an “Around View” overhead monitor, power liftgate, heated mirrors, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, moving-object detection, and heated front seats—the last a new feature for the SV Premium Package.