Test Drive: 2016 Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue was completed redesigned for model year 2014. It currently offers a sporty exterior shape to go along with its newly-found rugged personality. The previous generation Rogue was well respected and competent as an all-purpose vehicle; but played it safe with a pleasing exterior design featuring rounded corners and smooth lines. For model year 2016, changes consist of a few new features, but for the most part its status quo in the Rogue SV Special Edition AWD I am test driving this week.

Power comes in the form of a 2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. Matched to an Xtronic CVT transmission, it delivers 170 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Rogue, will all-wheel drive available as an option. Standard features include Hill Start Assist, with Hill Descent Control offered on AWD models.

Stopping power is provided by four-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) plus Active Trace Control, Engine Braking and Ride Control. All this adds up to quick stops in all driving conditions; snow, ice, rain, dry or off-road, the Nissan Rogue feels at ease and in control.

Independent front strut and rear multi-link suspension provides a comfortable ride that borders on firm. Hit a bump hard and you will feel it through the seat, but for the most part dips and potholes quickly recede in the rear-view mirror. Vehicle-speed-sensitive electric steering is easy on the hands when parking or traversing tight corners, then stiffens up nicely as speed increases to provide excellent road feel.

Exterior design elements include LED headlights, standard chrome roof rails, lower front fog lights, stylized side mirrors with directional lighting and 17” alloy wheels. Dent-resistant lower cladding provides added protection from stones and other items that can bounce off the road and damage the body. A rear spoiler on the upper tailgate adds a sporty touch and helps improve overall aerodynamics.

Inside, the Nissan Rogue is both practical and comfy, even with all five seats filled and the rear cargo area packed full of holiday cheer. The driver’s seat offers 6-way power adjustment with 4-way manual fine-tuning standard on the passenger seat. Rear seating is for three adults, with soft fabric material and soft-touch accents throughout the cabin.

A rubberized material covers the large three-spoke steering wheel. Gripping is easy, though I do prefer the feel of leather and stitching rather than this manmade synthetic. Audio sounds and cruise control are both accessed from the steering wheel with little effort. Start/stop is standard as are heated front seats with high/low settings.

Large white on black gauges are easy to read. The center dash features round knobs for adjusting the HVAC system which in this case is not automatic climate control, but rather push button vents with adjustable fan speeds and cold to hot settings. A little old school, it works well. A 5-inch colour display provides access to the six-speaker AM/FM/CD player with Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Storage space is never at a premium with the center console providing a covered armrest, dual-cupholders and a convenient place for change or keys and more. Door pouches offer additional cupholders and map pouches, while back seat passengers get behind the front seat storage pouches and plenty of legroom.

The 2016 Nissan Rogue is roomy, value-priced, offers good looks and enough power for most drivers. Designed to withstand the rigors of everyday driving or a somewhat spirited off-road adventure, the Nissan Rogue is tough vehicle to beat in the highly competitive, mid-sized CUV market.   

2016 Nissan Rogue

Base price: $24,648.00
Price as tested (before taxes): $29,683.00
Freight: $1,760.00
Configuration: front-engine, all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.5L 4-cylinder/ CVT
Power/torque: 170 horsepower/175 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): regular (55L)
Fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): city: 9.5, hwy: 7.4 L/100 Km (800 km)
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 8.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Forster, Toyota RAV4.

Related links:

Nissan Canada
MSN Autos Canada