The crossover segment is packed with so many options today. 20 years ago, the crossover segment was in its infancy with a few early models, like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Today the crossover is so popular that it’s replaced the midsize sedan as the choice for most families, which is evident with the fact that heavyweights like the Accord, Camry and Altima have now taken a back seat in the sales race thanks to the CR-V, Rogue and RAV4. All three crossovers now hold the top sales spot in Honda, Nissan and Toyota’s lineup.
While the CR-V and RAV4 have battled for the top spot since the late 1990s, the Nissan Rogue has been a recent sales success for Nissan. Now in its second generation the Nissan Rogue has transitioned from a frumpy crossover to a more mainstream compact crossover. The Rogue lineup has also been expanded from with the addition of the Rogue Sport, which gives buyers in the compact crossover segment two options to choose from.
While the Rogue Sport is positioned as a slightly sportier option between the two, the standard 2018 Rogue is the better choice for buyers that need a bit more space and versatility. Compared to the CR-V and RAV4, the Nissan Rogue doesn’t really stand out the outside. Its shape is similar to other compact crossovers with a look that is more functional than stylish. At the front Nissan’s V motion grille keeps the Rogue’s styling in line with the rest of the Nissan lineup, but as you move further back the look becomes less distinctive.
Inside the 2018 Rogue’s interior is spacious and cleanly laid out. The dashboard has a simple design with a large 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The dashboard is also positioned low, which gives the Rogue good visibility and no matter which seat you choose the Rogue offers plenty of space. Overall the interior is comfortable, quiet and spacious, but without being too memorable.
Under the hood the Rogue is offered with only one engine option, a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to a CVT. The Rogue comes up a bit short in the power department compared to the turbocharged CR-V, which brings 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft. to the table. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an option. Around town the 2.5L engine provides adequate power, but push the pedal to the floor and you’re greeted with the drone of the CVT. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine would do wonders under the hood of the Rogue, but for now the Rogue is aimed at buyers that prefer to get to their destination at a moderate pace without a lot of fun.
The 2018 Rogue is rated at 26/33 mpg with front-wheel drive or 25/32 mpg with all-wheel drive. To compare, the turbocharged Honda CR-V is rated at 28/34 mpg with front-wheel drive or 27/33 with all-wheel drive. If you want a more efficient option, the Rogue Hybrid is available and gets up to 33 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
The Rogue’s suspension does a good job of smoothing out the road’s imperfections. The Rogue’s flat bottom steering wheel may make you think that the Rogue will be a bit sporty on the road, but its steering is a bit too light without any significant feedback, while its suspension is a bit too soft to keep the Rogue’s amount of body roll in check. Just like the Rogue’s powertrain, its steering and suspension are geared more for comfort.
To keep the family safe, the 2018 Rogue comes standard with a long list of safety features, like rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking and a blind spot monitor. The available ProPilot Assist system adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist. The ProPilot Assist system isn’t a fully autonomous system, but it does aim to reduce driver fatigue.
While the 2018 Nissan Rogue may not be too exciting to drive, its spacious interior, available safety tech and efficient powertrain make it an easy decision for most families. The 2018 Nissan Rogue starts at $24,800.