We had mixed feelings about testing the 2017 Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition Rogue. Nissan has made some notable improvements on its popular crossover, and we were looking forward to testing it.
Then they announced the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition model. Since they both had the name “Rogue” it kind of smacked of opportunism.
Cue rolling of eyes.
So, the question becomes, is The Force with the new Rogue, or just the farce?
Well, since we don’t want to spoil the ending, let’s start with what’s new for Rogue.
Already a crisp design, we have a new front end with the family V-motion grille, and cool-looking quad headlamps with stylish LED running lights. Out back, a sharper taillight design and new rear bumper give a sporty look, while a little extra chrome in the right places add some bling. It’s a nice-looking vehicle.
Inside, Nissan’s compact crossover takes a big step up in the desirability department with some nice touches like a flat-bottom steering wheel (very sporty), new fabrics, nicer trim and a revised center console. In mid-level models, it comes off as fresh and high quality. On the top-of-the-line SL with Platinum Reserve Package, you’ll find tan leather, quilted inserts on the seats and handsome matching door and console trim. Quite stunning.
While you have to spend the big bucks for the SL to get the fancy leather, Nissan does folks on a budget a solid and now includes Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross traffic alert on the mid-level SV trim. If you do want the full-boat Safety Suite, the SL offers optional Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, and Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.
The other big news for 2017 is a new hybrid model, that is expected to return up to 35 mpg highway and 33 mpg city. Like Toyota, the hybrid will be offered only on upscale SV and SL trims.
OK, we’re pretty much up to date on the Rogue.
Now let’s get back to Rogue One Star War Limited Edition.
We like it. Really like it.
First of all, it looks great. On top of the handsome new looks on all models, the Rogue One gives it some real badness, and is offered only in Magnetic Black, or Glacier White – like our tester. While we normally like the all-black look, the Glacier White gives some real contrast, and you can see all the special black trim, including grille, front and rear lower finisher, roof rails, door handles and alloy wheels. It gives the Rogue a rugged, capable look.
So you won’t mistake this for a lesser vehicle, you also get some Star Wars eye candy, including massive badges on the door that look like they’d be theft bait, cool, subtle Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance decals on the C-pillars, and a very tasteful Star Wars logo rear bumper protector.
Step inside and you’ll find Star Wars logo illuminated kick plates (very cool), interior accent lighting (snazzy), Rogue One Limited Edition floor mats (plush) and Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance logo cup holder inserts (uh…kinda goofy).
Before we got our Rogue, we thought all this flash would be kind of ticky-tack, but actually it looks really good. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the Rogue One stuff is well done, and you feel like the Star Wars folks made a real effort to do right by their fans, and create a quality piece.
There are no performance changes for the Star Wars Rogue –a hyperdrive would have been nice – but it’s still a good drive. The Rogue is designed with comfort and smoothness in mind, and the torquey 2.5-liter engine is quiet, and the CVT transmission reinforces the impression of gliding along.
Nissan’s new generation of CVT transmissions have really improved, and this one, especially in Sport mode, does a good job of impersonating a traditional automatic, without any of the rubber-banding and droning engine response we’ve noted in earlier versions.
Along with the pleasant power delivery, the ride is notably very smooth and composed.
And that gives you time to appreciate other things. Our tester being a mid-level SV, it didn’t have the fancy navigation system or even Apple CarPlay, but with the new Siri hands-free, we were able to do everything we wanted from our iPhone with a touch of a button on the steering wheel. Let the phone do the work. Smart. We also liked the blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alerts– saved our Galactic bacon more than once.
Appropriate for an Interstellar-based vehicle, we found the Zero Gravity front seats to be extremely supportive. The rear seats have excellent leg room, with plenty of room for adults. A 3-row, 7-passenger Rogue is available, but that third row is really only for small kids. We also liked the Divide-N-Hide cargo system that lets you set up different configurations of shelves and cargo storage. Clever and useful.
So, we came away really impressed with the Rogue. There’s overall goodness in the package – evidenced by the fact that the Rogue is the best-selling, non-pickup truck vehicle in the country. That’s saying a lot.
And you can see why in the pricing. An SV with All Wheel Drive like our tester starts at $26,590 – that is impressive value. Go for the luxury of the Sun and Sound Package, and you get a panoramic sunroof and great-sounding Bose premium audio system for a reasonable $1,700 more.
If The Force moves you, the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition Package adds $1,990 to the tab. And if that isn’t enough to motivate you, each Rogue One Rouge comes with a full-size replica Death Trooper helmet on a cool presentation stand. We didn’t get one in our press vehicle – probably smart, we would have tried to keep it!
All told, our tester carried a sticker of $31,390. Considering you get a very nice, usable crossover with a bunch of cool, limited-edition gear that will put a smile on your face every time you drive, we think Nissan will sell out of the 5,000 Rogue Ones very quickly. We’d hurry if you want one.
The only question is, what’s next? The Armada Strike Back? NISMO – Yoda’s long lost brother?
Only time will tell….
Ben Lewis grew up in Chicago, and after spending his formative years driving sideways in the winter – often intentionally – moved to sunny Southern California. He now enjoys sunny weather year-round — whether it is autocross driving, aerobatics, and learning to surf.