A few nice updates for Nissan’s crossover sales-champ, the Rogue.
In addition to the modest facelift the previous year, the latest Rogue drops the 7-seat option with the mini jump seats, brings a top-notch active safety suite and a new flagship trimline: the Platinum Reserve.
The core machine is better than ever – and is a stunningly simple car to drive and own. As we note in the drive video below, the Rogue sells itself in the first block for many shoppers. It just seems to be the perfect size for awesome visibility but without being too wide or gigantic to navigate gridlock traffic or tight city streets.
We spent a week finding out why the Rogue has wormed its way into so many hearts (and garages) around the world. What do these drivers know that RAV4 or CR-V owners don’t?
Kick things off with a high-performance drive review video that’s been well-liked on Youtube.
Normal section headers follow the video!
Performance Drive Review Video
Rogue launched a few years ago with class-best LED daytime running lights as standard, fairly low pricing and that option for a third row that made it one of the cheapest ways to get seven seats. Premium aspirations with pricing from about $25k? Seems like a good start!
The design has aged fairly gracefully. While RAV4 and CR-V are genuinely unusual looking these days, the Rogue has soft, familiar lines and is defined by its inoffensiveness. You can mark it out on the road via those check-mark LEDs up front, its rising window-line and its clean tail details.
This newest upgrade brings a large, full-frame grille in gloss black that extends down into the front bumper. A clean expression of Nissan’s V-motion grille isn’t shouty or loud, but does help you know this Rogue is one of the new-gen models.
A large upgrade in style and functionality comes from the quad LED project beams for the headlamps. These finally seem like a good match for the white LED daytime running lights.
The Platinum Reserve outside brings a few tweaks like chrome accents for the lower bumpers and larger, machine-polished alloy wheels. A few badges outside dress up this top trim, but most of the Platinum goodies are on the inside.
Thumb through the gallery to see photos of the 2018 Rogue Platinum inside and out.
The first-gen Rogue we tested really underwhelmed with its interior design and many of its materials inside. The plastics were very eco-scratchy and even the colors of grey, taupe and mouse-fur cloth were just too anodyne to excite anyone. The latest rogue has an awesome upgrade in this sense – the new steering wheel is premium and chic, the glossy black areas are nice to see and this special Platinum leather in rich caramel make quite a strong, upmarket statement fort themselves.
Rolling refinement seems better than ever with less engine and road noise than most crossovers.
Two things to highlight in the Rogue’s performance. The first is how much better-behaved the Xtronic CVT automatic is with a four-cylinder engine versus a big V6. CVT haters really loathe what the slushbox does to performance drive feel, and we agree at times.
With this smooth four-cylinder, though, the Rogue honestly feels nimble, peppy and perfectly polite even in hard driving. Instances of the revs pinned at 6000-rpm are very rare indeed inside Rogue in normal scenarios. That the transmission is feather-light and keeps the drive manners in town super-chill? Just added bonuses.
A final thing we loved and truly missed after the Rogue left the test fleet? The new ProPILOT Assist system! This is the best active cruise control around for keeping a tight follow distance to cars in front when in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It is genuinely helpful and clearly has major new hardware and software to be this savvy and fast-reacting. Combined with the new electronic parking brake and auto-hold, this machine is a commuting rockstar.
Rogue remains a rockstar for Nissan because it just feels so “right” in that first few moments inside. If it weren’t for the hefty
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.