According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, a Rogue is either “a rascal; scoundrel” or “a fun-loving, mischievous person.” Obviously, the folks at Nissan don’t think of their Rogue as a rascal or a scoundrel. But fun-loving and mischievous don’t really apply, either. Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Rogue is Nissan’s entry in the rapidly expanding compact-crossover derby. It’s comfortable, bigger than some of its competitors, and nicely turned out within, plus it earned top safety ratings with the major testing bodies and is almost totally devoid of driver gratification. Some of the solid foundations are taken from the Sentra sedan, with the addition of available all-wheel drive, elevated ride height, bigger dimensions, more interior volume, and the option of three-row seating. Unlike its subcompact cousin, the Juke, there’s no hot-rod NISMO variant. There is just one Rogue powertrain: a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder—170 horsepower, 175 lb-ft of torque—paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (Xtronic CVT, in Nissan-speak). Changes have been minor since our 2014 test and the Rogue still stacks up as bland, although its 2015 sales totaled 287,190, nearly 88,000 more than the previous year and second only to the Altima among all Nissans.
The Rogue is stylish on the outside and attractive inside, with comfortable seats, decent materials, and a goodly array of available comfort, convenience, and connectivity features. The second-row seats adjust nine inches fore and aft, there’s ample cargo space in five-passenger models, and controls are readily identifiable—no mysteries, no tedious rummaging through the owner’s manual. Also, the center stack includes actual knobs for tuning the radio and making HVAC adjustments.