If anyone doubts the popularity of crossover utility vehicles one has to look no further than the current list of best-selling vehicles. Vaulting ahead of stalwarts Camry and even CR-V is the Nissan Rogue that has climbed to No. 4 in recent months. And for 2018 the Rogue is even better.
Not long ago we described how Nissan has gone with a two-model approach in its new Rogue lineup – Rogue and Rogue Sport. We looked at the smaller Rogue Sport in that review and felt it a perfect urban companion while still being able to get you out of town on the necessary weekend getaway. For those needing a bit more room and accommodation, Nissan has the original Rogue and its frame that is about a foot longer than Rogue Sport while also delivering more power under the hood and added cargo space in the rear. And now – drum roll please – Nissan ProPilot Assist technology.
What is ProPilot? Think of it as semi-autonomous driving technology. What it semi-autonomous driving technology? Think of that as a vehicle that can nearly drive itself under certain conditions. Those conditions, in the case of the new Nissan Rogue, mean rush hour traffic where the vehicle can take over the mundane chores of gas and brake and steering in one lane of traffic. The combination of such systems as lane keep assist and its automated steering will keep the vehicle in the same lane you have chosen and radar cruise control, along with automatic braking, controls the stop and go functions found in the drive to and from work (or wherever else you travel to and from). While this is not necessarily new and unique technology this is the first time Nissan has put it all together at the touch of a button on the steering wheel for consumers.
ProPilot is available on 2018 Rogue models in SL trim. Nissan offers Rogue in S, SV, and SL trim levels riding on front- or all-wheel drive chassis. Engine size steps up from the 2.0-liter in the Rogue Sport to a 170hp, 175 lb. ft. torque 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder version for Rogue models. This is mated to Nissan’s newest Xtronic CVT gearbox that features Sport and Eco modes. All Rogue models ride on independent front and rear suspensions with fore and aft stabilizer bars and of course utilize electric power-assisted steering. Vented disc brakes are found at all four corners for maximum braking power. Rogue rides on choice of 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheels and tires.
There are a significant amount of amenities packed into the compact Rogue. And on top of the list of standard equipment, Nissan found space to add the likes of not only a Premium package but also a Platinum package on our test model. What begins as a very comfortable interior setting arrived in our test driveway as one very loaded Rogue with a pricetag that came as a shock – in a good way. More on that later. The 2018 Nissan Rogue features very comfortable seating with ample hip- and legroom in both front and rear seating. The vehicle rides very quiet and smooth both around town and on the highway and is quite easy to drive. This is one of those “point and go” vehicles – whether it has ProPilot or not. During our week of testing perhaps the most comforting feature was the heated steering wheel as I could not locate my gloves anywhere. We also enjoyed the integrated navigation and infotainment systems and that Bose premium audio. Believe me, there is quite a bit packed into this compact cute ute.
I will hand it to Nissan as the new Rogue feels a bit larger than it really is and can accommodate a good bit of cargo or groceries, and that Divide-N-Hide cargo management system is quite handy. So is the motion-activated power liftgate. The power panoramic moonroof allows for added viewing pleasure especially this time of year with all of the holiday lights and the remote engine start is great for those mornings when the temps drop below comfortable. Other highlights to this vehicle include fog lights, roof rails, rear spoiler, and a first-aid kit.
Pricing for the 2018 Nissan Rogue begins at $24,680 for base S FWD models. Our loaded tester, complete with new ProPilot technology, arrived with a final window sticker of $36,915. Fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
This new Nissan Rogue has taken the market by storm and with new technology features such as this ProPilot it shows no signs of slowing. It is amazing the punches automakers are packing into vehicles such as Rogue. I feel bad for all those lonely sedans sitting out there in the corners of the showrooms, they almost look like those misfit toys in “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.” Perhaps Santa will come find them a home but it is Rogue that is leading the sleigh tonite.