While a few competitors are more fun to drive, the 2015 Nissan Rogue is a versatile and practical choice among compact SUVs.
The 2015 Nissan Rogue seats five, or seven with an available third row, and comes standard with front-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Nissan offers the Rogue in S, SV and SL trims. The Rogue was redesigned for the 2014 and sees few changes for the 2015 model year.
The 2015 Rogue won’t really stand out in a sea of compact crossovers, but it’s still an attractive vehicle that shares some exterior styling cues with the midsize Nissan Murano.
A rear spoiler, 17-inch steel wheels and LED daytime running lights round out the Rogue’s list of standard exterior equipment. Exterior options include a panoramic moonroof, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, heated sideview mirrors and a power liftgate.
The Rogue distinguishes itself from other compact SUVs with an available third row, which boosts seating capacity to seven. Cloth upholstery is standard, while heated front seats, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and dual-zone automatic climate control are available.
You’ll find 32 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 70 cubic feet with the back seat folded, which is great for the class and only slightly less than what you’ll find in SUVs like the 2015 Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
Opt for the third row and you’ll have 9.4 cubic feet of space with all seats in use.
Redesigned last year, the Rogue’s interior is modern, spacious and built with quality materials. The dash and gauge cluster are set low, which results in a spacious feeling cabin and a clear view of the road ahead. Head- and legroom are excellent in both rows, though the center stack can dig into knee room if you’re on the taller side.
All Rogue models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The EPA reports that the front-wheel drive Rogue gets 26/33 mpg city/highway, which is great for a compact SUV. All-wheel drive models also offer impressive fuel economy estimates with 25/32 mpg.
Our test Rogue was a front-wheel drive model that felt responsive from a stop and had no trouble getting up to freeway speeds.
It could use a little more power for passing and merging though, and SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester offer engine options that provide more power. The Rogue’s steering is a little numb, and competitors like the Escape and Mazda CX-5 generally feel a bit more nimble. Still, the handling is controlled and the ride is comfortable, which may make the Rogue a good fit for a wide range of buyers.
The 2015 Rogue comes standard with a rearview camera, a USB port, satellite radio, Bluetooth, smartphone app integration with NissanConnect and a four-speaker stereo with a 5-inch display. Available features include a Bose sound system and a navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen.
While our test Rogue’s navigation system may not have a lot of visual flair, the touch screen provides access to a user-friendly system that makes it easy to adjust audio, navigation and phone settings. Pairing a smartphone is effortless, and the system provides access to Facebook and Google search if you download the NissanConnect smartphone app.
Straightforward knobs to adjust stereo volume and climate settings further enhance usability, though it’s a bit of stretch to reach some of these on the center stack. Fortunately, most audio adjustments are easy with the steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
The 2015 Nissan Rogue earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as top scores of Good in all IIHS crash tests. It also received four out of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with five stars in side crash tests and four stars in front crash and rollover tests.
The Rogue comes standard with a rearview camera, stability and traction control and a suite of air bags.
Our test Rogue came with the SV Premium Package, which adds features that include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and Nissan’s Around View monitor system, which uses cameras to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle. A forward collision warning system is also available, but only on the top SL trim.
The Around View system is a boon in crowded parking lots or other low speed maneuvers. Like most rearview camera systems, it activates automatically when the Rogue is in reverse, but a ‘camera’ button next to the touch screen also allows you to use Around View when traveling forward at low speeds.
The lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring systems are both extremely effective, though it would be nice if there was a way to turn off the lane departure warning system’s audible alerts. Both systems are activated in tandem by a button on the left side of the dash. This means that if you turn off lane departure warning, you lose blind spot monitoring as well.
The 2015 Nissan Rogue starts at $23,040, which is slightly less than what you’ll pay for the base Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. At the same time, competitors like the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester undercut the Rogue with lower starting prices.
Many of these competitors now offer similar levels of standard equipment, including features like Bluetooth, USB connectivity and a rearview camera. Still, with a sticker price of $27,175 (including an $885 destination charge), our 2015 Rogue SV provides access to a number of tech and safety features at a reasonable price.
In particular, the SV Premium package ($1,590) in our test model adds navigation, a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and the Around View camera system.
While some competitors offer engine options that provide more power, the 2015 Rogue deserves recognition for its competitive cargo space, good fuel economy and available third row. It also offers a strong list of standard features, as well as tech and safety options that won’t break the bank. As a result, the Rogue makes a great deal of sense for small families that are shopping for a practical compact SUV.