$19,746 - $26,282

2018 Nissan Rogue Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.8

The 2018 Nissan Rogue's performance is a bit of a mixed bag. The positives include exceptional fuel economy, a cushioned ride, and stable handling. On the other hand, the Rogue's acceleration is on the slow side, its transmission doesn't feel particularly sharp, and many rivals are more engaging to drive.

  • "Its sole four-cylinder engine and sluggish continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) drag down an otherwise competent package, and there's nary a hint of handling spirit that you'll find in the Rogue's competitors from Honda, Mazda or even Chevrolet." -- Edmunds
  • "Dynamics and drivability aren't exactly high up on most compact SUV checklists, but you still have to be able to live with it as a daily driver, regardless of how short or long the commute. And for what the Rogue offers, it's a fine package." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • It's not quick; a glance at the numbers is all it really takes to arrive at that conclusion. 170 horsepower and 3,600lbs (in AWD guise) is not a formula for sprightly acceleration, but the power is adequate for most day-to-day situations." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The 2018 Rogue features a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel-drive models get great fuel economy for the class, at 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models lose 1 mpg in city and highway driving.

The Rogue's engine is adequate for driving around the city, and it’s OK on the highway too – once you get up to speed. Acceleration is a bit sluggish, due in part to the CVT. It feels like it's winding up the engine when you press the gas pedal, causing a delay before any real acceleration happens. Furthermore, the CVT makes a loud droning noise under hard acceleration.

  • "There's a rubber-band sensation that's typical of CVTs, meaning a noticeable delay between the application of the gas pedal and the delivery of acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite the new sport shifter, Sport-mode button, and flat-bottom wheel, there's no changing the fact that this remains one of the slowest accelerating CUVs in the segment, and its handling isn't even a fraction as sporty a Mazda CX-5's." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "Although the company went to great lengths to insulate its noisy 2.5L I-4 from the passenger cabin, the 175hp engine needs to work hard to move this spacious SUV around with any authority. Although the Rogue will easily maintain freeway speeds, passing on two-lane roads would require a lot of planning. Helping the engine in its momentum mission is an Xtronic continuously variable transmission, but even that infinitely adaptable 'gearbox' has its drawbacks. Indeed, full-throttle inputs resulted in a lot of high-RPM droning thanks to the CVT, and increased volume didn't always mean increased speed, especially if hilly driving is on the itinerary." -- Truck Trend (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Rogue strikes a nice balance between comfort and composure. The ride is smooth over bumpy roads, but the suspension isn't so soft that there's a lot of body roll through turns. The steering is nicely weighted, providing a steady ride at high speeds and allowing easy turning at low speeds. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The Rogue isn't the sportiest choice in the compact SUV segment, but overall it handles well enough to make the driver feel confident in its abilities." -- Edmunds
  • "We've always found the Rogue to have above-average steering for the class. It should come as no surprise that such remains the case. In terms of the typical consumer experience, this manifests itself most obviously with the Rogue's willingness to hold a steady line down even a crowned country road, never once wandering without warning. This isn't the sort of car where a half-second's distraction from the road will result in a meandering drift into a neighboring lane. From an enthusiast's perspective, it means you can toss the Rogue into corners predictably and consistently. This isn't a sporty car, but it's not just a rolling lounge chair either." -- Left Lane News (2017)
  • "The Rogue's ride never feels jarring or jittery, even over rough pavement. Not that we are complaining, because while there are plenty of sporty SUVs from which to choose, those that emphasize a soft ride are becoming increasingly rare. Steering feel from the electric-assist power-steering system is actually quite good, and overall we found the Rogue's ride to be controlled with noticeable lean only showing up during aggressive cornering." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

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