The new Rogue, with its first redesign since 2014, feels more substantial, similar to the transformation we saw with the latest Sentra sedan. We found the Rogue to be taut and agile, relatively quiet, and user-friendly, making it a compelling small SUV.
Powered by a 181-hp, four-cylinder that’s teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Rogue provides smooth but unexciting acceleration. It surges off the line with a strong initial burst (which can feel too abrupt, at times), but it never feels particularly peppy after that. The CVT does an excellent job mimicking the shifts of a traditional automatic when accelerating, instead of allowing the engine wind high up in the rev range anytime the driver is looking for more power, as with some CVTs. At 25 mpg overall, the Rogue’s fuel economy is decent for an all-wheel-drive SUV, but it trails the class leaders by 3 mpg.
The Rogue performs well when the road gets curvy, with quick turn-in response and minimal body lean. The suspension has an underlying firmness, which lends to the SUV’s more substantial feel, but the flip side to this newfound solidity is that passengers will be quite aware of broken pavement. The Rogue’s cabin is one of the quietest in the class, though, with muted road and wind noise.