2015 Nissan Rogue SL FWD

"Innovation That Excites"
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
September 15, 2014 Updated: September 15, 2014

Rogue. “Formerly a vagabond. A fun loving, mischievous person. Or creature [in this case a car] that wanders apart from the herd and is fierce and wild.” Yep, that pretty much describes the Nissan Rogue.

You have eight exterior colors and two interior colors to choose from. Brilliant sliver outside with a charcoal leather interior set my mood for a splendid drive.

The powerplant is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that provides 170 hp at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. There is a CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) System on intake and exhaust valves that improves efficiency and delivers an estimated 33 mpg highway. Nissan Direct Ignition System with double platinum-tipped spark plugs help to make that happen. This engine delivers!

Nissan’s Rogue is a beautiful, bold crossover. On the outside, standard LED daytime running lights that seem to flow into the sculpted muscular fenders present a Halloween mask expression. The outside panels have been aerodynamically tested around rear panels that sweep the breeze away. Even the muffler gets its own spoiler. An impressive, hot looking car.

Inside the Rogue is all room. It starts with best-in-class headroom (39.5 inches with moonroof). Then add the EZ Flex seating system featuring second row seats that slide, recline, and tilt for easy access to the third row, and fold-flat front passenger, second and third row seats for more cargo space. I only hope that the next model year will let the engineer that developed this year’s head room be placed in charge of developing a larger driver’s seat, because this year’s seat was too small and confining.

The available third row is perfect when transporting a team or a bait bucket full of fishermen. The 50/50 split folding third row seat gives added flexibility for passengers or their gear. Folding both rear rows down flat provides a cargo space of 70.0 cubic feet.

The power liftgate and wider open rear doors are great for larger items. These rear doors swing out 77 degrees, thus complementing the liftgate. The liftgate opens by a tap on the liftgate button or by using the switch located by the driver. Or just use the Intelligent Key that comes with SV and SL models.

There is a $1,990 SL Premier Package that includes power panoramic moonroof and several safety features like: LED headlights with auto-levelizer, Forward Collison Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Moving Object Detection.

The Rogue rides well and has plenty of power. It has just a little lean in the curves, but is steady on the straight away. When driving the car, there was a tight feeling and very little cabin noise, but the navigation screen is a little small. Interior fabrics, lighting, and designs are wonderful. 

The Rogue continues to make up ground with its major competitors Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. However the 2015 offers few changes from the previous year. There have been some package upgrades that cost extra, but the Rogue base price ($28,070) is competitive and the mpg is best in class. 

The 2015 Rogue should be in showrooms by the holidays. 

3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty
5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.