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2022 Nissan Rogue Test Drive Review

The Nissan Rogue returns for 2022 with a new 1.5-litre turbocharged inline three-cylinder gasoline engine.

7.8 /10
Overall Score

The 2022 Nissan Rogue is a two-row crossover compact SUV with frameless, unibody construction, riding on a platform that was all-new for 2021 and shared with the next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander. It comes with front-wheel drive (FWD) or available all-wheel drive (AWD) and in five trim levels. In Canada, FWD prices start at $29,148 before the $1,860 destination fees and AWD at $31,448, equating to a $650 increase for both models compared to the 2021 model year. All-wheel drive costs $2,300 on lower trim levels and is standard on higher trims. And those prices include a new, more powerful engine and a new transmission. At a fuel consumption as low as 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres combined, the 2022 Rogue is the current leader in its non-hybrid compact crossover SUV class.

Look and Feel

7/ 10

The Rogue has been in the Nissan lineup since 2007. A redesign for the 2013 model year cemented its place as a top seller, putting it in a back-and-forth-and-back-again duel with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Last year’s transformation reworked the Rogue’s slightly cute styling into a more grownup look, and the 2022 model carries on with no new flourishes.

The new Rogue displays several exterior design features in common with other current-generation Nissan vehicles, especially the recently reworked Pathfinder. It has a version of Nissan’s V-motion grille up front, flanked by multi-level LED headlights, with daytime running lights above the main headlight. The SL and Platinum trim levels come with LED foglamps below. Not immediately noticeable, but definitely present, are active grille shutters and underbody covers to improve airflow and an “air curtain” directing airflow around the front of the vehicle to the sides. The floating roof, an illusion assisted by the dark supporting pillars, adds to the sleek look, and the slightly bulging liftgate finishes off the body nicely.

In the cabin, the Rogue follows the current design trend of a layered dash with distinct horizontal layers. In some trim levels and colours, the dash layers are contrasting colours; they have different surfaces in all models. It’s a sophisticated, detailed look, tastefully executed.

The centre console is a highlight, thanks in part to adopting an electronic gear selector lever. It doesn’t require a mechanical linkage to the transmission, so it takes up less room in the console than a gated shifter would. The space beneath the centre console is open, with enough space for a purse or a bucket of fried chicken (depending on your needs on any particular day). Two large cupholder slots, of course, live on the right side of the console, and a wireless charging pad is ahead of that. There’s a big storage cubby below the centre armrest. The 9-inch centre infotainment display floats proud of the dash, up near the driver’s eye line where it should be. The instrument panel has a 7-inch centre display on lower-trim grades or a full 12.3-inch digital screen in upper trims.

Nissan’s attractive and comfortable Zero Gravity bucket-style front seats fit nicely into the Rogue, and a roomy (for a compact crossover) second row has good legroom and ample space for two adults, or three in a pinch.

As we expect from Nissan, fit and finish on the Rogue are exemplary, and material selection, especially on the top-of-the-line Platinum model we drove, was very good.

Performance

8/ 10

The Rogue’s performance hasn’t been a big disappointment in the past, but it hasn’t been exhilarating, either. The 2022 Rogue not only benefits from the chassis improvements Nissan made in 2021, but it also gets a jolt of energy from its new engine, the latest addition to the VC-Turbo family.

We’re not going to go down the rabbit hole trying to explain the VC-Turbo concept fully, but we will take a peek. “VC” in this instance stands for “Variable Compression.” Nissan engineers figured out how to change the compression ratio in the engine by mechanically adjusting the size of the combustion chamber. When the driver mashes on the gas pedal to demand more power, the combustion chamber gets bigger, the compression ratio lowers, more fuel burns, and the engine instantly perks up. When less power is needed, the compression ratio goes up, less fuel burns, and the engine operates at a higher efficiency level. This action happens by mechanical means; it's not software-controlled, so it's entirely transparent to the driver.

The 2022 Rogue's 1.5-litre VC-Turbo engine has three cylinders arranged inline and makes 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 11 percent over the 2021’s 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine horsepower produced, and 24 percent more torque. The added power livens up the Rogue’s performance in all situations.

Owners will also appreciate the new engine’s impressive fuel consumption specs. Natural Resources Canada estimates the Rogue can achieve 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres city/6.5 highway/7.2 combined (8.4 city/6.7 hwy/7.6 combined with the AWD drivetrain, and slightly higher on upper grades) when running on regular unleaded fuel—a healthy improvement over the 2021 model’s figures.

Not only is there a new engine, but the Rogue’s automatic transmission is also new. It’s still a CVT, but the gear ratios it covers are substantially wider, which means the SUV takes off from the line with more authority and responds more readily in passing situations. Many drivers will never notice the CVT drone enthusiasts complain about, and it is less noticeable with the new transmission for sure. Too bad there’s no manual transmission option for the Rogue—but we didn’t even dare hope for such a feature.

The Rogue’s chassis and suspension easily handle the new engine and transmission’s lively character, delivering a smooth, controlled ride quality with minimal body roll. The electric power-assisted steering has good feel, and the 10.8-metre turning diameter is nice and tight.

Form and Function

8/ 10

Even though the Rogue has only been through three generations of evolution, Nissan has honed it into a very capable vehicle with smart details. Just look around the front cabin and notice how many places there are to stash and store the items a family or commuter might need to have handy in their vehicle. The Rogue offers bottle holders in the door, cupholders in the console, a glove compartment, a centre console bin, a tray beneath the centre console, cubbies in the dash, and more. There are USB-A, USB-C, and 12-volt outlets in the centre stack, right above the wireless charging pad.

Rear-seat passengers also have storage options in the doors, in the seatbacks, and in the centre armrest, and they get USB-A and USB-C charge-only ports for their devices. The second-row seat is a 60/40 split reclining bench.

One of the reasons crossover vehicles shine is the cargo area they offer. The Rogue can swallow up to 1,033 litres of luggage (less with the available moonroof). Fold the second row flat, and a generous maximum of 2,098 litres of cargo space await your thrift store finds.

Tech Level

8/ 10

The Rogue’s 2021 makeover came with a technology upgrade, which carries over to the 2022 model. On the upper trim levels, the most significant upgrades were to the vehicle’s screens—three of them, to be precise: a new 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a 9-inch centre infotainment touchscreen, and a 10.8-inch head-up display. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard features, with wireless Apple CarPlay available on upper trim levels.

ProPilot Assist, Nissan’s hands-on driver-assist technology, is available and is integrated with the navigation system on models with ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link. This allows the Rogue to use the navigation system’s knowledge of road conditions ahead on the route to adjust speed proactively. For instance, the system could reduce the Rogue’s speed as it approached a curve on the highway or in preparation for an exit since it “knows” where the vehicle is heading. We’re getting closer to autonomous driving in small increments, and this kind of integration is an important step.

Nissan’s Intelligent Key continues to evolve keyless entry as an indispensable tool for families. Instead of requiring the driver to unlock the rear doors from the front door handle, the front and rear doors on both sides of the vehicle can now be unlocked by tapping twice on the button on the rear door handle. If that seems trivial, you probably don’t carry passengers in your second row very often.

Safety

8/ 10

The 2022 Rogue features the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety technologies across all trim levels. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. The Rogue has ten supplemental airbags and extended crumple zones for passive safety. On top of that, each Rogue model has Nissan’s Intelligent Driver Alertness technology and rear door alert. Blind spot intervention and traffic sign recognition are both available safety features.

ProPilot Assist takes Safety Shield 360 features and amps them up to a Level 2 advanced driver-assist system. This hands-on system combines steering-assist and adaptive cruise control to help control acceleration, braking, and steering in heavy traffic and on the open road. The system can bring the Rogue to a complete stop when necessary and will start the vehicle moving again within an up to 30-second hold—great for negotiating traffic jams. The available enhanced ProPilot Assist with Navi-Link, discussed above, adds integration with the navigation system to perform some predictive speed control. We’re getting very close to AV territory here, people.

The 2022 Nissan Rogue received a four-star (out of five) overall safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2022 Nissan Rogue a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Cost-Effectiveness

8/ 10

Competition is good for the consumer. Even with a brand-new engine and transmission, the 2022 Nissan Rogue’s prices have only increased slightly over 2021. Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) in Canada starts at $29,148 and goes up to $42,398, with a $1,860 delivery charge and taxes and other fees being extra.

The Rogue comes in five trim levels for 2022. The base trim is the S, which starts at $29,148 when equipped with FWD and $31,448 with AWD. Moving up the ladder is the Nissan Rogue SV, which with standard AWD has an MSRP of $35,748. The SV Premium starts at $37,748, the Nissan Rogue SL at $40,148, and the Platinum at $42,398.

The Rogue’s top competitors are the Toyota RAV4 (starting at $28,850) and the Honda CR-V (starting at $30,770). The RAV4 is available with hybrid gasoline-electric powertrains and the CR-V Hybrid is expected to join it soon in the Canadian market, which may be an advantage as fuel prices soar.

But there are plenty of other compact crossover SUVs to consider, as this is a very popular segment. The Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Equinox, and others could keep you test-driving for weeks.

If you are leaning toward the Rogue, consider the SL, which we think hits the sweet spot in the lineup. You’ll get the safety and convenience features, plus the 9-inch infotainment system display with navigation, wireless CarPlay, and ProPilot Assist with Navi-link without breaking the bank for the digital dashboard, Bose premium audio system, wireless charging, and semi-aniline leather (all cool features you don’t really need).

The 2022 Nissan Rogue benefits greatly from its new engine and transmission, and we all benefit from the healthy competition between the great vehicles in the compact crossover SUV class.

Note: Images show a US model.

Updated by Jason Fogelson

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