2023 Nissan Rogue Review: Well-Equipped and Handsome, But Lagging in Sales

The Nissan Rogue SUV was the most popular non-truck in America just five years ago. It has now dropped down to fourth in its own segment led by the popular Toyota Rav4 and the Honda CR-V. A new and arguably better-looking Rogue debuted in 2020 and last year Nissan added its new high-tech 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making the continued sales drop more puzzling.

One problem for the Nissan Rogue is that unlike the leaders in its class, it doesn’t offer a hybrid model. The Rav4 has both a plug-in and a hybrid while Honda offers its hybrids as Sport and Sport Touring models.

The new Rogue leans in on family convenience with optional three-zone climate control, one each for the front passengers and one for the back. Keyless access now unlocks the back doors too, which now opens wider for easier access, and the new armrest opens from the center to allow things to get passed from the front to the back seat.

The interior was modernized with standard leather-wrapped seats on the SL trim and quilted semi-aniline leather-wrapped seats on the Platinum grade in three colors: Charcoal, Gray and Tan. The rear seats fold down with a button to increase cargo space from 31.6 cubic feet to 74.1 cubic feet. With the new Divide-n-Hide adjustable floor models with the option have an extra five cubic feet of space.

2023 Nissan Rogue SV AWD

The Nissan Rogue comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while wireless smartphone integration is optional. It comes with three digital screens, including the 10.8-inch head-up display. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is available; a 7-inch screen is standard. For infotainment more expensive models now come with a 9-inch touchscreen while base models feature an 8-inch screen.

The touchscreen sits at the top of the dash, but with out blocking views. It has two physical knobs for volume and tuning along with redundant mode buttons under the screen. The Bluetooth connected quickly and easily though this model didn’t come with wireless CarPlay. It does have both USB-a and USB-c ports.

The climate functions, too, have knobs for temperature adjustment, which are easy to reach and use with gloves. The Rogue SV does have heated seats and a heated steering wheel, useful for those in colder climates.

Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats find a home in the Rogue and they are surprisingly cushy for a vehicle in this class. After a few hours of driving no kinks in the neck or back were detected. The two-tone seats even come with diamond stitching on higher trims.

2023 Nissan Rogue
The 2023 Nissan Rogue offers two-tone, diamond-stitched seats.
Nissan North America

It was easy to get two car seats in the back with latches underneath plastic panels. Some vehicles put the latches right in the bite of the seat back and bottom, and are much harder to use.

The new engine is the only one available in the 2023 Nissan Rogue. The 1.5-liter VC turbo delivers 201 hp and 225 pound-feet of torque. That’s more torque than Toyota and Honda’s base models, however both Toyota and Honda’s hybrids are more powerful. A continuously variable transmission is standard with paddle shifters to simulate gear changes. All-wheel drive is optional and front wheel drive is standard.

The 1.5-liter and CVT are quiet during most driving situations, and the stop/start system is almost imperceptible. It doesn’t feel sluggish with 201 horsepower, but sometimes passing maneuvers take longer than expected as the transmission winds up. It does get louder in those situations.

The steering has a medium heft to it and feels accurate. The suspension is tuned for comfort and only rarely did a pothole upset the balance. The brakes are almost perfect with a short stroke and a middling amount of effort necessary on normal stops.

2023 Nissan Rogue
The 2023 Nissan Rogue has a 201-hp engine.
Nissan North America

Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard on every Rogue with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking. Blind Spot Intervention and Traffic Sign Recognition are optional and adaptive cruise control is part of the ProPILOT Assist system. ProPILOT is a hands-on technology that combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration, braking and steering in both heavy traffic and on the open highway.

The 2023 Nissan Rogue starts at $27,360 before destination and handling with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive adds $1,690. The most expensive trim is the Rogue Platinum with all-wheel drive. That will set buyers back $38,640. The Honda CR-V starts a little more expensive at $31,610 with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive adds $1,500 on the CR-V, which tops out at $39,100 for the Sport hybrid version.

The 2023 Toyota Rav4, the segment leader, starts at $27,575; all-wheel drive adds $1,400. The most expensive Rav4 trim is the Hybrid Limited, which stickers for $38,530.

The Nissan Rogue is an excellent daily driver with loads of features and comfort. The more-expensive Honda CR-V does feel like more of a complete vehicle, while the Rav4 is the coolest looking of the bunch. All three will suit buyers in any corner of the country.

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