2018 Nissan rogue buyer’s guide with specs, safety, and reliability info – autoblog gas zombies

The 2018 Nissan Rogue presses a lot of the right buttons in the highly competitive market for family-friendly SUVs. The Rogue comes with plenty of standard equipment, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and LED daytime running lights, along with safety features such as blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alert.

Dynamically speaking, the Rogue is only mid-pack (at best) among rivals that include the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox and Hyundai Tucson, to name a few. That’s because the Rogue’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is hardly what you’d call a tire-burner, and it’s paired with an economical but uninspiring CVT automatic transmission. Available in front- or all-wheel drive, the Rogue puts much more emphasis on fuel economy, cargo room and cabin quality. For many compact-SUV buyers, those attributes rank highly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 Nissan an overall crash-test rating of four stars. Whether equipped with front- or all-wheel drive, the Rogue scored identical four-star scores in the frontal and crash test, along with resistance to rollover. A five-star score was recorded for the side-impact crash test.

The Rogue earned a "superior" rating for front crash prevention, along with "good" ratings in all of the IIHS’ crash tests. The Rogue scored only an "marginal" rating for its LATCH anchors for child seats. Headlamp performance received an "acceptable" rating.

J.D. Power most recently reviewed initial quality in the 2017 Rogue, which is nearly identical to the 2018 model, excluding minor trim changes. It gave the Rogue four out of five possible stars — a rating referred to as "among the best" — for overall quality, as well as overall performance and design.

The Rogue’s scores noticeably fall in other categories, however. J.D. Power gave the Rogue only two stars for predicted reliability, along with a three-star rating for body and interior quality design, features and accessories quality design and overall quality design.

For comparison, the 2018 Honda CR-V has 39.2 cubic feet of cargo room with its rear seats in place. Folded down, total volume is 75.8 cubic feet. Find 2018 Nissan Rogue pricing, information and even ones on sale near you. What are the Rogue engines and specs?

All versions of the Nissan Rogue (except the hybrid) come with the same engine, along with a choice of front- and all-wheel drive. Three trims are offered: S, SV and SL. Standard across the range is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only gearbox available.

The EPA rates the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and CVT in front-wheel-drive format at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway. Equipped with all-wheel drive, the same engine and transmission combination returns 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway.

There is a hybrid version of the Nissan Rogue. The hybrid model features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor. Total output is 176 horsepower, which is almost identical to that of the standard model. Fuel economy is improved, to an EPA-estimated 33 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway.

We were impressed by ProPilot, calling it a "great feature" that can help take some of the fatigue out of long drives. Coupled with the adaptive cruise control, the driving assist feature was a welcome companion during a drive to the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year.

"It became so effective on straight sections that I relaxed my hand to the point the steering wheel no longer detected my presence and the car warned me to put my hand back on the wheel," wrote Autoblog Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale. "And, yes, like other adaptive cruise control systems with steering assist, ProPilot Assist does make you commit to this token gesture of control."

While ProPilot has merit, the rest of the Nissan Rogue left something to be desired. As Stocksdale noted during this drive, the 2018 Rogue "is not the strongest crossover SUV." While the ride was comfortable and the cabin spacious, the four-cylinder engine was "coarse" and the handling was "lackluster."