2022 Nissan Rogue First Test
Usually when a brand new model is released it will take a few years before it sees any further updates. After all, if you just changed everything, why would you want to deal with it even more right now? But sometimes the development of cars and their engines don’t line up, which is why last year’s all-new Rogue debuted with only a slightly updated version of the last-gen engine. This is also why the Nissan Rogue 2022, which remains unchanged, welcomes an all-new production engine under its hood. And yes, Standard engine, not another option. The good news is, it’s a good engine and makes the Rogue even better than before.
So what is this new engine? Instead of the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the 2022 Rogue gets a turbocharged, variable-compression 1.5-liter three-cylinder. It has the same compression ratio adjustment system used on the turbo four-cylinder introduced in the Infiniti QX50 and offered in the Nissan Altima. In fact, it is essentially this engine, but with one cylinder less. It also benefits from some detail improvements such as roller bearing camshafts and textured valve lifters for reduced friction in the engine (the textured surface holds more oil), as well as an updated CVT. with lower and higher ratios, and various friction improvements.
The result of all these changes is a more powerful and efficient SUV. The new model puts out 20 more horsepower at 201 and 44 more pound-feet of torque at 225 – sweeping upgrades that take the Rogue from one of the weaker entries in its segment to one of the most powerful. Fuel economy will also improve. Final figures are not available, but Nissan estimates 33 mpg combined compared to the current model’s best of 30 mpg. It’s a win-win.
And the good news is that the improvements are noticeable behind the wheel, not just on paper. One of the big surprises is that the engine actually sounds softer than the four-cylinder it is derived from. Power delivery is also very smooth. The turbo coils up quickly and gives you easy-to-use low-low torque. As such, it will go from light to light confidently and at low revs for a quiet experience.
Like many other small turbo engines, the trade-off is that the Rogue’s three-cylinder feels like it’s falling flat when accelerating. When you go up a ramp it starts out strong, but loses some steam towards the top once you get past the huge chunk of initial torque. It’s ironic considering that peak horsepower is approaching the red line of 6,000 rpm. When you push the motor hard, it gets a little noisy, but not rougher.
As for the CVT, it’s still not particularly impressive, but does the job well. It’s programmed to act like a conventional automatic transmission, and the gear changes are silky smooth. However, it doesn’t react quickly, like when you ask for a kick to pass or hit a ramp.
The rest of the 2022 Nissan Rogue is unchanged, since again it was completely new last year. You can get more details on the interior, ride and handling in our full Rogue review. But to sum up, the Rogue has a significantly improved interior which is very upscale on the higher trims. It’s smaller on the outside, but bigger on the inside, and it has very comfortable seats. It’s not particularly fun to drive, but it’s a huge dynamic improvement over its depressing predecessor and also comfortable enough to navigate.
Another advantage of the Rogue 2022 is that the price barely increases compared to last year. The base price of the front-wheel drive Rogue S is $ 27,875, an increase of $ 650. Add all-wheel drive and the base price is $ 29,375. That’s $ 750 more than the outgoing one.
So after significantly improving the Nissan Rogue with last year’s redesign, Nissan has made it even better for its second year on the market. We’re not quite ready to call it a segment leader, but it’s definitely worth considering for its bold engine, impressive fuel economy, and sleek interior.