2022 Nissan Rogue Review: A Small Engine Makes a Big Difference

The Nissan Rogue gets a major upgrade this year, but it’s not something you’ll notice right away. Take a look under the hood and you’ll find an all-new 1.5-litre turbocharged inline 3-cylinder engine – a small but mighty engine that gives Nissan’s best-selling SUV a nice boost in power while delivering better fuel economy.

This new triple uses the same variable compression technology as Nissan’s larger 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, an engine optional in the Altima sedan and standard in the Infiniti QX50 and QX55 crossings. Basically, varying the compression ratio allows the 1.5T to deliver more low-end power and perform more efficiently when cruising. It’s a win-win technology thing.

Specs back up those merits: The 1.5-liter I3 is rated at 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque, increases of 20 hp and 44 lb-ft over the Rogue’s 2.5-liter naturally aspirated I4. 2021. Meanwhile, fuel economy sees a 3 mpg improvement on the combined cycle, with a base front-drive Rogue rated at 30 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. A loaded Platinum model with all-wheel drive like my tester drops those numbers to 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined, but that’s still better than the top-end versions of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. .

Nissan has reworked the Rogue’s continuously variable transmission to complement the turbo engine, and while the changes aren’t drastic, the CVT is both smoother and quieter than before. The Rogue has steering wheel-mounted paddles so you can simulate shifting your wrong gears if you feel like it, but leave the transmission alone and it’ll do its job no problem. (You better not touch those paddles.)

The 2022 Rogue isn’t what I would call fast, but it certainly accelerates with more authority than the 2021 model. In fact, the throttle might be a little too sensitive, delivering a quick jolt of power while moving away from stops before softening. Mid-range thrust is acceptable – certainly better than the old 2.5-litre engine, anyway. But the best thing about the 1.5T is that it doesn’t have the weird power peaks and valleys of the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo; torque delivery is nice and linear outside of that initial jump. Also, unlike other small-displacement I3s, the Rogue’s engine isn’t prone to harsh noises or unwanted vibrations, both at speed and when idling.

Around town, the Rogue is fun to drive. The suspension strikes a good balance of city comfort without highway float, and the steering is properly tuned – nicely weighted but lacking in feedback, not that 99.9 percent of Rogue buyers will actually care. Instead, those customers will appreciate the Rogue’s long list of standard driver assist technologies, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic and more. All Rogues except the base S feature Nissan’s excellent ProPilot Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with active lane-keeping technology.

2022 Nissan Rogue Engine

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2022 Nissan Rogue Engine

Three powerful cylinders.

Steven Ewing/CBS

The Rogue’s multimedia setup is unchanged, meaning there’s a standard 8-inch touchscreen running Nissan’s somewhat outdated infotainment suite, with Apple Car Play and Android-Auto integrated. A larger 9-inch screen is optional on SL and standard on Platinum trims, though the software inside isn’t any better. However, CarPlay connects wirelessly to the 9-inch screen, and the Platinum has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, as well as an optional head-up display.

Obviously, my Platinum tester has all the bells and whistles, like the quilted leather upholstery wrapping the comfy Nissan Zero Gravity seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel. But the interior of the Rogue is super nice overall. I like the way the rear doors open to 90 degrees, which is very useful for people, but also great when I want to put bulky items in the backseat. The relatively boxy shape also helps with overall cargo capacity, although the Rogue’s 74.1 cubic foot measurement splits the difference between the smaller RAV4 and the larger CR-V.

Interior of the 2022 Nissan Rogue

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Interior of the 2022 Nissan Rogue

The interior is nicely laid out and quite spacious.

Steven Ewing/CBS

All 2022 Rogue models are slightly more expensive than before, with a base model at $28,445 (including $1,295 for destination). All-wheel drive is an extra $1,500 on all trim levels, and a high-end Platinum all-wheel drive like the one pictured here starts at $39,725. Add $745 for the orange and black two-tone paint job, plus $400 for the heads-up display and the Rogue tops out at $40,870. The mid-level SV and SL versions are available in the low to mid $30,000 range, so these will be the ones you’ll see most often.

The third-generation Nissan Rogue is a fairly straightforward SUV. It’s not the prettiest, most luxurious, or most fun-to-drive crossover in the compact class, and unlike many rivals, there are no hybrid or plug-in hybrid options available. Even so, the Rogue is a solid, versatile product that really does nothing wrong. This will likely make it Nissan’s best-selling product, and the new turbo engine only enhances the appeal of this SUV.

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