GREENSBORO, GA – It would be hard to overstate the significance of the Rogue to the Nissan’s success in Canada – you can reasonably say that Nissan Canada’s fortunes are directly tied to the sales of this compact crossover.
With more than 29,000 units sold through Sept. 30, the Rogue is Nissan’s best selling car in Canada by a wide margin and now accounts for roughly one third of the company’s sales north of the 49th parallel.
With a strong sales history firmly established, Nissan is making a number of changes to the Rogue for 2017, but the one thing that will soldier on unchanged, at least for now, is the powertrain.
This means the 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder engine continues to produce 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft. of torque, and is mated to Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).
What has changed rather significantly, however, is the Rogue’s styling. Among the exterior highlights is a new front fascia with integrated fog lamps, bumper and, Nissan’s prominent front design cue, the V-motion grille.
New headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED boomerang signature tail lights are also standard issue across the model range, and the topline SL Platinum trim gets new 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels as standard equipment.
Inside, Nissan ups the ante with a new D-shaped steering wheel, leather-wrapped gear shifter and new door and instrument panel materials that have a more upmarket look and feel.
New features that are bound to find favour with Canadians include standard heated seats across the range, available remote engine start and an available heated steering wheel, the latter being a first for the Rogue.
On the people-moving front, the ’17 Rogue offers available three-row, seven-passenger seating on SV models equipped with the Family Package, which also includes run flat tires (on 17-inch alloy wheels). Nissan’s clever Divide ‘N Hide cargo system designed to separate wet and dirty cargo from the clean and dry is also standard across the range.
On a recent press event in rural Georgia, I had the pleasure of driving a range-topping SL Platinum AWD version, which comes loaded with plenty of premium content.
Among its many standard features are leather-appointed seats, NissanConnect navi with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bose audio with nine speakers, memory seats and mirrors, 19-inch alloy wheels and a motion-activate power lift gate (optional on the SV).
A full suite of safety / collision mitigation tech is also standard kit on the SL Platinum, including intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision braking with pedestrian detection. All of these are new-for-’17 features.
As one might imagine with this much premium content, the SL Platinum is a very comfortable crossover to cruise around in, both in city and highway traffic conditions.
The ride strikes a nice balance between comfort and handling and the acceleration, while not neck-snapping, is certainly more than adequate for normal driving situations. Cabin noise is also generally well suppressed, with engine noise only intruding during hard acceleration.
In, all the 2017 Rogue brings a refreshed look and plenty of new content to the table that should ensure it remains one of the best selling crossovers in Canada.
SPECIFICATIONS – 2017 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum AWD
BASE PRICE / AS TESTED: $25,248 / $36,598
ENGINE: 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder
HORSEPOWER: 170 hp @ 6,000 rpm
TORQUE: 175 lb-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 1,635 kg
CONFIGURATION: front engine, all-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION: Xtronic CTV
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS (CITY / HWY. / COMB.): 9.6 / 7.4 / 8.6
WARRANTY (MOS. / KM): 36 / 60,000
ALTERNATIVES: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4
Photography courtesy of Nissan Canada