Caraganza First Drive Review 2018 Nissan Rogue: As safe as can be

(Nissan)

(Nissan)

I’m lucky to be alive.  I grew up in a time when we ate gluten for breakfast, actually left the house to play outside without using any (SPF what?) sunscreen while dodging lawn darts and riding bicycles without a helmet.

We had no ADHD, ADD or hyperactivity, just too much sugar.  If we got out of line we weren’t analyzed and medicated, we were spanked either with dad’s belt or a willow branch we ourselves were forced to get via a long walk of doom from the backyard.

We lived in a haze of cigarette smoke in the house, in airplanes and inhaled while walking past the infamous “teachers’ lounge” in elementary school.

Cars weren’t cocoons; they were caverns to be explored. We sat in the backseat, or in the front center if we were dad’s favorite.  If we had a station wagon, the SUV of that era, we might be lucky enough to have a seat that allowed us to see behind, waving at whoever was following. Seatbelts? Car seats? Seriously? We could watch the world pass by through a blue tint of Lucky Strike smoke unfettered by any sort of electronic gadget.

Thank god I made it this far.

I miss those old cars. Three on the tree, clunky radio buttons, and those little vent windows that sent air in along with bugs, dust and cigarette butts.  Of course, those old cars were mighty unsafe. Sure you didn’t have a headrest to block your view or a seatbelt to hold you in, but if dad had more than two martinis for lunch kids could end up splattered on the windshield of the car that rear ended you, or worse.

While not a fan of newer cars, I am a fan of living to old age, and making sure my kids at least make it to adulthood.

The safety of the American auto has greatly improved since the 1970s and Nissan is now making that safety more affordable than ever.

A few weeks ago, I had a very upscale German luxury sedan.  This sedan could keep you inside the lanes, a set distance from the car ahead and would stop automatically if needed. It made my wife crazy when I set all the gadgets and took my hands off the wheel and pedals while on a nearly empty interstate.  But the future of motoring (according to some) are autonomous vehicles and this high-end German sedan was semi-so.

Of course all those fancy, and safe, gadgets came with a fancy its-a-German-luxury-sedan price.

(Nissan)

(Nissan)

Nissan sent me a 2018 Rogue for a recent week.  An SL all-wheel drive model.  Now I could extol the virtues of Nissan’s best seller all day long. It’s good looking, comfortable, roomy inside, and outfitted with a nice array of features.

For 2018 though the Rogue SL has something called the ProPilot Assist, an optional semi-autonomous system than can self-accelerate, brake and steer the car in certain conditions, such as dense highway traffic helping to keep it between the lines. There’s also a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and an all-around camera view.  In Nissan speak all these features are: “Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Intelligent Lane Intervention (I-LI) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection.”

The nice thing about all this is the price; it’s a $790 upgrade that comes with the SL Platinum package which includes 19-inch wheels.  With these upgrades the MSRP on my tester was $36,915 which makes all this fancy safety stuff a great deal more affordable than a high end German luxury car.

One thing Nissan didn’t change for 2018 however is the powertrain.  All Rogues (except the hybrid) come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque) paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).  While capable on the road, the power combined with the CVT makes it a bit sluggish. The CVT tries to mimic shifting but doesn’t quite seem to ever get there.  There is a lack of kick when heavy acceleration is used, and the “Sport” mode seems pretty much useless.  So while it looks good and is nicely equipped, Nissan needs to focus on what’s under the hood and drivetrain.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what I say, the Rogue is still leaving car lots across America at a record pace and I suspect will do so for quite some time.  Now they will at least be a whole bunch safer.

The 2018 Nissan Rogue SL AWD

MSRP: $32,410
MSRP (as tested): $36,915
Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 170 hp @ 6000 rpm, 175 ft-lb @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: CVT automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA) 25 city, 32 highway, 27 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 28 mpg
Base Curb Weight: lbs     3660

Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity:     5
Passenger Volume: ft³     105.8
Front Head Room: in     41.6
Front Leg Room: in     43
Front Shoulder Room: in     56.6
Front Hip Room: in     54
Second Head Room: in     38.5
Second Leg Room: in     37.9
Second Shoulder Room: in     55.9
Second Hip Room: in     52.1

Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 1: in     68.9
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 2: in     42.6
Cargo Area Width @ Beltline: in     51.2
Cargo Box (Area) Height: in     37.9
Cargo Volume to Seat 1: ft³     70
Cargo Volume to Seat 2: ft³     39.3
Cargo Volume to Seat 3: ft³     39.3

I’m lucky to be alive.  I grew up in a time when we ate gluten for breakfast, actually left the house to play outside without using any (SPF what?) sunscreen while dodging lawn darts and riding bicycles without a helmet.

We had no ADHD, ADD or hyperactivity, just too much sugar.  If we got out of line we weren’t analyzed and medicated, we were spanked either with dad’s belt or a willow branch we ourselves were forced to get via a long walk of doom from the backyard.

We lived in a haze of cigarette smoke in the house, in airplanes and inhaled while walking past the infamous “teachers’ lounge” in elementary school.

Cars weren’t cocoons; they were caverns to be explored. We sat in the backseat, or in the front center if we were dad’s favorite.  If we had a station wagon, the SUV of that era, we might be lucky enough to have a seat that allowed us to see behind, waving at whoever was following. Seatbelts? Car seats? Seriously? We could watch the world pass by through a blue tint of Lucky Strike smoke unfettered by any sort of electronic gadget.

Thank god I made it this far.

I miss those old cars. Three on the tree, clunky radio buttons, and those little vent windows that sent air in along with bugs, dust and cigarette butts.  Of course, those old cars were mighty unsafe. Sure you didn’t have a headrest to block your view or a seatbelt to hold you in, but if dad had more than two martinis for lunch kids could end up splattered on the windshield of the car that rear ended you, or worse.

While not a fan of newer cars, I am a fan of living to old age, and making sure my kids at least make it to adulthood.

The safety of the American auto has greatly improved since the 1970s and Nissan is now making that safety more affordable than ever.

A few weeks ago, I had a very upscale German luxury sedan.  This sedan could keep you inside the lanes, a set distance from the car ahead and would stop automatically if needed. It made my wife crazy when I set all the gadgets and took my hands off the wheel and pedals while on a nearly empty interstate.  But the future of motoring (according to some) are autonomous vehicles and this high-end German sedan was semi-so.

Of course all those fancy, and safe, gadgets came with a fancy its-a-German-luxury-sedan price.

Nissan sent me a 2018 Rogue for a recent week.  An SL all-wheel drive model.  Now I could extol the virtues of Nissan’s best seller all day long, I’ve had two of the smaller Sport models recently. It’s good looking, comfortable, roomy inside, and outfitted with a nice array of features.

For 2018 though the Rogue SL has something called the ProPilot Assist, an optional semi-autonomous system than can self-accelerate, brake and steer the car in certain conditions, such as dense highway traffic helping to keep it between the lines. There’s also a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and an all-around camera view.  In Nissan speak all these features are: “Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Intelligent Lane Intervention (I-LI) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection.”

The nice thing about all this is the price; it’s a $790 upgrade that comes with the SL Platinum package which includes 19-inch wheels.  With these upgrades the MSRP on my tester was $36,915 which makes all this fancy safety stuff a great deal more affordable than a high end German luxury car.

One thing Nissan didn’t change for 2018 however is the powertrain.  All Rogues (except the hybrid) come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque) paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).  While capable on the road, the power combined with the CVT makes it a bit sluggish. The CVT tries to mimic shifting but doesn’t quite seem to ever get there.  There is a lack of kick when heavy acceleration is used, and the “Sport” mode seems pretty much useless.  So while it looks good and is nicely equipped, Nissan needs to focus on what’s under the hood and drivetrain.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what I say, the Rogue is still leaving car lots across American and I suspect will do so for quite some time.  Now they will at least be a whole bunch safer.

The 2018 Nissan Rogue SL AWD

MSRP: $32,410
MSRP (as tested): $36,915
Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 170 hp @ 6000 rpm, 175 ft-lb @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: CVT automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA) 25 city, 32 highway, 27 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 28 mpg
Base Curb Weight: lbs     3660

Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity:     5
Passenger Volume: ft³     105.8
Front Head Room: in     41.6
Front Leg Room: in     43
Front Shoulder Room: in     56.6
Front Hip Room: in     54
Second Head Room: in     38.5
Second Leg Room: in     37.9
Second Shoulder Room: in     55.9
Second Hip Room: in     52.1

Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 1: in     68.9
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 2: in     42.6
Cargo Area Width @ Beltline: in     51.2
Cargo Box (Area) Height: in     37.9
Cargo Volume to Seat 1: ft³     70
Cargo Volume to Seat 2: ft³     39.3
Cargo Volume to Seat 3: ft³     39.3

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase: in     106.5
Length, Overall: in     184.5
Width, Max w/o mirrors: in     72.4
Height, Overall: in     68.5
Track Width, Front: in     62.8
Track Width, Rear: in     62.8
Min Ground Clearance: in     8.4

Trailering
Dead Weight Hitch – Max Trailer Wt.: lbs     1102
Dead Weight Hitch – Max Tongue Wt.: lbs     110
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Trailer Wt.: lbs     1102
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Tongue Wt.: lbs     110
Maximum Trailering Capacity: lbs     1102

Warranty
Basic: 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion: 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance: 3 Years/36,000 Miles

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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