- What’s Best: A competitive, popular and sensible compact crossover offering.
- What’s Worst: Adequate but unexciting power. No power upgrades.
- What’s Interesting: Exploring semi-autonomous driving with the new ProPILOT Assist (PPA) technology.
“Going rogue” has been defined as maverick-like behaviour that tends to buck the status quo.
So, the Rogue moniker seems an apt name for a Nissan compact crossover that leads the lineup in sales trends and technologies.
The 2018 Rogue continues to be the company’s best seller in Canada for the fourth consecutive year, also maintaining contention in the competitive top five in its segment, against worthies like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.
For 2018, the Rogue separates itself further from the herd by adding ProPILOT Assist technology, a semi-autonomous driver-assist system that blends traffic-monitoring cruise control and an advanced lane-keeping system.
Other additions for 2018 include:
- A new NissanConnect infotainment and connectivity system with seven-inch colour display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- A new secondary USB port added inside the console
- A new blacked-out Midnight Edition Package now available on SV trims
- A new shade of Scarlet Ember bolstering the six-colour exterior palette
The 2018 Rogue comes in four trim levels – S ($26,298), SV ($28,598), SV Midnight Edition Package ($34,198) and SL Platinum ProPilot Assist ($37,098).
Tested here, we have the full-blown SL Platinum AWD ProPilot Assist model. ProPilot Assist (PPA) was designed to ease the driver’s workload by taking over steering, braking and acceleration tasks on long highway commutes.
Pushing the blue ProPilot Assist button on the right steering wheel spoke and engaging Intelligent Cruise Control activates the combined system.
As long as lane markers on either side of the vehicle are visible, steering assist will keep the Rogue centred in its lane while the forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and electronic control module also maintain vehicle cruise speed and the traffic-following gap set by the driver.
PPA also can even slow the vehicle to a complete stop and hold its place in traffic jam conditions.
There are a few hitches.
If, for example, your right side lane marker wanders off up the middle of a two-lane exit, the PPA will tend to follow it off the highway.
Hmm, so you might want to stay in the left and centre lanes.
And there are, of course, a range of conditions to be met and nanny-nagging alerts to keep your hands on the wheel. But the PPA system seems a logical, if tentative, step on the road to a fully autonomous, self-driving future reality.
All 2018 Rogue models are equipped with a one-choice 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 170 hp and 175 lb/ft or torque. The engine is mated to an Xtronic CVT transmission with Sport and Eco modes and it puts power to the road via front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive systems, depending on model and trim level.
Some competitors offer optional power choices but the Nissan mill chugs along well enough, offering adequate pulling power, a modest 500 kg (1,102 lb) towing ability and, in the case of our SL AWD tester, a 9.7/7.4L/100km (city/hwy) fuel economy rating. My real world results came in at 8.9L/100km (comb).
Dynamic driver-assist technologies include Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Engine Braking, Intelligent Ride Control, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System and Hill Start Assist. And our top-of-the-line tester also included blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.
A list of standard or available features also worth mentioning includes comfortable Zero Gravity front seats, wide-opening rear doors that access a reclining/sliding adjustable second row, an innovative Divide-N-Hide shelf and divider system, a motion-activated power liftgate and an impressive nine-speaker BOSE audio system, to name just a few.
The new ProPilot Assist system (also available on Nissan Leaf) debuted as a Rogue option but is now standard on SL Platinum models. PPA will be offered as an option on upcoming the 2019 Rogue SV trim level and will migrate to the Qashqai and Altima lineups for 2019 as well.
Other changes to the coming 2019 Rogue include Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking and a Rear Door Alert to remind you to check the back seat on arrival.
There’s certainly no shortage of equipment and trim choices to be made when it comes to the Nissan Rogue.
And, on that theme, while the 2018 Nissan Rogue ($26K-$37K) may lead the lineup in sales, the steady, bigger-and-better evolution of this once entry-level product, along with the ever-increasing customer appetite for crossovers, has allowed Nissan to slip two new model choices under the Rogue.
They are the slightly smaller Qashqai ($20K-$30K) and the new subcompact Kicks ($18K-$23K). And the venerable Murano ($31K-$45K), plus-sized Pathfinder ($33K-$49K) and Armada ($64K-$75K) models still offer roomier alternatives.
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