It does not dawn on you just how much vehicles change over the years, especially fan favorites that always exhibit the same great features that make drivers fall in love with them. A period of five years may seem short when you consider how fast time flies, but when you think about it, 2018 was a while ago. The pandemic, a new president, new trends, and new social media platforms have emerged in this period, and of course, the automotive industry has also changed. Taking into consideration one of the most beloved compact SUVs on the streets, the Nissan Rogue, it’s hard to believe that this Nissan bestseller has changed so much in such a short amount of time. Let’s evaluate the last five years of this icon so that the next time you see a used Nissan Rogue for sale, you can truly appreciate how far this compact model has come with what it offers to the daily drive.
2018: Goodbye Third Row
Did you know that the Nissan Rogue used to have a third row available? This is virtually unheard of for the compact SUV segment, but the Rogue made it happen in its second generation, which launched in 2014. The option to add even more space for passengers emerged, allowing this compact model to suit families and a diverse array of drivers for the first time. There are a few small SUVs that have had the guts to offer quite a feature, the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mercedes-Benz GLB being two of them since compact SUVs need all the space they can get. Stuffing a third row into the mix not only makes it more cramped for passengers but also impedes upon storage space.
Nissan realized this issue, and in 2018, the third-row option was removed from the lineup so that the Rogue could offer a comfortable cabin experience for its occupants and plenty of space for all types of gear. In addition to more room, models from this year could also be enhanced with premium elements to elevate the experience on board, including Zero Gravity seats, quilted leather appointments, and sound-dampening features to create the ideal oasis on the road.
2019: More Standard Safety Tech
Safety has always been a priority for vehicles, and over the years, these features have advanced, offering drivers more than just a safe ride. Modern safety features help drivers remain focused on the road ahead and provide helpful assistance to add more convenience to the day. The 2019 Rogue took this notion and expanded upon it by offering a slew of new features, many of which were standard equipment. Launched as an available feature for 2018, ProPILOT Assist became standard on the high-end SL model just a year later. Long before the days when semi-autonomous driving systems were popping up all over the grid, the Rogue was quietly offering a version of this to its drivers.
Utilizing advanced features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Keeping Assist, ProPILOT Assist is a feature that we still see today, although enhanced. Vehicles armed with ProPILOT Assist are able to steer, brake, and navigate through traffic on the highway for you so that you can focus on the journey ahead. In addition to ProPILOT Assist, 2019 Rogue models also featured standard Forward Collision Warning, lane-keeping assistance systems, and a Rear Seat Reminder to alert drivers to check the backseat for valuables before exiting the vehicle.
2020: Bidding Adieu to the Hybrid
In 2017, the Rogue began offering a hybrid powertrain to enhance efficiency during the daily commute. It paired a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, delivering 176 horsepower to add some drama to the drive; however, for the 2020 model year, Nissan decided to eliminate this powertrain from the lineup. It is said that the hybrid was dropped from the Rogue’s lineup due to low sales, which left one powertrain in the mix for drivers, a 2.5L four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Not incredibly exciting to drive, but not boring either, this lone powertrain was able to carefully transport drivers around town, offering favorable efficiency to the ride, able to get up to 33 mpg on the highway. With the excellent fuel economy that this gas-powered engine achieved, it is understandable why Nissan decided to focus just on this one powertrain to keep things simple. Due to its smooth operating CVT, precise steering, and firm suspension, the 2020 Rogue could offer drivers a soothing ride. Perfect for the daily commute, the Rogue offered comfort, precision, and control on the streets, further enhancing its industry status.
2021: Welcoming a New Generation
It was an exciting year for the Nissan Rogue when it sauntered onto the streets in 2021, sporting a new design and plenty of impressive features for its third generation. The differences could be spotted from the moment it approached you, with a unique design showcasing a more squared-off appearance. This gave the Rogue a more rugged, rustic vibe that resonated with drivers. Inside, the Rogue exhibited various styling elements that modernized this SUV like never before. These included a bi-level dashboard, a prominent touchscreen, and upgrades like genuine leather seating materials and heated front seats in higher-level trims.
Technology was also enhanced, with an available 9-inch touchscreen to take command of the drive, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available in-vehicle navigation, and more intriguing features to add value behind the wheel. The top-level Platinum trim even offered a 10.8-inch Head-Up Display to showcase important details about your ride on the windshield, as well as a wireless charging pad to keep devices powered up for the drive. Its 2.5L four-cylinder is also ehanced, offering 181 horses beneath the hood to excite the daily commute.
2022: A Turbocharged Driving Experience
Last year’s model continued the Rogue’s evolution, debuting a new powertrain that enhanced its energy on the road. Its lone engine became more powerful for 2022, with a 1.5L VC-Turbo three-cylinder at the helm of the ride. The VC-Turbo works differently from standard engines, utilizing a variable compression ratio to achieve maximum performance and efficiency at all points during the drive. Not only is it able to offer more power, with 201 horses pushing it forward, fuel efficiency benefits as well, with 2022 models able to get up to 37 mpg on the highway. It’s the best of both worlds for commuters near and far.
Although this engine is still paired with a CVT, Nissan also improved this transmission for the 2022 model year. This CVT offers a refined ride and helps improve acceleration while prioritizing fuel efficiency, creating a ride like never before in this Nissan staple. The Rogue finally provided drivers with a more exciting ride without sacrificing efficiency, something that many compact rivals have yet to figure out how to accomplish.
The Rogue Legacy
Over the last five years, the Rogue has indeed transformed and improved in more ways than one. From a more spacious and accommodating design to ample power pumping out of its turbocharged engine, plus a variety of advanced tech to influence the drive, Nissan has worked diligently to improve the Rogue’s presence on the market. It shows that even though the Rogue has been a bestseller for years, it does not mean it can afford to slack off. Evolution is always required to remain at the head of the pack, and the Rogue does this beautifully through all of the innovation and tenacity that Nissan puts into this fan-favorite SUV.