Two reasons I was excited to review the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid.
First, it’s NOT EVEN OUT YET! Well, okay, by the time you read this, it probably will be (scheduled release date of December 2017). So you’re getting kind of an exclusive here!
Second, I totally love hybrids. My last two vehicles were hybrids and when I traded in for a smallish SUV, I realized how much hybrids are missing in that space. And trust me, once you’ve had a hybrid, you’re always longing for that fuel efficient, torque-y, quiet ride that you get accustomed to.
Would this brand new-to-market hybrid SUV fill a gap that has previously been filled by only a small number of vehicles in the market? Let’s find out.
In order to put a vehicle to the test when I have it for a week, I simply go about my daily business for the next 7 days. Whether I’m doing a long commute somewhere or running to the grocery store, I make sure I incorporate the Nissan Rogue Hybrid into my daily routine. It takes a few days to really start to feel comfortable in the car so after about 7 days, you have a good sense of what you like and maybe what you don’t.
This is how exciting my week can be.
Day 1: Meeting with the Fire Chief. Drive is about 45 minutes and I make a brief stop at Costco while I’m down there. Time to test out the cargo space!
Day 2: I’m going to yoga class! I feel all sporty!
Day 3: Sick kid. Off to the doctor.
Day 6: Time to go take some good photos of the Nissan Rogue Hybrid. While we went on a road trip for the weekend to see ICE! at the Gaylord National, the most interesting backdrop I could find was the parking garage. So I waited for the coldest, windiest day instead to take it out to a local scenic spot.
I usually take pictures at the end of the week because that’s how long it takes me to gather my impressions.
At the start of the week, I prefer to jump right in and start driving. So the first measure of a vehicle like the Nissan Rogue Hybrid is how intuitive it is. Can I easily figure everything out? Is the integration with my phone easy to set up? Will I discover key features without ever cracking open a manual (which is how I imagine most car owners operate)?
That all starts right behind the wheel.
The first things I noticed from the driver’s side standpoint is that I fit. The dash is situated fairly low and I can sit fairly high making it feel like the driver’s seat of a minivan or similar family-friendly vehicle. The steering controls were exactly where I expected them to be (thank you, Nissan!) and I loved the D-shaped steering wheel. It made the Nissan Rogue Hybrid feel sportier.
So then it makes sense to talk about the drive of the vehicle. It sports the Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). The CVT seems to be something you love or hate. I first experience it with my 2004 Nissan Murano and it’s a sound and feel I grew to love.
While the Nissan Rogue Hybrid performs well with the 141 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, the gas and brakes felt a little “spongy” to me. For that reason, I preferred to drive it in Sport mode (there’s also normal and Eco mode) which seems to tighten up the handling for me.
One of my few complaints? The controls for the driving mode, as well as others like the heated steering wheel, were to the lower left of the steering wheel. It seemed awkward to reach, especially while I was driving.
The center console, on the other hand, was positioned perfectly for the center touch screen (also controlled by one touch buttons on the side), the climate control, sport shifter, and connectivity like a 12V port as well as auxiliary and USB ports.
The overhead controls were simple as well. Buttons provided easy access to lighting and moonroof controls but try not to touch that little red button. When attempting to turn on his light, my husband almost called for emergency services.
Speaking of the moonroof, this was absolutely one of my favorite features. The power panoramic moonroof is part of the Premium package but well worth it, especially if you have a dark interior like this car. I will note, though, that I had this car for a week in November. If it were a week in July, I might not be singing as many praises.
And while we’re looking at that moonroof, let’s talk about the most important interior aspect of an SUV – the cargo space. Most people want the flexibility in configuration that comes with an SUV (even a small one) and sometimes adding space for the battery needed for a hybrid compromises your interior space.
With the rear seat folded down, I was able to stretch out my full 5’3″ (on a good day) frame into the back. So where was the space compromise?
I can’t confirm it but it looks like the read cargo space is raised up a bit in the back (see my Costco picture above) so the hybrid probably loses a few inches in vertical space but nothing appreciable in my book.
Now, for the feature you’ve been waiting for. And unfortunately, it’s the worst picture I took. But it’s worth it to show it to you anyway.
While there are no official EPA estimates yet for the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, I was pleasantly surprised with the 32.2 mpg I experienced for a week of combined driving.
No word yet on the official estimates or pricing yet but here some info from the New York Daily News with a take on gas mileage:
The standard Rogue has an estimated EPA rating of 26 city/33 highway/29 combined mpg for front-wheel-drive models and 25 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg for all-wheel-drive models. The Rogue Hybrid offers a 5 mpg boost on combined figures with an estimated 33 city/35 highway/34 combined mpg and 31 city/34 highway/33 combined mpg for FWD and AWD models, respectively.
If you’re looking for a closer look at the Nissan Rogue Hybrid, I’ve got you covered (at least until they arrive in your dealer showroom).
This review is for the 2017 Nissan Rogue SL FWD HEV. All thoughts and opinions are my own.