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Highlights: It’s the only compact crossover in the segment, offering three rows of seats. And the first generation is still being sold today under the name Rogue Select.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $28,170 (base price $23,675)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; LED daytime running lights; traction control; a tire pressure system; an electronic brake distribution; a vehicle dynamic control system; a hill assist decent control system; and a rearview camera

Standard Equipment (SV model): 17-inch wheels; a power driver’s seat; a 5.0-inch infotainment screen; a dual zone temperature control system; a push-button keyless ignition system; a power driver’s seat; a divide-and -hide cargo system; a power automatic door lock feature; a push-button keyless starter system; a rear privacy glass; and rear roof rails

Options: a navigation system; a 7-inch touchscreen; a power lift gate; heated outside mirrors; heated front seats; blind spot mirrors; a lane departure warning system; third row seats; and run flat tires

Suspension System:   independent strut (front); multi-link (rear)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000-mile warranty

Powertrain Warranty: 3 years or 36,000-mile warranty

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/170-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 26-city/33-hwy

What’s New: Since the Rogue went through a major design change in 2014, there are just a few minor content changes for the 2015 model year. One of the highlights is the addition of a new economy mode system, which aids in improving fuel-efficiency.

Pros: The stylish and roomy Rogue, which is available in both a front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive configuration, can be outfitted in three trim levels: S, SV and SL. Whether one opts for the base S trim or the higher-end SL trim, one can expect a fairly well equipped model. Yes, even the base trim is equipped appropriately with a power driver’s seat, a rear view camera and a push-button keyless ignition system.

Buyers yearning for a few more features can also opt for the mid-range SV trim, which includes a subscription to a 6-speaker satellite radio, roof rails and an automatic headlight system, or the top of the line SL model, which includes leather-appointed seats, a 9-speaker Bose system, a power lift gate, a 7-inch screen, 18-inch wheels and heated front seats.

And for those seeking high-end content, the following optional features can be added: a forward-collision braking system, a 360-degree moving object detection system, a power panoramic sunroof, LED headlights with an auto-leveling control system and 18-inch wheels.

Moreover, in addition to the noted features, Nissan has been able to squeeze out every inch of interior space in the compact Rogue, making this the most versatile vehicle in the segment. Buyers can opt for the compact utility segment first third-row seating system to the brand’s signature EZ Flex seating system, which allows one to use up to 18 variations between the two row seating system and the cargo system to store items out-of-sight (or to lower the deck to accommodate taller items). Yes, the interior designers and engineers worked hand-in-hand to make this compact vehicle usable and user friendly.

Cons: While this is the only three-row crossover in the segment, in our opinion, it’s nearly impossible to squeeze adults in what we term as the temporary seats. It’s best to use the extra space for cargo space, as opposed to promising to serve as ‘Soccer Mom’ (or Dad) to transfer extra occupants.

Furthermore, the powertrain engineers should consider adding a fuel-efficient, potent turbo engine to the mix, like a number of its competitors. With the Rogue being a larger vehicle than most of its segment competitors, the vehicle needs more power, especially, when the third-row seats are added to the mix.

Verdict:  The second-generation Rogue is a standout in the segment, offering the most flexible interior space, third row seats and a host of high-tech safety driving features. More so, the compact crossover is the most fuel-efficient in its class, especially with the all-new eco mode application. While there are a number of players in this competitive segment, Nissan has managed to keep the vehicle fresh. It’s no wonder why this is the second best-selling vehicle in the brand’s line up.

Competition:  Chevy Equinox; Ford Escape; GMC Terrain; Hyundai Tucson; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Sportage; Mazda CX-5; and VW Tiguan

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Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars. 

 

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