2023 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Review – A Rogue That Blends In

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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Fast Facts

2023 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Fast Facts

1.5-liter turbocharged inline three-cylinder (201 horsepower @ 5,600 RPM, 225 lb-ft @ 2,800-4,000 RPM)
Transmission/Drive-Wheel Layout
Continuously variable automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
28 city / 35 highway / 31 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
8.4 city / 6.7 highway / 7.6 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$30,500 (U.S.) / $39,248 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$37,420 (U.S.) / $48,396 (Canada)
Prices include $1,295 destination charge in the United States and $2,130 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
2023 nissan rogue sv awd review a rogue that blends in

The 2023 Nissan Rogue is one of the top contenders for misnamed vehicles.

Think about it. A rogue is daring and dashing and goes against the grain. Rogues stand out. But the Nissan Rogue blends in.

That is not, in terms of the overall package, a bad thing. And I am realistic enough to know that Nissan isn’t going to call its crossover some name that implies conformity. I just felt compelled to point out the difference between the name and the execution.

Goofing on the moniker aside, the Rogue’s ability to blend in and work seamlessly is probably preferred by buyers. It’s easy to imagine a world in which the Rogue stood out from the crowd but wasn’t packaged well.

Fortunately, that’s not the world we live in. The Rogue is not a great crossover – but it’s good enough that living with it is a pleasant experience.

There are a lot of vehicles on the market that make their bones by being good at many things but not mastering any one thing – yes, the old “jack of all trades, master of none” cliché – and the Rogue is one of them. That may sound like damning with faint praise, but unless you’re looking for certain extremes in terms of performance or fuel economy or luxury at a value price, it’s not.

I should note that the Rogue will be refreshed for 2024, as we found out this morning.

Most consumers want something just like this – a vehicle that may not be the fastest or the prettiest or thriftiest at the gas pump (although its numbers aren't too shabby), but instead is just an easygoing commuter.

That’s the Rogue. Forget the image of dashing swashbucklers – the Rogue is the suburban mild-mannered middle manager who’s nice but also completely unremarkable. Boring but stable. Not fun, but pleasant to be around.

Nissan tried to play dress up, at least with the trim and color package that I tested, thanks to the newly available Midnight Edition package. For a tick over $1,500, you get blacked-out 18-inch wheels, black roof rails, special leatherette seats, black grille, black exterior mirror caps, black front and rear fascia inserts, black rear diffuser, black badging, and trim-specific badging.

Even with all this, the Rogue remains anonymous. The look is at least pleasant enough. Not handsome or head-turningly sexy, but not repulsive. No shame in this game.

The 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that’s standard across the board makes 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Not enough to make for blinding acceleration, especially in a heavy crossover, but there’s just enough thrust for relaxed urban driving. Emphasis on relaxed.

The CVT is as about unremarkable as a CVT can be.

Handling is unremarkably average, and the ride is generally compliant. I was supposed to take the Rogue on a long-ish freeway jaunt at the end of my loan, and before that trip was cut short by a shredded tire, I found the ride to be comfortable on the expressway, though road noise, especially tire noise, crept in*

*Given that the flat tire seemed to be caused by a sharp object, I don’t think the tire noise was related to the rubber falling to pieces.

The interior is similarly pleasantly inoffensive, with digital gauges that are clear and easy to read. Yet another tacked-on infotainment screen mars the look a bit, though there are still actual buttons and knobs here. This makes using the controls generally easy. I also felt like there was enough legroom and headroom for taller adults, and the seats seemed comfortable for longer drives – though my best chance to test it out on a long drive was cut short by the aforementioned flat tire.

My test unit based at $30,550 and came with all-wheel drive, rearview monitor, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, intelligent lane intervention, high beam assist, rear automatic braking, intelligent forward collision warning, and blind-spot intervention. Other standard features included dual-zone climate control, ProPilot Assist, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and LED lighting all around.

Aside from the Midnight Package, the other big option was an SV Premium Package that included heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, and a panoramic sunroof.

The total bill? $37,420 including destination.

It can be difficult for us scribes to write about vehicles like the Rogue. There are many, perhaps too many, crossovers on the market these days that are put together well enough to be pleasant daily drivers but don’t do much to stand out, good or bad. This is good for the average consumer – it means there’s a lot of choice. It’s not so good for us.

A rogue should make a splash and be noticeable. A rogue stands out, no matter how rough the edges are. This Nissan isn’t that. That’s actually a good thing for the buyer.

Being a rogue might be great fun. But for a daily driver, you want boring yet pleasant stability. That’s what really defines this Rogue – and it’s almost certainly better for it.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC.com, Nissan]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 24 comments
  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Oct 17, 2023

    I've had two of these as rentals in the last month. One I drove a couple hundred miles in the mountains around Colorado Springs. Bottom line, nice vehicle. But for as priced in this article it would need at least 10 thousand dollars in incentives for me to purchase. Oh, and tip to Nissan, include heated seats on all future fleet deal packages. This feature I consider a must on any car anymore. (I'm looking at you too civic type R)

  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Oct 18, 2023

    Oh look, another dull grey SUV with black wheels. How original. The standard color scheme of almost every new vehicle sold in America. My fellow Americans are some of the must dull unexciting people on Earth. Their dull grey vehicles which they drive home to their dull grey houses which are all dull grey and white on the inside.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.