Nissan’s handsome crossover goes green

Nissan first started production of the Rogue in 2007, officially dropping cover at the Detroit Auto Show. Since then, the model has enjoyed several updates, including a new generation that was unveiled in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Throughout its lifespan, the Rogue has always been equipped with a four-cylinder gasoline engine for motivation. But these are greener times than what we saw in 2007, and as such, Nissan just released the face-lifted Rogue with the option for a hybrid powerplant. In addition to fewer stops at the pump, the new Rogue Hybrid also promises “virtually no compromise” when it comes to the compact SUV’s performance, interior space, and cargo room, as compared to the standard Rogue.

Unveiled recently at the Miami International Auto Show, the new Rogue looks poised to topple the Altima mid-size sedan in terms of average sales across Nissan’s model lineup. With momentum like that, it makes sense to offer an eco-friendly alternative to broaden the crossover’s appeal. After all, Toyota is already doing it with the RAV4. Of course, Toyota is no stranger to hybrid technology (it gave the world the Prius, for goodness sake), but neither is Nissan at this point. Paired with crossover sales that continue to show strength year after year, the Rogue Hybrid should have what it takes to perform. Right?

Updated 01/31/2017: We’ve added up-to-date pricing information, as well as more info on competing models.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid.

  • 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Xtronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    176
  • MPG(Cty):
    33
  • MPG(Hwy):
    35
  • Torque @ RPM:
    175 @ 4400
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • Price:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    6.8/10

Exterior

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687991

Per facelift traditions, the new Rogue gains updated styling across the body panels.

Let’s start in front, where we find a new, more aggressive fascia. As expected, the big V-Motion grille is still present, incorporating a wide band of polished chrome, but the headlights are now longer and thinner. The upper grille insert now plunges down deeper into the bumper, creating a bowtie effect with the lower bumper, which also gets a new insert. The fog lights in the corners are now square, rather than round.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687989
2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687990
2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687988
2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687993
As expected, the big V-Motion grille is still present, incorporating a wide band of polished chrome, but the headlights are now longer and thinner.

The profile looks nearly identical to the outgoing model, but in back, we find a new chrome strip along the lower bumper, bookending the new fascia up front.

Wheel sizes up to 19 inches in diameter are offered, while buyers will have nine different paint colors to choose from.

Unique to the Hybrid is a Vehicle Sound Generator when cruising in electric mode, plus the requisite Hybrid badging.

The Competition

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- image 625291
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- image 625293

For the moment, the only obvious competitor for the Nissan Rogue Hybrid is Toyota’s Hybrid RAV4. In 2015, Toyota bolstered the RAV4 lineup by adding a hybrid variant, and with it comes a slew of unique touches to help it stand out from its ICE-only siblings. There is unique badging placed front to back, as well as new wheel designs up to 18 inches in diameter. Fog lights integrated with the lower bumper are available, as are LED lighting elements for the front projectors. LEDs can also be had for the taillights and daytime running lights. Brushed metal-look “skid plates” can be found under the nose and under the tail.

Over all the RAV4 Hybrid looks sharp, especially when draped in the attractive Electric Storm Blue, but a variety of color schemes are offered. The fascia is angular and upright, offering several horizontal black bands that help lend a bold appearance. The profile is traditional SUV, with a flat roofline and tall posture. The rear completes it with a sizable hatch.

Judging by looks alone, I would take the Rogue over the Rav4 and C-Max. To my tastes, it offers the ideal mix of crossover ruggedness and eye-pleasing lines. I think the broad band of chrome works well for a model in this segment, and nowhere is the styling overdone in my opinion.

Moving on, when this review was first written, we wanted to include the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid as the second big competitor, but unfortunately, Subaru discontinued the model for the 2017 model year.

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid
- image 703706
2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid
- image 703707

With that in mind, we decided to include the Ford C-Max Hybrid instead. While arguably more of a hatchback than a crossover, the C-Max still offers a good amount of practicality and an electrified powertrain, and it slots in at a low price that might be worth the donsize, so we’re gonna roll with it.

That said, the Ford C-Max gets a nice lineup of features to tempt buyers. First up are active grille shutters in the nose, which will automatically open and close, thus reducing drag and making more mpg when they are closed, or cooling off the engine to keep it operating at the optimum temperature when they’re open. Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers give you one less thing to think about in inclement weather, while if you go for the plug-in, an illuminated charge port will give you instant visual indication of how charged the batteries are.

Aesthetically, the C-Max doesn’t get the same high-riding stance as the Rogue or Rav4. Rather, it’s more of a practical bubble, as opposed to the square-on-stilts SUVs. The fascia is also equally round, most noticeably in the headlights and front grille, while the roofline peaks above the front windows before receding back to the rounded tail.

Judging by looks alone, I would take the Rogue over the Rav4 and C-Max. To my tastes, it offers the ideal mix of crossover ruggedness and eye-pleasing lines. I think the broad band of chrome works well for a model in this segment, and nowhere is the styling overdone in my opinion.

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Ford C-Max Hybrid Nissan Rogue Hybrid
Wheelbase (Inches) 104.7 104.3 106.5
Length (Inches) 183.5 173.6 184.5
Height (Inches) 65.9 63.9 66.6
Width (Inches) 72.6 72.0 72.4
Track front/rear (Inches) 61.8/61.8 60.5/60.4 62.8/62.8

Interior

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 687994

Inside the new Rogue, Nissan did a nice job upping the model’s premium feel.

The layout is pretty much a carryover, but the materials and finishes were significantly upgraded. You’ll now find soft-touch stuff on the dash, plus handsome contrast stitching. The shift knob gets polished details, while the vent surrounds look more refined. The steering wheel was replaced with a new three-spoke unit with a flat bottom, with thumb-operated controls at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Heating for the steering wheel is offered. Look for a hybrid gauge added to the gauge cluster.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 687995
The layout is pretty much a carryover, but the materials and finishes were significantly upgraded.

It’s funny how big a difference the small stuff can make.

Available equipment includes a nav system and app support, plus there’s a 7.0-inch color touch display mounted centrally on the dash (a 5.0-inch display is standard). Voice recognition is also available.

Space-wise, Nissan says it stuffed the Rogue Hybrid’s battery pack under the rear cargo area, and that overall space wasn’t significantly compromised in the transition to battery-assisted motoring. That means you should still get roughly 106 cubic feet of passenger volume, and 70 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down.

Speaking of seats – the new Rogue still gets a three-row/seven-seat configuration on the non-hybrid model, but if you want the third row in the Hybrid, you’re out of luck, because it isn’t offered. The same goes for the Divide-N-Hide Cargo System.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 687996

So much for no compromise.

At least the second row offers a 60/40 split, and there’s a specialty storage space under the rear cargo area.

When it comes to safety and convenience, the new Rogue gets features like an available Motion-Activated Liftgate, plus available tech like adaptive cruise control, an Around View Monitor, Blind Spot Warning, and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The Competition

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- image 625294
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- image 625316

The Rav4 Hybrid comes equipped with a unique gauge cluster that will identify how much electric energy you are consuming, whether you’re charging the battery, running at eco-friendly power levels, or maximizing output. Complementing this is an energy monitor offering even more hybrid tech info. Available features include a heating function for the front seats (a power driver’s seat with memory is included), as well as dual-zone climate control. You can also get leather for the steering wheel.

The infotainment includes Entune audio with an integrated navigation system, plus app support. Up top is a power moonroof. Safety and convenience includes a Bird’s Eye View camera and a backup camera. Practicality is upped thanks to a 60/40 split rear bench and foot-activated rear lift gate. Making it safe is lane departure alert with steering assist, a dynamic radar-based cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and a blind spot monitor.

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 645308
2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 645316

As for the Ford, the C-Max Hybrid arrives with it’s own version of eco info relay called a SmartGauge, which utilizes a large, customizable LCD screen placed behind the steering wheel to dispay a variety of efficiency info to the driver. Infotainment includes the Sync 3 system, but hybrid models also add to this system with their own unique systems and content. Advanced voice recognition helps you keep your hands on the wheel. A single push button starter turns it over, while options include active park assist and the available navigation system. You can also get SiriusXM Radio, an SOS post-crash alert system, a foot-activated lift gate, heated front seats, in-floor storage around the second row, dual-zone climate control, and a 60/40 split rear bench for added practicality.

It’s really a toss up between the Nissan and the Toyota. Both seem to offer high levels of comfort and premium appeal, not to mention oodles of technology. But the kicker n this segment is cargo volume and interior space.

The look and layout between these three options varies a good deal based on the trim level you go for, but in my eyes, it’s really a toss up between the Nissan and the Toyota. Both seem to offer high levels of comfort and premium appeal, not to mention oodles of technology. But the kicker n this segment is cargo volume and interior space. Check out the table below for more info there.

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Ford C-Max Hybrid Nissan Rogue Hybrid
Seating capacity 5 5 5
Cargo volume seats up 35.6 24.5 27.3
Cargo volume seats down 70.6 52.6 61.4
Passenger Volume 100.1 99.7 106.8

Drivetrain

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 687998

Mounted under that new nose is a 2.0-liter internal combustion engine sporting double overhead cams, 16 valves, and all-aluminum construction. Helping it up the efficiency is a lithium-ion battery and a single 30-kW electric motor. Individually, the gas engine produces 141 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor makes 40 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. The net result is 176 horsepower, which is right on target compared to the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant in the standard Rogue model.

The hybrid system is engaged through a two-clutch control system, with the first clutch sitting between the internal combustion engine and electric motor, sort of like a torque converter. Meanwhile, the second clutch is mounted between the electric motor and the transmission.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687997
Individually, the gas engine produces 141 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor makes 40 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque.

Keeping the battery topped off is a regenerative braking system, while an idle start/stop system keeps the gas burner as efficient as possible.

The Rogue Hybrid is offered with both FWD and AWD, but the model will only be offered with FWD at its launch later this year, with AWD added later.

And while the electric power is great for low-end torque, the real draw here is in the mileage department. While the official numbers are still being tabulated, Nissan says it expects the Rogue Hybrid to return 33 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined when equipped with FWD. Throw on AWD, and you’re looking at 31 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined.

That’s a sizable gain compared to the non-hybrid Rogue, which manages 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg with FWD, or 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined with AWD.

Both the Hybrid and non-hybrid models come with an Xtronic CVT transmission.

Drivetrain Specifications

2017 Rogue Hybrid 2017 Rogue
Powertrain 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder, 30 kW electric motor, Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch Control 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower (hp) 176 (net) 170 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) - 175 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Xtronic transmission with manual gear shifts and standard Sport and Eco Mode switches Xtronic transmission with manual gear shifts and standard Sport and Eco Mode switches
Projected Fuel Economy (estimated)1 – FWD 33 mpg city
35 mpg highway
34 mpg combined
26 mpg city

33 mpg highway
29 mpg combined

Projected Fuel Economy (estimated)1 – FWD 31 mpg city
34 mpg highway
33 mpg combined
25 mpg city

32 mpg highway
28 mpg combined

The Competition

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- image 625320

Under the hood of the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 16 valves, DOHC, and VVT-i. Paired with the rear-mounted electric motor, the internal combustion side of the equation provides power mostly to the front half of the car, while the electric motor provides motivation to the rear, essentially creating an electronic AWD layout when you need it. Regenerative braking is included. Output is rated at 194 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque, which are gains of 18 horsepower and 34 pound-feet over the non-hybrid Rav4.

Put it in Eco mode, and you’ll be looking at 34 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined. Also of note, the Rav4 Hybrid is classified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. Padding the mileage figures is the standard continuously variable transmission, which is outfitted with a pre-programmed “stepped” feel for less of the traditional rubber band effect CVT’s are known for. Keeping it planted is independent MacPherson strut suspension in front, plus double-wishbone suspension in the rear. Turning it is electric power steering.

Clearly, if it’s max mpg you’re after than the Ford delivers the goods. The problem is the lack of an AWD option, which can be a deal breaker if you live in colder climates.

Meanwhile, the Ford C-Max Hybrid is offered with a 2.0-liter Atkinson inline four-cylinder gas engine, paired with a single electric motor. The C-Max Hybrid is only offered with FWD, which means no all-wheel grip if you go with the Blue Oval. Total combined output at the front axle comes to 188 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, with the internal combustion engine providing 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque in that equation. Electricity comes from a lithium-ion battery pack, which is juiced partly by the standard regenerative braking. Routing the output is a standard electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (Ford calls it a eCVT). Mileage figures look like 42 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Suspension wise, the C-Max gets an independent set-up in the real, while steering comes from an electric power set-up.

Clearly, if it’s max mpg you’re after than the Ford delivers the goods. The problem is the lack of an AWD option, which can be a deal breaker if you live in colder climates.

I’m partial to the Nissan’s engine and drivetrain, mostly due to the brand’s CVT. While I’m not exactly a fan of this kind of transmission, it works decently well in the Nissan.

If that’s the case, I’m partial to the Nissan’s engine and drivetrain, mostly due to the brand’s CVT. While I’m not exactly a fan of this kind of transmission, it works decently well in the Nissan, offering a bit more feel than the Toyota’s transmission. While still vague compared to a three-pedal manual, the Nissan’s CVT is a step above most other CVT’s I’ve driven.

Toyota Rav4 Ford C-Max Hybrid
Engine 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid
Horsepower 194 HP 188 HP
Torque 206 LB-FT 176 LB-FT
Fuel economy city/highway 34/30 42/38
Transmission CVT eCVT

Prices

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687999

Nissan Rogue Hybrid models began arriving in dealerships towards the end of 2016, and are offered in two grade levels – the SV, and the SL.

Pricing starts at $26,240 for the SV trim level with FWD. If you want it with AWD instead, you’ll need to dole out an extra $1,350, with pricing starting at $27,590.

Up next is the SL trim level, which adds stuff like a motion activated lift gate, Around View monitor with moving object detection, leather upholstery, and the NissanConnect infotainment with navigation and mobile apps feature. SL models with FWD start at $31,160, while the top-of-the-line SL Hybrid with AWD starts at $32,510.

Rogue SV FWD Hybrid $26,240
Rogue SL FWD Hybrid $31,160
Rogue SV AWD Hybrid $27,590
Rogue SL AWD Hybrid $32,510

The Competition

Toyota is offering three trim levels for its Rav4 Hybrid. The first is the XLE, which includes the Toyota Safety Sense autonomous features, plus the available Entune Premium Audio system. Pricing starts at $29,030. Then there’s the SE, which adds a sportier suspension, 18-inch allow wheels, and interior upgrades like a sport shifter, new floor mats, and new door sill kick plates. Pricing for the SE starts at $32,185. Finally, there’s the top-trim Limited model, which adds the frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, premium Entune infotainment with a JBL sound system and integrated navigation, and 18-inch SuperChrome alloy wheels. Pricing for the Limited starts at $34,030.

The Ford C-Max Hybrid is offered in two trim levels, starting with the entry-level SE, which includes standard dual-zone climate control, six-speaker audio with Sync enhanced voice recognition, and LED signature lighting. Pricing starts at $24,120. Above the SE is the Titanium, which throws in leather upholstery for the seats, Sync 3 infotainment features, heated seats, and a standard reverse sensing system. Pricing starts at $27,120.

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE AWD $29,030
2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited AWD $34,030
2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE AWD $32,185
2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE $24,120
2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Titanium $27,120

Other Options

As previously mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot of competition in this segment, with pretty much just the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and Toyota Rav4 Hybrid battling it out for green compact crossover supremacy. However, if you’re willing to forgo the hybrid system, or downsize a little bit, there are still quite a few decently economical options to choose from.

Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro High Resolution Exterior
- image 665045
2017 Kia Niro High Resolution Exterior
- image 665046

If you’re willing to trade in on size just a little bit, the Kia Niro offers a tempting fix for your hybrid crossover/hatchback needs. It combines a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine with a single electric motor, yielding up to 139 horsepower total. All the ponies are dumped exclusively to the front axle through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. So while it’s not quick, the Niro does have the goods for mpg delivery – up to 52 mpg in the city, plus 49 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts at just under $24,000.

Read the full review here.

Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 699057
2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 699058

It might not offer the option for hybrid power, but the CR-V is still a solid compact crossover worth checking out. First introduced in 1995, the CR-V is now in its fifth generation, which dropped cover in 2016 in Detroit. Several trim levels are offered, including the base model LX, which comes equipped with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower. Step up to the EX, EX-L, or Touring model, and you’ll get 190 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. And although it isn’t a hybrid, it’ll still manage 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts at $24,045.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687992

It’s a very good thing that Nissan has decided to turn the Rogue into a hybrid. It’s exactly what the compact crossover needs to stay fresh, and it should do well to broaden the model’s appeal.

Of course, with Toyota first on the scene with the Rav4 Hybrid, Nissan has a little bit of catching up to do. That said, it looks like it’s well on its way. The technology is there, the interior spec is there, and the mpg is there as well. But most importantly, the Nissan undercuts the Toyota by nearly $3,000. That’s a significant sum in this segment, and paired with something as good-looking and well equipped as the Rogue, I think Nissan has a winner on its hands.

Who will be next onto the scene with a green compact crossover? We’ll have to wait and see, but something tells me the fight for domination this segment is just getting underway.

  • Leave it
    • * Boring CVT for transmission
    • * No third-row option
    • * Big competition from Toyota

Press Release

The Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the newest addition to the popular Rogue crossover lineup, offers a second powertrain choice for Rogue buyers for the 2017 model year – in both FWD and AWD applications. Like the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline engine-equipped standard Rogue models, the Rogue Hybrid offers freshened exterior and interior styling, additional safety, security and driving aid technology and a wide range of standard and available comfort, convenience and utility features.

The new, compact hybrid powertrain is designed to balance performance with significant increases in fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of an electric motor’s instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 2.0-liter engine and advanced Xtronic transmission, provides an energetic feel under all driving conditions.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687997

The 2017 Rogue Hybrid produces projected fuel economy1 of 33 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined (estimated) for the front-wheel drive model. Rogue Hybrid all-wheel drive models are projected at 31 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined (estimated)1. Most significantly, it does so with virtually no compromise of performance, interior roominess or cargo space (compared to standard Rogue models).

The hybrid system combines an advanced 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine and a compact lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. The system’s gasoline engine is rated at 141 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 30 kW electric motor is rated at 40 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system net power is 176 horsepower.

At the core of the Rogue Hybrid gasoline-electric hybrid system is Nissan’s advanced Intelligent Dual Clutch Control system. The first of the two clutches is a dry clutch installed between the 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor, where the torque converter would normally be, and the second is between the motor and Xtronic transmission.

The high-output lithium-ion battery is able to charge/discharge quickly, which contributes to high-speed, precise control of the electric motor and optimum clutch control, and in combination enable smooth start and quick shift changes. An Intelligent Regenerative Braking system partially recharges the battery during vehicle braking and additional fuel economy is provided by an Idle Start/Stop system.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687993

In addition, with use of the compact Lithium-ion battery located under the rear cargo area, the Rogue Hybrid maintains its flat rear floor for easy passenger access to the rear seat and little reduction of cargo room.

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