2022 Nissan Rogue First Drive Review: New Engine Improves the Package

When the latest Nissan Rogue debuted, there was one major weak point: the engine.

When we pit the Rogue against the class-standard Toyota RAV4 earlier this year, the Nissan won out, but not because of its engine. “The initial pull soon dissipates,” reads the comparo, “and the power deficit is especially prominent on the highway where the Rogue struggles to gain speed quickly.” That it couldn’t even post better fuel economy figures was another point against Nissan’s otherwise great new family hauler.

SEE ALSO: Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan Rogue Comparison

For 2022, that’s no longer the case. Nissan has announced the Rogue will be getting a new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It promises more power and better fuel economy, for not much extra cash. Ahead of the news, AutoGuide briefly drove a 2022 Rogue fitted with this new mill, finding one of our favorite compact crossovers just got better.

Editor’s Note: We’re doing things a little differently with this short first drive review. As everything else is the same as last year’s model, we’re only focusing on what’s changed: the engine and pricing.

What’s new?

Just that drivetrain, pretty much. The 1.5-liter three-cylinder uses Nissan’s trick variable compression technology. Able to alter its compression from a power-friendly low 8.0:1 to an economical high 14.0:1, the little triple puts out a healthy 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. Importantly, it does this on the same regular 87-octane fuel as the 2.5-liter. Those figures are some of the best in the class for gas-only models, trailing only the optional four-cylinder turbos of the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. A new Xtronic continuously variable transmission comes with a wider ratio range than before, as well.

Add it all up, and the 2022 Nissan Rogue now boasts the best fuel economy figures of any non-hybrid compact crossover. When equipped with AWD, the Rogue SV now hits an estimated 33 mpg combined (7.6 L/100 km). We’ll know the individual city and highway figures soon.

Oh, and the exterior badges have changed to the newest Nissan logo. That’s it; there are no new colors for 2022.

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2022 Nissan Rogue driving impressions

We drove the 2022 Nissan Rogue in the area around Nissan Canada’s HQ, just outside of Toronto. There’s little hint of a three-cylinder hiding under the hood on start up: Nissan upgraded the engine mounting system to improve engine vibration isolation. Once underway however, the petite motor proves muscular, the extra 44 lb-ft of torque carrying it down the road with ease. Not only is there more twist, but it happens further down the rev range. The knock-on effect here is that the CVT doesn’t have to work as hard, keeping the revs low. The rest of the package is the same Rogue goodness we’ve enjoyed for the last year: a smooth, quiet ride, with suspension tuning prioritizing ride comfort, as it should. The interior of the Platinum remains a strength as well, all high-quality materials and super-comfortable seating front and back.

When pushed for highway on-ramp duty, the new engine suffers from a slight hesitation before the transmission and variable compression tech align for maximum thrust. After that it’s solid progress, the Rogue easily getting up to passing speed. The engine gives away its three-cylinder thrum when the tachometer reads above 3,000 rpm, but it’s not as rough as other triples out there (looking at you, Ford Escape). It’s also no louder than the 2.5-liter.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Review: First Drive

2022 Nissan Rogue pricing

In the US, the 1.5-liter turbo-triple replaces the 2.5-liter across the board. Prices are up by no more than $750. The new entry point is now $27,875, including destination. Next up is the SV ($29,565) and SL ($34,225). The Platinum stays as the range topper, ringing in at $37,655. AWD is optional on all trims, for an extra $1,500 outlay.

In Canada, the 2022 Rogue keeps its $30,848 CAD starting price, including destination. That’s because it soldiers on with the old 2.5-liter. Adding AWD bumps the Rogue S up to $33,158 CAD. VC Turbo-equipped models start from $37,458 CAD for the SL, a gain of a few hundred dollars. The top-level Rogue Platinum AWD comes in at $43,858 CAD, an increase of $1,000 CAD over 2021. In Canada, Nissan has also expanded the lineup with the reintroduction of the SL trim, sitting midway between the SV Premium Package ($39,458 CAD) and Platinum.

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Tucson Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Comparison: Fuel-Sipping Family Haulers

Final thoughts: 2022 Nissan Rogue First Drive Review

Nissan has addressed the main criticism we had with the Rogue at launch: a mediocre engine. The new three-cylinder achieves the win-win of more power and better fuel economy. What’s more, it sacrifices very little of that refinement that makes the current Rogue such a hit. While we’d still like to see a hybrid, if you’re shopping gas-only models, there’s now one less reason to not include the Nissan Rogue on your shortlist.


  • How much is a 2022 Nissan Rogue worth? 
    • The 2022 Nissan Rogue will start from $27,875 ($30,858 CAD) for a front-drive model.
  • When can you buy the 2022 Nissan Rogue?
    • The updated 2022 Nissan Rogue will arrive in dealerships early 2022.
  • Does the 2022 Nissan Rogue have a third row?
    • No. For an extra row, check out the related Mitsubishi Outlander.

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