Review: Does the 2022 Nissan Rogue Have a Heart of Gold? Here’s What I Think of Its New 1.5-Liter Turbo

The 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine is more potent than the old mill it replaces - at least on paper

2022 Nissan Rogue
(Images: Nissan)

The 2022 Nissan Rogue now comes standard with the VC turbo three-cylinder engine, which is what it needed to make it one of the best in class. No kidding.

Yes, I think this new powertrain makes the 2022 Nissan Rogue one of the best in its class, but with a caveat. When the all-new Nissan Rogue launched in 2020, I felt it was an excellent, if anemic crossover thanks to its old engine. It was comfortable, almost luxurious and handled quite well. It’s overall driving character was mild at best, but it was never advertised as a sports car. Still, having a better powertrain crossed my mind several times.

Fast forward to about a year ago when I played with an Infiniti QX55. It was one of the earlier vehicles I sampled with the VC-Turbo powertrain, and it moved well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as sporty as it looked, but the engine felt promising.

New power makes the 2022 Nissan Rogue one of the “best in class”

The compression ratio can jump from 8:1 all the way to 14:1, which is almost turbodiesel territory. That means that it will use little energy to lug down the highway, but the burn will jump, giving you power when needed. So, it’s like an economy powertrain with some punch when you need it, at least on paper. According to the EPA, the combined mileage on the AWD Rogue is 31 mpg, which is best in class.

The 2022 Nissan Rogue not only benefits from that new mill, but it sees an updated Xtronic CVT. This continuously variable transmission has a 17 percent higher gear ratio spread and reduced the internal friction by 32-percent. This pairs well with the turbo, and power is always available at just about any speed. There still is a tad bit of turbo and transmission lag, but it’s better than many competitors.

The Rogue Sport (which isn’t all that sporty) would benefit from this powertrain as well. Big time.

One more thing: you can get a base model Rogue with front-wheel drive and get about three MPG better mileage, which is impressive.

Other than the engine, it’s all about that interior.

Even the base and SV trims have nice looking interiors; however, the Platinum gives you front and rear Zero Gravity seats that are heated. Truly, the cushion technology on these seats is pretty good. Even my large ape-like booty was supremely comfortable, front and rear. The only seating issue I have is that Nissan does not offer ventilated seats in the Rogue. That’s something some of the competition does offer on higher trims.

Visually, and functionally, the 2022 Nissan Rogue is outstanding.

As nice as the interior is to look at, and I think the materials are fine as well, there are a few issues some may find. For one thing, the 9-inch infotainment screen is a bit small by industry standards. It works just fine, and includes all the bells and whistles like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Still, the tech is kind of mismatched with the luxurious theme of this interior.

The Nissan Rogue also gives you up to 74.1 ft³ of cargo space, which is near the top of the class. The same goes with passenger space, which is quite generous too. I do wish the Rogue was rated to tow more than 1,500 lbs, but nothing is perfect.

2022 Nissan Rogue

It is worth it at $42,325?

Every competitor, including the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and the Ford Escape (among others) – have trims and packages that match the Rogue. Most of them have a hybrid and/or PHEV option that the Rogue does not have. While that is a shame, as demand for hybrids and PHEV is on the rise, the EPA numbers do not lie. This Rogue is extremely frugal.

When you see how nice the interior is designed, feel the comfort of the seats, enjoy the silky ride and (now) unleash more power – it’s clear why the Rogue sells so well. It is one of the best vehicles in its class. Period.

Now, check out this video and see what you think: