• 2015,Nissan,Rogue,SL,FWD
  • 2015,Nissan Rogue,SL CUV

Road Test: 2015 Nissan Rogue SL FWD

A Comfortable Fit For Your Driveway

Completely redesigned for the 2014 model year, the 2015 Nissan Rogue continues to be one of the best midsize SUVs and is Nissan’s second best-selling vehicle. Roomy and fuel-wise, the Rogue just might look perfect in your driveway. It’s got style and delivers well beyond 33 mpg on the highway, fits five or seven passengers and comes with either front- (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).


Both (FWD/AWD) versions of the 2015 Nissan Rogue SL use the same 2.5L, 16-valve, Inline, four-cylinder engine with sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection. Running on unleaded


Looking for a new driveway

regular, it puts-out 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque through Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which is rated at 25 City / 33 Highway / 28 Combined for the FWD, and 25/32/28 for the AWD. In 300 miles of 70-percent highway /30-percent city driving we averaged 29.8 mpg in our FWD 2015 Nissan Rogue.

Driving Experience: On the Road

The five-door (four doors plus a hatch) Rogue weighs in at 3,481 lbs. and never felt heavy. The 58/42 front-to-rear weight distribution was easy to maneuver, thanks to the electric power-assisted and speed-sensitive steering. Handling was confident with little body roll through all speeds and situations, helped by the 225/60R18 all-season tires on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and Active Ride Control, which applies the brakes and adjusts engine torque to smooth out bumps in the road. The Rogue also has independent struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar in front and a rear independent multi-link set-up with twin tube shocks and a stabilizer bar.

2015 Nissan,Rogue SL,fuel economy

Sleek and stylish

The CVT-equipped Rogue was, as I have found with other cars using CVT transmissions, delivered an overall good driving experience. Nissan’s continued development of CVT technology has resulted in a transmission with no shift-points (because there are no gears to shift) that helps deliver increased fuel economy. The CVT and the 2.5L four-cylinder combination ran smoothly, but under extremely hard or labored – as in uphill, pedal-to-the-metal – acceleration, there was engine/transmission noise, more like a drone, that was noticeable in the cockpit. Once at the desired speed, it cruised and kept up with traffic easily. To get the most performance from the engine, you have choices of ECO and Sport settings. ECO will be used on long stretches of road to squeeze-out every last drop of fuel, with Sport being activated to hold the transmission in each rev band a bit longer. If drag racing the car next to you, this is the mode to be in. But the Rogue isn’t built as a racer and doesn’t claim to be a sporty car, so leave the hot rodding to the Nissan Juke NISMO RS.

Clean Fleet Report’s 2015 Nissan Rogue SL had solid and consistent stops with a braking system consisting of vented front and rear discs, an anti-lock brake system (ABS), brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), which adjusts brake proportioning to compensate for added weight from passengers or cargo, and even adjusts as fuel is consumed.

Driving Experience: Exterior

Design-wise, the Rogue generally falls in-line with its competitors in the midsize SUV category, but stands out with an aggressive stance from the 18-inch wheels, sculpted front end and a sloping

2015, Nissan Rogue,aerodynamics

Wind cheater

windshield. Nissan has worked on the aerodynamics to achieve a 0.33 drag co-efficient with the outside mirror shapes, rear roof and side spoilers, and combination rear lights that seem to be all one, smooth piece with the fenders and rear hatch. A concerted effort was made to have the Rogue design be void of any unnecessary cladding or chrome. There is just enough brightwork to play against the body color, which in our case was Cayenne Red.

Driving Experience: Interior

I was immediately impressed with the ease of finding a comfortable seating position thanks to the six-way, leather-appointed, heated power driver’s seat with power lumbar (the front passenger seat is four-way manually adjustable) and the manually adjusted steering column.

Clean Fleet Report’s 2015 Nissan Rogue SL had seating for five adults. If you opt for the S or SV trim levels you can get 7-passenger seating. Nissan’s rear EZ Flex seating system is quite accommodating as the complete three-passenger rear seat slides and reclines, while having a center pass through as part of the folding armrest. Make sure to put the rear seat through its paces when at your dealer. Usually at this point we suggest the rear seat really is only good for two adults, but this isn’t the case with the Rogue. With the rear seat slid-back the full nine inches, rear seat passengers have a very generous 37.9-inches of legroom. Plus with the five-passenger version, Nissan’s Divide-N-Hide Cargo System can create a flat cargo area and, when the rear-most floorboard is lowered, a deep cargo well is created to transport taller objects. You gain access to all this via the power liftgate. It is pretty clear you will not have any issues hauling people or cargo with so many well-thought-out seating and storage options.

2015, Nissan, Rogue SL,interior

A dash that works

The dash layout is simple, starting with the analog tachometer and speedometer gauges, which feature easy-to-read white lettering on a black background. The Vehicle Information Center is also under a covered hood to reduce glare. Operating the sound system was easy and met Clean Fleet Report’s minimum requirement for a driver-friendly system as it had knobs for the channel and volume functions. Our Rogue SL came with a seven-inch HD color touch-screen with navigation, rear-view monitor and mobile apps, along with Nissan’s wonderful Around View Monitor, which are all part of the NissanConnect system.

The powerful and great-sounding Bose audio system came with eight speakers and SiriusXM (three-month trial subscription)/AM/FM/HD/CD/MP3/WMA/USB port with iPod connectivity, Aux-in jacks and Bluetooth streaming audio, Text Messaging Assistant and voice recognition.

Adding to the interior comfort and convenience was a power panoramic moonroof,  leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, Intelligent Key with push-button start, cruise control, automatic temperature control (ATC), Nissan’s I-CON system with automatic air conditioning, power windows with one-touch up/down, power door locks, power heated outside mirrors, carpeted floor mats, day/night rearview mirror, outside temperature display, map lights, multiple beverage holders and three 12-volt accessory outlets.

Safety and Convenience

The 2015 Rogue LS comes with safety and convenience features including eight air bags, blind spot warning (BSW), moving object detection (MOD), forward collision warning (FCW), Around

2015 Nissan, Rogue SL, interior

The latest tech – speak to it

View Monitor (AVM), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control system (TCS), hill start assist (HSA), Active Trace Control (ATC), Active Engine Braking (AEB), vehicle dynamic control (VDC), four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), LED headlights with Auto Levelizer, fog lights, vehicle security system (VSS) and anti-theft vehicle immobilizer.

All 2015 Rogues have earned a US Government National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  4-Star Overall Vehicle Score, where 5 Stars is the highest safety rating.


Clean Fleet Report’s 2015 Rogue SL FWD had a MRSP of $30,270 without the $860 Destination Charge. 2015 Rogue pricing, excluding the $860 Destination Charge:

2015, Nissan, Rogue, SL, functionality,storage

Open for business

S FWD         $ 23,040

S AWD         $ 24,390

SV FWD       $ 24,490

SV AWD       $ 25,840

SL FWD       $ 28,280

SL AWD       $ 29,630


The 2015 Rogue SL comes with these warranties:

  • Basic – Three-year/36,000-mile
  • Powertrain – Five-year/60,000-mile
  • Anti-Perforation – Five-year/Unlimited mile

Observations: 2015 Nissan Rogue LS FWD

2015, Nissan Rogue, SL FWD,value

An edge in styling and substance

The 2015 Nissan Rogue offers clean styling, a spacious interior with convenient and desirable seating and storage flexibility, which includes the five-passenger or seven-passenger option. Having both a front-wheel and all-wheel drive option on the 2015 Rogue is a selling point for Nissan as it means everyone looking for a fuel efficient midsize SUV or CUV, Crossover Utility Vehicle, could be their customer.

Nissan’s direct competition for the Rogue are the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester. The Rogue holds-up well against all these fine cars, making it worthy of your consideration.

My overall impression of the 2015 Nissan Rogue is that I felt safe and in control at all times and would have no problem taking it on a cross-country road trip. I think you will agree.

Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

Road Test: 2015 Toyota RAV4

Road Test: 2015 Honda CR-V

Road Test: 2015 Ford Escape

Road Test: 2015 Mazda CX-5

Road Test: 2014 Subaru Forester


Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle, which does not address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology, during which we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements. Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class or are among the top mpg vehicles on the market. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.



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About Author: John Faulkner

John Faulkner is an automotive marketing professional with more than 30 years experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. He has worked with General Motors (all Divisions), Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, Eagle), Ford and Lincoln-Mercury, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota on consumer events and sales training programs. His interest in automobiles is broad and deep, beginning as a child riding in the back seat of his parent's 1950 Studebaker. He has a keen appreciation of Art Deco design, no bias for domestic versus foreign makes and loves competition - whether that be F1, IndyCar, Sports Cars, NASCAR or participating in Track Days at places such as Laguna Seca, Thunderhill or Willow Springs. John lives in Dana Point, CA, and enjoys a top-down drive on PCH on an early Sunday morning.

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