The 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid has certainly grabbed a lot of attention lately from consumers and its tie-in with the Rogue One Star Wars movie. What is creating this attention? Here are 5 things you need to know about it.
1. Making Big Waves in a Short Amount of Time
This year marks the 10th year since the Rogue was first introduced to the U.S. market. Since that time, it has been updated several times with the latest being the 2017 model with new exterior and interior styling changes, available motion activated liftgate, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection and intelligent cruise control.
The big differences between the 1st and 2nd generation include changes to exterior and interior styling as well as an optional third-row, standard 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes and electric power-assisted steering.
These changes came at an ideal time with consumers snapping up SUVs at a steady pace. In fact, the timing was so ideal, the 2016 calendar year saw the Rogue become Nissan’s best selling vehicle with annual sales of 329,904. This represents every minute and a half, Nissan sold a Rogue last year. Quite impressive.
2. Hybrid Joins the Party
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid debuted in late 2016. The new Rogue Hybrid utilizes a compact Lithium-ion battery and electric motor to provide supplementary power through its one-motor/two-clutch system. The Rogue Hybrid’s advanced 2.0-liter engine and 30kW electric motor, connected to the advanced Xtronic transmission, produces fuel economy of up to 33/35/34 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive models return 31/34/33 city/highway/combined.
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.
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.
3. Bonus Cargo Room Is Awesome
Nissan may have some fancy marketing terms for their bonus cargo room in the rear, but I’d simply call it awesome.
Quite often in SUVs, especially hybrid ones, you will have some awkward cargo spaces due to the battery placement. In the Rogue Hybrid the battery is behind the second-row seats (thus why you can’t get a three-row hybrid Rogue). Instead of leaving an awkward cargo space, the Rogue Hybrid designers created this shelf-like plastic addition to create a flat surface. However, that isn’t all.
Underneath this flat surface is a small storage area. It is about the width and height of a pair of shoes and is ideal for putting in items like emergency road kits and/or tools you don’t want sliding all over the rear cargo area.
Nissan designers could have easily just ignored this bonus space, but I’m glad they didn’t.
4. Can the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid Handle Dirt?
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid rides well on pavement, as one would expect from a Nissan unibody SUV, but how does it handle dirt?
In my area of the country and throughout the heartland, the number of miles of dirt roads well exceeds those made from oil – a term we use for paved roads. With miles of dirt often consisting of washboards, the suspension system of any vehicle can really be tested and the Rogue Hybrid is no exception.
The Rogue Hybrid’s suspension consists of independent strut with coil springs on the front and an independent multi-link stabilizer bar in the rear. This means the front wheels have more give then the rear wheels. It is designed this way to handle cargo better in the rear.
On the dirt roads and on washboards, the front wheels react more than the rear on design. Quite often, you can swear you will feel each front tire dip into the washboard rut and then bounce out while the rear end hits as a group.
This reaction to the washboards will force the driver to slow down on exceptionally washboard strewn sections with the rear end feeling like it is going to break loose when approaching too quickly. This isn’t out of the ordinary and most unibody SUVs will react the same way. Even equipped with the AWD system, the sandy surface really pushes the system to try to keep up.
At slower speeds, the Rogue Hybrid does a good job tackling the road conditions and is very similar to other SUVs. Simply put, there should be no concerns about driving a hybrid on dirt.
5. Better Value Than Gas?
The big question with any hybrid is how much more economical is it to own over the gasoline version. For the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the price difference isn’t much and makes the hybrid version pretty appealing.
Comparing apples to apples with the SL and SL Hybrid models in AWD, the price difference is $1,200 on NissanUSA.com. The fuel economy differences are 25/32/27 for the 2.5L, 4 cylinder gasoline version and 31/34/33 for the hybrid.
Over the course of a year, FuelEconomy.GOV says you will save about $200 between the two models and the hybrid will save you $1,250 in 5 years compared to the average new vehicle. Also, the hybrid offers 86 miles more of range versus the gasoline version.
Finally, with some simple driving techniques developed from hyper milers, many hybrid owners can push their average fuel economy number higher than the EPA estimated number.