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Nissan Rogue offers style, comfort, practicality in a compact crossover

The Nissan Rogue for 2020 has lots to offer to buyers looking for a small crossover: smart styling, spacious and comfortable cabin, plenty of standard and available amenities, and competitive pricing.

Rogue is exceptionally versatile, with nearly 40 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear 40/20/40 folding seat upright or 70 cubic feet with the seat folded down, and a unique Divide-N-Hide Cargo System.

Rush-hour commuters will appreciate the advanced driver-assistance technologies such as Nissan’s ProPilot semi-automated driving features.

Rogue is available in three well-equipped models, in either FWD or Intelligent AWD, all with the right combination of compact overall size and generous interior roominess: S, $25,200; SV, $26,620; and SL, $31,590. All-wheel drive adds $1,350.

All models come with a responsive 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 170 horsepower and 175 foot-pounds of torque, matched with an advanced next-generation Xtronic transmission with Sport and Eco modes.

Four-wheel disc brakes with antilock braking, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist are standard, as are hill-start assist, intelligent trace control, intelligent engine braking, and intelligent ride control.

My Rogue SV was Scarlet Ember ($395), one of three premium exterior colors including Monarch Orange Metallic and Pearl White. Five standard exterior colors are available for the SV.

The Nissan signature chrome “V-motion” grille was bold, flanked by standard halogen Intelligent Auto Headlights with High Beam Assist and LED signature daytime running lights.

Wide rear doors allowed easy access to install child seats, and a Motion-Activated Liftgate opened onto the versatile storage system in the rear. With movable/removable panels, the cargo area could be divided several ways for maximum hauling convenience.

A bold, wavy character line ran from the front of the hood, over the wheel arch, under the front pillar and the side mirrors, and along the belt line to the rear side window.

Inside, Zero Gravity front seats were comfortable, with cloth upholstery in Almond, and Quick Comfort heating. The seat inserts had a subtle woven mid-century pattern. The sliding/reclining second row had nine inches of fore and aft travel.

Storage in the front included a large center console with a shallow tray under the center stack with a 12-volt outlet, USB port, and auxiliary port, two cupholders, a phone-size vertical bin, a moderate-size bin under the padded armrest with a 12-volt outlet, USB outlet, and clips on the lid for pens or cables, and door pockets with bottle holders.

A Premium Package ($1,800) added Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, Intelligent Around View Monitor, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, memory driver seat and outside mirrors, electronic parking brake, Intelligent Cruise Control with Full Speed Range and Hold, ProPilot Assist, and 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.

Door-to-door navigation uses an app on a smartphone to guide you directly to your destination AFTER you exit the vehicle. It also remembers the car’s location, to guide you back.

Intelligent Around View Monitor offers a virtual composite 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the Rogue to help with parking and maneuvering in tight spaces. Split-screen close-ups include front, rear, and curbside views.

Intelligent cruise reduces driver workload during highway driving or in traffic congestion by maintaining preset speed and distance between vehicles, controlling acceleration and deceleration, even coming to a standstill if the vehicle ahead stops. In case of sudden deceleration by the vehicle ahead or a vehicle suddenly merging into traffic, the system warns the driver with a chime or displayed alert.

ProPilot Assist combines steering, acceleration, and braking, and includes speed control, lane centering, and brake assist to help ease driver workload. The system can be deactivated by using a switch on the steering wheel. ProPilot Assist is not fully autonomous driving, merely a “co-pilot,” and will go through a series of alerts if the driver removes both hands from the wheel, even stopping the vehicle if necessary.

Nissan Connect features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a 7.0-inch color touch-screen display with multi-touch control (touch, swipe, pinch) and includes navigation, security, entertainment, and lots of ways to stay in touch and keep connected to your Nissan.

You can stream music wirelessly, remotely start the car with a smartphone (includes intelligent climate control) or unlock the doors using voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Bluetooth hands-free phone and hands-free text messaging assistant are standard.

Standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 included Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Lane Departure Warning.

LATCH for child safety seats, rear child safety doorlocks, front air bags with seatbelt and occupant-classification sensors, front seat-mounted and full-length curtain side impact air bags, and Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones offer protection to occupants.

A rear door alert reminds drivers to check the rear passenger area for children, pets, valuables, dry cleaning, groceries, and more. An Easy Fill Tire Alert system sounds a chime when proper tire pressure is reached.

Standard equipment included heated outside mirrors, silver roof rails; front fog lights; chrome door handles, window surround, front bumper trim and rear gate trim; and a temporary spare under the multilevel cargo floor.

Rogue is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class, rated at 26 mpg city/33 highway/29 combined for front-wheel drive. Driving mostly locally, I averaged 29.2 mpg.

The top-selling model for Nissan, Rogue has a quiet, roomy cabin with comfortable front seats and excellent overall ride quality.The Divide-N-Hide cargo system is impressive, as are safety and driver-assist technologies. Rear visibility was limited, but aided by additional technology.

My Rogue had a floor mat package with cargo-area protector and first aid kit for $290. With $2,485 in options and $1,045 destination charges, my handsome front-wheel-drive Rogue SV delivered for $30,150.

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