Best all-around compact crossover for families? 2022 Nissan Rogue is hard to beat

2021 Nissan Rogue

by Chuck Giametta

What changes will make the 2022 Nissan Rogue different?

Perhaps a chic black-out appearance option, maybe an even-trendier faux off-road package. Just as likely, Nissan’s best-selling vehicle will carryover mostly unchanged after a full model-year-2021 redesign that updated styling, expanded safety features, and increased power.

Even with no changes, the 2022 Rogue will continue as arguably America’s most family-friendly compact crossover SUV, packed with standard safety features and smartly priced. It’ll retain just one engine choice — a wholly conventional four-cylinder – as rivals roll out turbocharged and electrically assisted options.

But by focusing on value, comfort, roominess, and safety, Nissan has little reason to alter a winning formula. Indeed, in a remarkably crowded and competitive segment, only the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V outsold the Rogue during the first half of 2021.

Should I wait for the 2022 Nissan Rogue or buy a 2021?

2021 Rogue

Wait if you think Nissan will board the blackout bandwagon and offer a Rogue devoid of exterior brightwork. Wait also if you believe it’s possible a Rogue with slightly elevated ride height, some extra body cladding, and perhaps a heavy-duty roof rack might join the lineup.

Both additions would broaden this crossover’s appeal without compromising its basic virtues. Only Nissan knows if either is in the works. If neither intrigue you, buy a 2021 Rogue. At its core, the ’22 won’t change in any way worth waiting for and it’ll almost certainly cost more. Overall, don’t expect significant updates until a midcycle refresh, probably for model-year 2024. Even then, the main advance would be mildly altered styling.

Still, waiting would allow you to compare the 2022 Rogue against renewed rivals like the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson and the freshened ’22 Chevrolet Equinox. It would also give you the opportunity to consider Nissan’s first pure-electric crossover SUV, the Ariya.

2022 Nissan Ariya electric compact crossover SUV

Similar in size to the Rogue but sleeker and with more futuristic design inside and out, the ’22 Ariya will be offered with two powertrains. The front-wheel-drive version has 215 horsepower, 221 pound-feet of torque, and an estimated 300-mile range. Nissan says it’ll start around $40,000. More expensive and with less range, the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Ariya has 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

For the ’22 Rogue, Nissan almost certainly will stick with a successful core lineup that starts with the rental-fleet-ready S model and ascends through better-equipped SV, popular SL, and flagship Platinum grades. A blackout edition or off-road package would likely be based on the SV or SL. Every ’22 Rogue will continue with seating for five and a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD), although an off-road version would logically include AWD as standard. 

Will 2022 Nissan Rogue styling be different?

2021 Rogue

Shadowy finishes on the grille and headlight surrounds, darkened trim, and black wheels would help conjure a “nightshade” edition. Plenty of rivals have one. Also popping up are competitors with extra ground clearance, bumpers reshaped for better obstacle avoidance, and knobby-tread tires. Some even tweak their AWD systems for better traction on the trail. None is a hard-core off-roader, and neither would be a Rogue so modified. But it would at least look the part. 

More realistically, expect the 2022 Rogue to gain an additional color choice or two, perhaps a fresh wheel design. Overall, it’ll carry over the styling that came with the model-year 2021 redesign. Highlights will again include the sharper body creases and evolved “V-motion” grille that help this third generation seem more youthful and contemporary than any previous Rogue.

The redesign bucked the trend toward ever-larger dimensions by reducing body length and height compared to the 2014-2020 Rogue. It maintained the same wheelbase, however, so the more compact body on an unchanged distance between front and rear axles also brought a welcome dose of visual athleticism.

Luckily, interior volume wasn’t compromised. The ’22 Rogue will again vie with the CR-V for the most passenger and cargo room of any compact crossover. That’ll remain a selling point for young families and grandkid-toting empty nesters.

2021 Rogue Platinum

Front-seaters will again enjoy generously proportioned, soft-yet-supportive buckets. And the rear seat will remain a triumph of packaging and canny amenities. It starts with rear doors that open to 90 degrees for easy entry and exit and unusually convenient child-seat loading. Speaking of which, the ’22 Rogue’s rear seat will again accommodate a maximum of two child seats, the norm in this class. But it’ll also furnish dedicated center-position latches, allowing two adults to flank a child seat. That’s uncommon for a compact crossover.

2021 Rogue rear side-window sunshades

Also rare are rear side-window sunshades, a remarkably valuable feature, as any parent can attest. Expect the shades to remain standard on the SL and Platinum models and included in the SV Premium Package.

All ’22 Rogues will again come with rear heat and air conditioning vents. The SL and Platinum should continue with separate rear-seat temperature control, another touch unusual at this price point.

Temperature management will also remain possible with Nissan’s Intelligent Climate Control. Included with the remote engine start feature standard on all but the S model, it senses ambient temperature and automatically sets the climate system to warm or cool the cabin, even defrost the windshield, when the engine is started remotely.

Heated rear seats were a Platinum exclusive for model-year ’21; we’d suggest Nissan offer them on the ’22 SL, too.

2021 Rogue rear-seat climate controls

Any rear passenger will again appreciate the visibility and comfort advantages of Rogue’s elevated theater seating. The seatback reclines, and the middle position is wide enough and sufficiently padded to accommodate a not-too-hefty adult. Three grownups can ride without unreasonable squeezing, another compact-crossover rarity. All but the ’22 S model should continue with a pair of charge-only USB ports for the rear seat and with two front ports, one for charging.  

Space for stuff large and small will also be a 2022 Rogue draw. We’d like to see Nissan add to the four cupholders by molding the door map pockets to accommodate water bottles and the like. But bins and cubbies will again be plentiful. There’s storage space beneath the “floating” center console. And in a premium touch, the bifurcated armrest over the console’s main storage area opens on “butterfly” hinges.

At 39.3 cubic feet behind the 60/40 split rear seatbacks and 74.1 with them folded, the ’22 Rogue should again be a cargo-volume class leader. Standard on the Platinum and Included in the SL Premium Package, Nissan’s Divide-n-Hide panels adjust to lower the cargo floor, create covered underfloor storage, or form vertically divided sections. Expect a power liftgate to remain part of the SV Premium Package and, with hands-free operation, standard on the SL and Platinum.

2021 Rogue Platinum

Unchanged will be Rogue’s orderly dashboard featuring a central 9-inch infotainment touchscreen, one of the largest standard displays in the segment. It’s a big, clear interface Nissan wisely supplements with redundant physical buttons for key functions like audio volume and tuning, map display, and screen brightness.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support will remain standard across the board. Wireless CarPlay connectivity should again be standard on the Platinum and part of the SL Premium Package. Embedded route assistance though Google Maps and Waze is also provided. For real-time GPS mapping in the absence of a cell signal, look for embedded navigation to remain standard on the 2022 Rogue Platinum and included in the SL Premium Package.     

Expect the Platinum to also continue with a configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.8-inch head-up display that projects key vehicle data onto the windshield before the driver.

2021 Rogue

Every ’22 Rogue will continue to follow fashion with a flat-bottom steering wheel, although its thin rim and squared-off controls are less than au currant. The transmission shifter is molded to fill the hand but doesn’t really feel substantial and there’s too much play in its movement. It toggles to change gears. Selecting Park via a button on its top is awkward. Other controls are conveniently sized and identified but are of off-putting hollow plastic.

Interior décor overall should remain tasteful, with cloth upholstery again standard on the S and SV models, leatherette optional for the SV, and leather standard on the SL and Platinum – the last with a quilted finish.

Any 2022 Nissan Rogue mechanical changes?

2021 Rogue

An off-road package would likely add an inch or so to Rogue’s standard 8.2-inch ground clearance, which is already slightly above average for the competitive set. Heavier-duty suspension components and all-terrain tires would likely be part of the package. Nissan probably wouldn’t modify the AWD system.

Every 2022 Rogue will again have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder as its sole engine choice. It’ll return with 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque (torque is the key ingredient in acceleration). While many competitors offer turbocharged fours with more horsepower and torque, Rogue’s output is on par with that of most rivals’ base engines.

All ’22 Rogues will also use a continuously variable transmission. A CVT performs the duties of a conventional automatic transmission but without stepped gear ratios.

At around 8.2 seconds 0-60 mph, the ’22 Rogue won’t be as quick as its turbocharged competition and won’t be able to match them in passing power. Still, acceleration should remain more than adequate around town with enough oomph for drama-free highway merging.

2021 Rogue

The CVT works smoothly to extract maximum available power in a wide range of driving. But we experienced a troubling caveat: when attempting to accelerate quickly from around 5 mph — as when turning across oncoming traffic — our most recent test Rogue, an AWD SL, occasionally delayed the delivery of power long enough to cause some anxious moments. In such instances – applying the throttle from a low-speed coast — the CVT had trouble summoning the optimal ratio rapidly. It’s roughly akin to the low-speed lag suffered by the turbocharged engines in some rivals.     

Returning as standard will be steering-wheel paddles that allow the driver to simulate manual-type gear control. Doing so results in a slight boost to throttle response and can provide a semblance of engine braking. Front-wheel-drive Rogues will also return with a console dial to summon Sport, Standard, and Eco drive modes. AWD models will again add Off-road and Snow modes.  

The ’22 Rogue’s AWD system will again default to front-wheel drive and automatically shuffle power between the front and rear axles to quell tire slip. Off-road mode modifies throttle and CVT response to maximize grip on loose surfaces but isn’t intended to tackle big rocks or deep mud. If there’s an Off-road-type package offered for ’22, Nissan could tune its AWD system to tackle a wider variety of terrain – if it determines it might help sales.

There’s little need to adjust for ride comfort: the ’22 Rogue should again boast an outstanding balance of bump absorption and composure. It’s another family-friendly selling point. Driving enthusiasts will find the handling competent but uninspired. Most drivers will be well served by Rogue’s firm, accurate steering; reassuring highway stability, and its ability to change direction with confidence – albeit with a bit more body lean than might seem appropriate.

Will 2022 Nissan Rogue fuel economy improve?

Knobby tires and compromised aerodynamics would likely render any off-road-package 2022 Rogue the least fuel-efficient model in the lineup. Returning models, however, should repeat their 2021 EPA ratings and remain midpack in their competitive set.

With ratings differing marginally to account for tire size and vehicle weight, expect the 2022 Rogue S to again rate 27/35/30 mpg city/highway/combined with front-wheel drive and 26/33/29 mpg with AWD. Ratings for other ’22 Rogues should repeat at 26/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined with front-drive and 25/32/28 with AWD.

Will there be new 2022 Nissan Rogue features?

2021 Rogue

An off-road or blackout edition would introduce specific trim but otherwise duplicate most features of its host model grade. Carryover 2022 Rogue models should be reruns for most standard features and options. 

Most notably, every ’22 Rogue will again come standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360, besting some competitors that don’t offer a comparable safety suite on entry-level trims.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 consists of autonomous emergency braking designed to automatically stop the crossover to mitigate a frontal collision with another vehicle, object, pedestrian, or cyclist.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 includes blind-spot and rear cross-traffic detection with rear autonomous braking (also rare as standard in this class). Highbeam headlights that automatically dim for oncoming traffic are also included. Also standard across the board is lane-departure warning.

Expect the ’22 Rogue to again include several additional driver assists as standard on every model except the S. These include lane-maintaining automatic steering correction and adaptive cruise control, which can keep a set distance from traffic ahead even in stop-and-go driving.

Also returning as standard on all but the S will be the Nissan ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system, a technology rarely available in this class. It can accelerate, brake, and help steer the Rogue in traffic and on the open road.

In our tests of 2021 Rogues, it worked as advertised and was less abrupt to steer and brake than previous ProPilot generations. Nissan says it’s also better at detecting other vehicles cutting into your lane. The driver must maintain at least one hand on the steering wheel so it’s far from fully autonomous. But it can reduce stress and fatigue.

2021 Rogue

Again standard on the 2022 Rogue Platinum and included in the SL Premium Package will be ProPilot Assist with Navi-link. This uses data from the embedded navigation system to automatically reduce vehicle speed for upcoming freeway curves, junctions, and exits. It’s more proactive in stop-and-go traffic than basic ProPilot and can automatically adjust to changing speed limits.

Bird’s-eye video projected onto the infotainment screen is common in this class but typically is confined to upper trim levels. By contrast, every 2022 Rogue except the S should again come with this boon to maneuvering in tight quarters. 

Standard again on 2022 Rogue SV, SL, and Platinum grades will be keyless entry with pushbutton ignition. In an upscale touch, the system provides unlock buttons on all four doors rather than just the fronts. Every 2022 Rogue will return with Nissan’s Easy-Fill Tire Alert. It helpfully toots the horn when you’ve pumped a tire to proper inflation.

Will 2022 Nissan Rogue prices be different?

2021 Rogue

They’ll probably increase marginally but should again be competitive with compact crossovers of similar power – especially once they’re optioned to match Nissan Safety Shield 360’s standard features.

For reference, here are 2021 Rogue base prices, including Nissan’s $1,150 destination fee. The 2021 Rogue S was priced at $27,000 with front-wheel drive and $28,400 with AWD. In addition to features already mentioned, the ’22 Rogue S will again include 17-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillamps.  

The ’21 Rogue SV started at $28,690 with front-drive and at $30,090 with AWD. The ’22 SV will again include all the S equipment, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors with LED turn signals, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, satellite radio, and a WiFi hotspot.

Expect the SV Premium Package to return at $2,660. It should again include aforementioned features, such as the sunshades, leatherette upholstery, and power liftgate plus a dual-panel panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.   

Base price for the ’22 Rogue SL was $33,350 with front-drive and $34,750 with AWD. The ’22 SL will again build on the SV with Premium Package and add 19-inch alloys, LED fog lights, roof rails, automatic-dimming inside review mirrors, outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down, a power front passenger seat, and memory for the driver’s seat and outside mirrors.

The SL Premium Package should return for 2022 at $1,320 and again include features already noted, such as ProPilot Assist with Navi Link, plus a Bose-brand audio upgrade.

The 2021 Rogue Platinum was priced at $36,780 with front-drive and at $38,180 with AWD. It’ll return for ’22 and again build on the SL with Premium Package while adding such already-noted features as the head-up display, quilted leather, and heated rear seats.   

Among the few stand-alone factory options, expect LED fog lights to add $325 to the SV and for body-and-roof contrasting two-tone paint to cost $325 or $695, depending on color choice.

When does the 2022 Nissan Rogue come out?

2021 Rogue

Expect a 2022 Rogue release date in fall 2021.

Best 2022 Nissan Rogue competitors

Chevrolet Equinox, Buick Envision, Ford Escape and Bronco Sport, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Venza, Volkswagen Tiguan

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]