Nissan has a long history of motorsports records. From the real Godzilla to the new GTR, it is clear that there has always been someone senior at the company focused on more than just rear seat leg room and ergonomics. It was with this lens that I set out to review the latest press loaner in the RFD paddock, the 2017 Nissan Rogue. Only, this fever dream was short lived, obviously the Rogue is absent motorsports pedigree. So I decided to forget Nürburgring Nordschleife lap times and test it on a different “ring” right here in Arlington, Virginia.
Arguably this is much more grueling than the Green Hell. I’ll dub this the Pumpkin Spice Hell and instead of dodging armco barriers and other aspiring record holders, I was avoiding yoga pants, Ugg boots, and North Face jackets. Well, maybe I didn’t avoid all of those things per se. Back to the review, sorry.
For those who aren’t local, the city of Arlington has a handful of stereotypes. most of which are true. It’s an affluent area so be prepared to feel under-dressed, even if you are out for your morning run. And run you will, you have to, it’s part of your lease contract. Not really, but it might as well be. Everyone works out in expensive gear, they have to in order to work off all the calories from drinking in Clarendon several nights a week.
There is also the proverbial Starbucks on every corner, at least every second corner, and the go-to decor stores are there in force. Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, they’re all there. Plus Target if there’s time. Sounds like a nice little Saturday doesn’t it? You can pop into Whole Foods after you are done to pick up some organic prepared foods since you won’t have time to cook with all the working out and drinking.
So I set up these quick tests to see if the Rogue could tackle the shopping ring, a much more fitting test than any race track for a modern day SUV.
You can’t start the day without caffeine. If you can, I don’t trust you. So the first turn on the Arlington Ring was a parallel parking test at Starbucks. The Rogue’s 360 camera made quick work of parking, giving me more time to stand in line for coffee and rethink my wardrobe.
Pottery Barn & BJ’s
70 cubic feet, that’s how much expensive furniture you can get into the Rogue. Not bad, it’s pretty competitive for what could be considered a small to midsize SUV. The rear seats recline and fold giving you easy access for people and stuff. The trip to BJ’s Wholesale club, well that required minimal passengers on board in order to get that much toilet paper and bulk amounts of honey into the Rogue.
All in all I was pretty impressed with the Rogue. It may not have the badge royalty that most other SUVs in Arlington have, but it does the job at a reasonable price. And that’s about as good as you can ask.