A Tale Of Two SUVs: The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV FWD and SL AWD

2015 Nissan Rogue front 3/4 view
The 2015 Nissan Rogue. 
It doesn't happen often.  In fact, we here at TireKicker World Headquarters in Folsom, California work hard to avoid it.  But every once in a while, the Phoenix, Arizona bureau and we get the same car. The good news is that they are rarely identical and in the case of the 2015 Nissan Rogue, it worked out beautifully because the two models are different in trim level, the number of driving wheels and the price spread is such that each likely appeals to a different buyer.

2015 Nissan Rogue rear 3/4 view
2015 Nissan Rogue.
The Phoenix Bureau went first, in a Rogue SV front-wheel drive. The SV is the mid-level Rogue, adding 17-inch alloy wheels, intelligent key with pushbutton ignition, dual-zone automatic temperature control and a six-way power driver's seat to the base model.  With a base price of $24,490, that's nicely equipped. The driver notes from the bureau were filled with comments about it being a beautiful little jewel of an SUV, with a cockpit that looks and feels about $10,000 pricier.

The SV's price tag was bumped up only by the SV Premium Package, which adds navigation and mobile apps, a 7-inch color touchscreen display, SiriusXM NavTraffic and Travel Link, an around view monitor, power liftgage, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection for $1,590.  Add in $885 destination charges and the bottom line wound up at $26,695.

Interior view of 2015 Nissan Rogue
2015 Nissan Rogue interior.

Here in Northern California, the SL all-wheel drive rolled into our driveway a week after the SV left the Phoenix Bureau. There are a lot of differences, all of it in features.  The basic mechanicals don't change.  All Rogues have the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower connected to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).  The EPA fuel economy estimate of 26 city/33 highway for the FWD version drops to 25/32 when you go AWD.

There's a significant price difference...the SL AWD base price is $29,630.  But you get a lot for that extra money beyond the two additional driving wheels. The wheels get bumped up to 18-inch alloys, Nissan Connect with navigation and mobile apps comes standard, as does the around view monitor and leather-appointed seats.  We agree with Phoenix about the interior...especially bumped up to leather and done in two-tones like our tester was.  It looks and feels like a $35-$40,000 vehicle.

Ours was taken even more upscale by the SL Premium Package ($1,990), which adds a power panoramic moonroof, LED headlights with auto levelizer, blind spot warning, forward collision warning and moving object detection.  It was hard to imagine anything the Rogue didn't have that I would want. And even loaded to this level, the price (with $880 destination charges) rang in at a still-reasonable $32,480.

$30,000 is a psychological number for a lot of drivers.  Some won't go over it, some are okay with $30-$35K in a small crossover.  The happy accident of getting two very different Rogues (one $3,000 less than 30 grand, the other not quite $3,000 more than 30) shows that Nissan has a vehicle that can be extremely appealing to both.