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Most Improved Player: The 2023 Nissan Rogue Platinum AWD

2023 Nissan Rogue front 3/4 view

They grow up so fast. This is the all-new 2023 Nissan Rogue Platinum AWD. Want a shock? Take a look at what the Nissan Rogue looked like when it was starting out 14 years ago.

2023 Nissan Rogue rear 3/4 view

But we're not just going for the easy stuff here---of course the Rogue is better than it was nearly a decade and a half ago. What earns it "Most Improved Player" awards here is how much better it is than the last generation Rogue.

2023 Nissan Rogue hood up

2023 Nissan Rogue engine

The 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the old one? Gone. Replaced by a 201-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo four. That's 31 very noticeable horsepower. And fuel economy has improved as well---from an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon combined city/highway in the old Rogue to 31 in the new. All-wheel drive models get an intelligent AWD system and selectable drive and terrain modes.

2023 Nissan Rogue rear liftgate open

2023 Nissan Rogue rear cargo area

2023 Nissan Rogue rear seat

2023 Nissan Rogue front seats

2023 Nissan Rogue front seat detail

2023 Nissan Rogue instrument panel

Admittedly our tester was a top-of-the-line Platinum AWD, and I'll stipulate that I'm a sucker for saddle tan interiors, but the re-design of the interior would look great even in base trim---equipped like this, I'm surprised this level of opulence wasn't reserved for an Infiniti variant.

Base price of the 2023 Nissan Rogue Platinum AWD is $39,935 including destination, and it's very well equipped at that price, with standard equipment including a comprehensive active safety suite, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seats (heated in the front), a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wireless charging, a hands-free power liftgate, a 12-inch touchscreen with Bose premium audio and Alexa built in, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, DLRs and taillamp and a panoramic moonroof.

2023 Nissan Rogue steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Nissan Rogue center console

2023 Nissan Rogue center stack

Our tester did have some extra cost options---external ground lighting cost $620, the Scarlet Ember paint was $395, floor mats, a two-piece cargo area protector, setback protector and first aid kit added $425, illuminated kick plates were $400, interior accent lighting cost $350, a frameless rearview mirror with universal remote was $400 and the Platinum Premium Package (head-up display, tri-zone automatic temperature control and heated rear seats) put another $620 on the tab. Bottom line: $43,145.

2023 Nissan Rogue front view

2023 Nissan Rogue side view

2023 Nissan Rogue rear view

Anytime a compact SUV crosses the $40,000 as equipped mark, eyebrows raise. But this car, as equipped, is worth that price. And judicious choices in options can bring it in for less---as can choosing FWD instead of AWD or a lower trim level. Whichever approach you take, the new Rogue is unlike any Rogue that has come before. This isn't just "most improved player"---it's a contender.

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