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Big Things Come in Small Packages – Nissan Rogue/Lincoln Nautilus

These smaller SUVs can pack a punch.

The Nissan Rogue features high-end quality.

(Photo: ©Nissan)

The Nissan Rogue is a compact sport utility vehicle powered by a 2.5-liter engine.

This four-cylinder engine is connected to a continually variable transmission that can power the front or all four wheels. My road test was in the top-of-the line SL model with the premium package, which added a panoramic moon roof, upgraded LED headlights and Nissan’s latest semi-autonomous feature, ProPilot Assist.

The four-cylinder engine delivers enough power around town, but acceleration to highway speeds is a bit leisurely. The trade-off in performance is offset by fuel economy.

The ride is a nice compromise of comfort and handling, with only the worst roads causing the ride to become unsettled. The Rogue has the latest semi-autonomous features from Nissan, including lane departure correction, smart cruise control that maintains speed and distance between other vehicles, and automatic emergency braking.

Quality materials and features are woven throughout the interior, making this stylish small SUV something that can rival any luxury vehicle. It may not be the best-handling SUV or get the best fuel economy, but it has some great features that overcome its limitations.

Base Price: $24,920

MPG: 25 city, 32 highway

Crash Test: 4 stars

The Lincoln Nautilus offers a luxury-car ride.

(Photo:© Ford Motor Company)

In 2019, the Nautilus replaced Lincoln’s MKX. There are two engines available: a 250-horsepower four-cylinder and a 335-horsepower turbocharged V-6 (not available in the base model). All models can be ordered with all-wheel drive.

It has all the latest advanced driver-assistance features, including park assist, 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assistant with adaptive steering, blind-spot detection and automatic emergency braking. The interior is luxurious, with comfortable, adjustable front seating with massage functions.

The ride is luxury-car smooth, and the steering and handling – while good – are nothing exceptional. Taking a quick turn at higher speeds produces a fair amount of body roll. The engine performance nicely matches the characteristics of the eight-speed transmission. The all-wheel-drive system is biased to the front wheels but works smoothly and transparently when needed.

It’s a step up from the MKX, and a very good midsize luxury sport-utility vehicle. But this is a crowded segment, and very good may not be good enough.

Base Price: $40,340

MPG: 21 city, 29 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

Looking for a new ride? Check out more car reviews online. AAA.com/TestDrive

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