Like many of the two dozen or so compact crossovers on the market today, the Nissan Rogue seeks to provide the all-weather capability and commanding driving position of an SUV, along with the maneuverability and fuel efficiency of a typical car. It does this quite well, and it also adds bold, son-of-Murano styling to make it desirable for its form as well as its function.
The Rogue does suffer some due to its lackluster powertrain, and its versatility is hampered by a smallish cargo hold and poor outward visibility. Nonetheless, the remarkably carlike and always stylish Nissan Rogue presents a compelling overall package that merits consideration alongside traditional segment leaders.
Current Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue is available in two trim levels: S and SV. You get the basics with the S, such as keyless entry, air-conditioning and full power accessories, along with an iPod interface. However, things like privacy glass, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and satellite radio are available either within an option package or on the SV. Higher-end items like heated leather seats, a navigation system and a Bose sound system are available as options on the SV as well.
One thing we like about the Rogue is its ride quality, as the vehicle's long-travel suspension soaks up bumps and road imperfections easily. The Rogue is also stable and quiet at speed, though ultimate cornering limits are predictably modest. The electric power-assisted steering rack is commendably responsive, though like many electric setups, it's a bit numb. Nevertheless, the Nissan's contoured, small-diameter steering wheel and full center console with integrated shifter impart a sporty feel to the cockpit.
The Rogue is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. All models are offered in front-wheel- or all-wheel-drive configurations. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is also standard. The resulting 8.6-second gallop from zero to 60 mph is quick for a four-cylinder crossover SUV, but we question Nissan's decision to use a CVT here.
Although the Rogue feels fine cruising in city traffic thanks to the 2.5-liter's generous torque band, when you put your foot down for more, the CVT has to do a lot of ratio swapping to get the power you require. The result is sluggish throttle response followed by lots of engine noise. This is particularly evident at highway speeds, where any meaningful prodding at the Rogue's accelerator elicits a cacophonous roar as the CVT zings the engine to redline. Fuel economy is also not the strong suit it once was, given improved competitors.
Good looks never hurt, and we think this Rogue has them in spades. Styling is a subjective matter, of course, but to our eyes, the Rogue cuts an extraordinarily dashing profile compared to its compact crossover brethren. Rear visibility consequently suffers, as do cargo capacity and backseat accommodations, which lag behind much of the competition. Maximum cargo capacity is on par with some smaller compact SUVs at 58 cubic feet, but top models in this segment offer more than 70. But these are trade-offs that style-conscious (read: many) consumers will likely be willing to accept.
Used Nissan Rogue Models
The Rogue debuted for the 2008 model year. These previous years of the Rogue are similar to the current model, as it has had only minor styling updates (for 2011) and reshuffling of trim levels and option packages since. Notably for 2010-'11, the Rogue was offered in a Krom Edition model, which added larger wheels and cosmetic enhancements, including centrally located exhaust outlets.
Read the most recent 2014 Nissan Rogue review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan Rogue page.