Used 2013 Nissan Rogue SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Nissan Rogue SUV Review

2013 Nissan Rogue SUV

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Nissan Rogue SUV

  • Although some newer competitors might prove more desirable overall, the 2013 Nissan Rogue still is a solid choice for a small crossover.

  • Pros

    Smooth ride; capable handling; quick acceleration; high-quality cabin; comfortable front seats.

  • Cons

    Short on cargo room and versatility; CVT causes engine drone; lacks V6 option; poor rearward visibility.

  • What's New for 2013

    The Nissan Rogue carries over unchanged for 2013, with some previously optional features now included as standard.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Nissan Rogue SUV

What's New for 2013

The Nissan Rogue carries over unchanged for 2013, with some previously optional features now included as standard.


It's increasingly hard to stand apart in the competitive class of small crossover utility vehicles, but credit Nissan's designers and engineers for infusing the 2013 Nissan Rogue with interior refinement, sharp styling and agile road handling, and making it one of the more distinctive choices in the group.

Based on the previous-generation Sentra sedan, the Nissan Rogue offers the sharper handling dynamics of a compact sedan with the versatility and cargo space of a small crossover. The high-quality finish of the dash, doors and seats gives the Rogue an upscale feel you won't find in many others in the segment.

That's not to say the Rogue is faultless. There's neither a manual or conventional automatic transmission available, and instead your only choice is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that makes the whole powertrain drone tediously while cruising at highway speeds. And unlike its competitors, the Rogue doesn't offer an optional V6. This isn't a deal-breaker, as the Rogue's four-cylinder yields acceptable power, but it affects performance when the Rogue is fully loaded. The Rogue's rear seat neither slides nor reclines, which limits its ability to tote growing family members. Also, the same curvaceous styling that makes the Rogue look so distinctive also limits rearward visibility and maximum cargo capacity.

There are many great choices for a small crossover this year. The redesigned Ford Escape provides perhaps the most formidable alternative, with a fresher look and an equally engaging drive. The Kia Sportage is another sporty choice, while the freshly revised Honda CR-V and ever-popular Toyota RAV4 offer more cargo space. Buyers shopping in this class should spend time with several candidates, as all have specific strengths and quirks. But for a nicely appointed crossover that drives like a quick, small car, the 2013 Nissan Rogue is a solid pick.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Rogue is a five-passenger small crossover SUV available in two trim levels: S and SV.

The base S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, folding side mirrors, cruise control, a tilt (but non-telescoping) steering wheel, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod interface.

The Special Edition package available for the Rogue S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, rear privacy glass, a 4.3-inch-display audio screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an upgraded six-speaker sound system with a USB/iPod interface, steering wheel audio controls and satellite radio.

Most of those features are standard on the Rogue SV. In addition, it gains 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, keyless ignition/entry, upgraded upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment) and a fold-down front passenger seat.

The SV also offers two optional packages. The Premium Edition bundles automatic headlights, a sunroof, automatic climate control, a navigation system with real-time traffic updates and an upgraded Bose audio system. The SL package goes further, adding 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 360-degree camera view, a navigation system with a 5-inch touchscreen display and an eight-speaker Bose audio system with a subwoofer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Rogue is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. With its CVT, a front-wheel-drive Rogue took just 8.6 seconds to reach 60 mph in Edmunds testing -- quick for a four-cylinder crossover.

The Rogue's fuel economy is on par with the competition. The front-wheel-drive Rogue has EPA estimates of 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, while the AWD variant drops slightly to 22/27/24 mpg.


The Rogue comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In government frontal crash tests, the Rogue earned four (out of five) stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal-impact protection and five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Rogue its highest rating of "Good" for frontal offset and side-impact protection and a second-best "Acceptable" for roof-strength integrity.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Rogue decelerated from 60 to zero mph in a fairly short 121 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

You don't expect the sort of interior refinement you find in the 2013 Nissan Rogue from most compact crossovers. Comfortable seats, intuitive controls and high-quality materials are just a few of the cabin's highlights. A substantial center console bin, massive glovebox and clever under-floor organizer make up for a dearth of at-hand storage nooks, however.

You won't find a very fancy or versatile rear seat, however. Unlike many competitors, the Rogue's rear seats don't recline or slide fore and aft, nor is there a center armrest. With the seatbacks upright, there are 28.9 cubic feet of storage, average for the class. Folding the seats yields 59.7 cubes, still less than competitors. But a fold-down front passenger seat (a standard feature on the SV) opens up a length of 8.5 feet front to rear, allowing for items like ladders, lumber, surfboards and snowboards.

Driving Impressions

The promise of crossovers lies in SUV versatility with passenger-car manners. The 2013 Nissan Rogue does one better; it drives like a car with capable handling. Road bumps and imperfections are absorbed with ease, highway stability is exemplary and handling is aided by good body control and one of the best-feeling steering systems in the class. Four-cylinder power is adequate enough, but the CVT's constant drone at full throttle can tax ears and nerves.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 13 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Don't take a trip more than an hour and a half fro

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue SV 4dr SUV w/SL Package (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Transmission is terrible. The car will not exceed 60 mph after driving it for more than an hour and a half, and good luck going anywhere that you may encounter a slight hill or mountain. IT WILL NOT GO ROGUE!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

I'm going to die in this car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue S 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

If you are nervous about blind spots, don't buy this car! You will have to rely on only your mirrors which scares the bageebies out of me! You can't see out the back! Seems like it whizzes thru the gas and I barley go anywhere. Love the stick shift and the fact that you can pull the seat forward the old fashioned way under the seat and that's about it. It's tight and small in the front, okay in back. Like the back-up video and it is fun to drive but I did not test drive it on the freeway and wish I had now because it already doesn't seem to have that much power. Wish to God I'd gotten a 6 cylinder. Might be bringing this one back. Inside ceiling feels like cheap egg carton. Whole thing feels cheap to me compared to my old Dodge Minivan. Nissan might be reliable but it feels dirt cheap. Not sure what to do with it now. The paint job is horrible and easily scratched.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Only thing i like about my rogue is it's a nissan!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have a 2013 Nissan Rogue with a CVT. Nov 2015 I had to leave Seattle last minute (g'son hit by car) and head to Phoenix. My 14 yr old daughter and I got into California and were going thru mountains/steep grades, also hot outside. All of a sudden my Rogue started losing speed and got slower and slower...very scary and dangerous as cars were coming behind us so fast and so many it took me 3-4 mins to get over to the side of the road to get off. My car was dropping speed rapidly and I was terrified. When I finally pulled off the exit and came to the stop sign my car died. I started crying. :( Cars were honking and going around us. After about 5 mins it started up ( the grace of GOD) and I was able to get off the road and pull into a car dealership which was the first place to stop. It was a Sunday. Everything closed including car rentals. I sat there for over an hour with my daughter crying. She was much more logical and practical then myself in the situation. :) I pulled it together and we got something to eat and came back to the car. She pulled out the owner's manual and it read if traveling in hot weather and going over mountains (which we were), the CVT/car automatically shuts down so it doesn't overheat and burn up. Really??? Why was I not told that? I just knew the transmission was shot. We checked the engine oil and water in radiator. All fine. I started the car back up and with my FAITH got back on I-5. We did not have any more problems all the way there nor back. However, I have an appt tomorrow to take it into Nissan to have the transmission checked as I have a 60,000 mi/6yr warranty and I'm at 58,000 miles now. I now the transmission is caput. I can tell. It's sluggish and sometimes sounds like it stays in one gear and doesn't want to shift up w/speed. TBH, there's not much I like about my Nissan Rogue except for it's a Nissan and they have a great reputation. It even says you can't drive steep grades for more than 6 miles??? Really? How can you travel or go anywhere if there's mountains for more than 6 miles because that's almost everywhere I live on the west coast. It's absurd. What to do? What to do? :(

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The transmission should be trashed

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

On a cold winter trip, the 2013 Rogue had only 56,000 miles on it, the engine light went on. The car had been super sluggish going up hills..I thought it was the 3 suitcases bogging it down. It had been sluggish on a previous trip also. I had read reviews that the car was noisy, just thought it wasn't a well made car. I was right. Made it 142 miles to the nearest Nissan dealer. Transmission was shot. They replaced the tranny, radiator and added an external cooling system for the transmission. Nissan already has a fix-it kit for the transmission. There is a problem with the design of the transmission. It gets too hot and burns up the fluid and then the transmission. No steep grades for more than 6 miles I've read. Really? How can you go anywhere? So if your car is sluggish, it's the transmission. The earlier models, Nissan changed the warranty to 100,000 miles but for the 2013, it's only 60,000 mile warranty.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

In one word: practical

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue SV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This is my first SUV, and is also my first CVT transmission vehicle. Coming from a V8 engine with automatic trans, it took a little time getting used to the gearless shifting and lack of instant pick-up. However, I'm a huge fan now. The fuel savings really adds up! It drives just as well now that I've gotten the feel of how to accelerate smoothly with the CVT. Haven't had any of the CVT issues that seemed to plague older Nissan models. Plenty of interior space to haul foldable furniture, etc. Maintenance is a breeze. For a 4-cyl, it has decent power! Handling is good; the AWD and ABS kick in when necessary. Owned for 1 yr. now with no problems whatsoever. Avg. 1000 miles/mo. city.

9 of 29 people found this review helpful

Don't trade in your rav4 for this!!!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Rogue SV 4dr SUV w/SL Package (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This car doesn't compare to a RAV4! My wife and I traded our 2010 Rav4 for this, thinking there wouldn't be much of a change, but I was wrong. I am a tall guy, I fitted just fine in our Rav4, but I noticed it was tighter in the Rouge at the test drive. The wife like the price of the Rouge and how we were able to get all the options for the same price of a new Rav4. I listened to wife and bought this for her and it's been a mistake ever since. It doesn't turn like our old car, blind spots all over, CTV transmission is noisy. You think it's going to break down every time you step on the gas. I ain't one to make up an account to talk about a car, but people need to be warned! Stay away!

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Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Nissan Rogue Suv in VA is:

$56.42 per month*

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