I haven’t had the Nissan Rogue in several years, and don’t think I have EVER done a full review of it. I was happy to have it; since gasoline has shot up I am getting a lot of questions on all small SUVs.
My test vehicle is the 2012 Nissan Rogue SV model and it comes with a 2.5-liter dual overhead cam 4-cylinder rated at 170-horses. As do most Nissans, it has the continuously variable automatic transmission, and is based on a front-wheel drive chassis. In fact, it is based on the popular Sentra chassis.
The Rogue SV comes nicely equipped with power driver’s seat, steering wheel controls, all power, cruise control, tilt wheels, Bluetooth for your cell phone, keyless entry, and a lot more. The second-row seating folds down and offers a good amount of cargo space for a compact SUV.
The model I have this week has the optional SL package. A lot of vehicles that have packaged options just don’t make sense, but this one does. For $3900 retail, here is what you get: Leather heated seats, automatic temperature controlled air, touch-screen navigation system with real-time traffic, Bose premium audio, power sliding moonroof, Xenon headlights, fog lights, and 18” alloy wheels. I find this package to be an outstanding value.
The Rogue rides like a car, and is actually very smooth. Handling is better than a car, and certainly better than the last Sentra I drove. The interior of the Rogue is as nice as any non-luxury compact SUV I have ever been in. The exterior looks are equally as attractive. Headroom is very good for all occupants and the Rogue is easy to get in and out of. The cargo door is light and easy to close, and has a good load height.
As you would expect, Rogue comes fully appointed with all the latest safety and security features as standard equipment. You get front and side impact airbags for both front passengers, along with side curtain airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, vehicle Dynamic Control and traction control. Overall, Rogue is rated as 4 Stars, but in the all-important side crash safety ratings, it scores 5 Stars.
In a nutshell, I am glad to have had the Rogue this week. I have overlooked a gem and not recommended it often enough. One word of warning, however. If you get interested in the Rogue, drive it at length. The CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is great for fuel economy, it is great for torque and power, but some people have trouble getting used to the way the transmission operates. Most get used to it in short order, but some people never do.
It is hard to find a super loaded, compact SUV under $30,000 on the window sticker these days, but the Rogue comes in under and overall it is a very enjoyable compact SUV that feels much more like a mid-sized SUV.
What I liked most: The interior quality and level of equipment
What I would change: Rear visibility is somewhat limited.
MSRP: As equipped, $29,470.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 23 City/28 Highway, getting 30 highway when trying.
2012 Rogue in a few words: A great overall compact SUV and a great value.