All Rogue models come with a 170-horsepower, 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combination is enough to provide surprisingly quick performance off the line as well as adequate passing power. Front- or all-wheel drive variants are offered; the all-wheel drive system is oriented toward good all-weather performance, rather than toward off-roading. The 4-wheel independent suspension has stabilizer bars front and rear to help keep cornering flat while maintaining a smooth ride. Electric power steering helps save fuel, and EPA ratings for the Rogue are as high as 22 mpg city, 28 highway on the front-wheel drive version.
The Rogue has spacious interior, with buckets for two in front and a bench that's either more than enough for two adults or a little on the tight side for three. The rear seats are split 60/40 and they fold forward for more cargo space. The front passenger seat also folds forward to allow extremely long cargo items like ladders to fit (more than 8.5 feet in all). There are also plenty of storage bins, as well as an oversize glovebox, a big center console and a removable/washable tray that's under the cargo floor--good for either dirty/muddy items or keeping valuables out of sight.
All the safety and security features that are expected in this class come standard-- that includes front side airbags, roof-mounted side-curtain bags for front and rear occupants, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control and brake assist.
Standard features on the Rogue lineup for 2012 include iPod connectivity, a 6-way manual driver's seat and illuminated vanity mirrors. Cruise control and a trip computer are among the standard features on all models. A Sport Mode button has also been added to all trims.
The Special Edition package includes 16-inch wheels, XM satellite radio, 4.3-inch color display with USB connectivity, and a rearview camera. The cost of the package is just $1,200.
Most of the other main options on the 2012 Rogue are grouped into one of two other option packages. The Premium Package brings automatic climate control, a power moonroof and a navigation system with touch-screen and real-time traffic features. An SL upgrades the SV with even more features, including larger 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, the navigation system, upgraded Bose premium audio, xenon headlamps, fog lamps and automatic climate control. The Around View Monitor uses four cameras to provide a virtual 360-degree view of what's around the vehicle, which helps in tight parking situations.
The Rogue is currently Nissan's best-selling vehicle by a long shot, and consumer demand for compact crossovers shows no sign of slowing down. Needless to say, the "don't screw it up" factor is pretty high with the redesigned 2021 Rogue, which rolls into dealerships later this year.
Smartly, Nissan opted to take a conservative approach to the Rogue's redux, though you might not think so upon first glance. The boldly styled front end certainly isn't for everyone -- I'm not a fan, personally -- but it's at least expressive, which isn't something I could say about prior Rogues. The rest of the crossover's appearance is unsurprisingly conventional, although new two-tone color options are available to give that upright, two-box shape added visual interest. All told, the 2021 Rogue is about an inch shorter in both length and height than its predecessor.
Inside, 2021 Rogue loses half an inch of headroom and 1.5 inches of legroom up front. Rear-seat occupants, on the other hand, enjoy slightly more headroom and legroom than before -- 0.7 and 0.6 inches, respectively. A third row of seats isn't available, and while that might seem like a given considering the Rogue's small size, keep in mind that Nissan offered a holy-crap-that's-cramped option from 2014 to 2017. Trust me, the Rogue is better off without it.
The Good ~ Quiet, comfortable cabin ~ Decent fuel economy ~ Available digital gauge cluster ~ Enhanced ProPilot driver-assistance tech
The Bad ~ Weak engine performance ~ Styling isn't for everyone ~ Best tech features are only available on the most expensive trim
The Bottom Line The 2021 Nissan Rogue doesn't stand out in any one way, but instead plays it down the middle and offers a well-rounded package for small SUV shoppers.
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