Nissan Rogue

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.

Editors' Review

The Nissan Rogue gets a major improvement this year, but it's not something you'll notice right away. Peep under the hood and you'll find a brand-new 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 engine -- a small but mighty powerplant that gives Nissan's best-selling SUV a nice bump in power while also returning better fuel economy.

This new triple uses the same variable compression technology as Nissan's larger 2.0-liter turbo I4, an engine that's optional in the Altima sedan and standard in the Infiniti QX50 and QX55 crossovers. Basically, varying the compression ratio allows the 1.5T to deliver more power at low revs and operate more efficiently while cruising. It's a trick bit of win-win tech.

The specs back up these merits: The 1.5-liter I3 is rated at 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque, increases of 20 hp and 44 lb-ft over the 2021 Rogue's 2.5-liter naturally aspirated I4. Meanwhile, fuel economy sees a 3-mpg improvement on the combined cycle, with a base, front-wheel-drive Rogue estimated to return 30 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. A loaded, all-wheel-drive Platinum model like my tester drops those figures to 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, but that's still better than top-spec versions of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

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The Good ~ Excellent turbo engine ~ Solid fuel economy ~ Comfortable interior ~ Good list of standard driving aids

The Bad ~ No hybrid or plug-in option ~ Outdated infotainment tech

The Bottom Line The Nissan Rogue is a well-rounded compact crossover.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Design 7
  • Media 8

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