Doe-eyed

The Rogue's front fascia gives it a sort of doe-eyed look that doesn't really attract much attention.

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Construction

However, the Rogue is a well-put-together crossover. Nary a creak nor rattle was heard as we crashed over San Francisco's rough, constantly-under-construction streets.

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Small crossover

The smallish crossover is about the same size as a Mazda CX-5 and is just as easy to park without electronic aids.

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Camera-aided parking

Rearward visibility isn't the best, but a rearview camera is standard at the SV trim level.

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Nissan keeps things simple on the Rogue's rear end, making sparse use of chrome for an understated (borderline anonymous) aesthetic.

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SL package

The SL package adds larger wheels, sharper headlights, and a number of cabin comfort features.

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170-horsepower engine

No matter what trim you choose, the Rogue is powered by a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine.

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CVT

That engine is always mated to Nissan's continuously variable transmission, which constantly adjusts the drive ratio to keep the engine rpm in the sweet spot.

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Sport mode

A Sport program supposedly makes the Rogue more responsive, but its changes are hardly noticeable or necessary. The standard program is quite good enough for any situation that I threw at it.

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Cabin comfort

The theme of simplicity is continued in the Rogue's cabin. While economical, the car didn't feel cheap.

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SL navigation

With the SL package, the stock receiver is replaced by this 5-inch color touch screen with an SD card-based navigation system.

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SD card

The basic navigation system's maps are stored on this SD card, which should make it easy to upgrade when updates are released. Just don't lose the card!

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Around View Camera

The rear camera is also replaced by Nissan/Infiniti's Around View Camera with the SL package, but the small screen and low placement on the dashboard somewhat limit its utility.

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Turn-by-turn

The navigation system is, as I said, basic. The maps aren't bad looking, but (again) the small, low-placed screen makes them difficult to monitor while driving.

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Interface

The rest of the SL navigation system's interface is also fairly simple, as well.

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NavTraffic

Street names are not spoken aloud, but there is traffic data piped in through the SiriusXM connection.

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Satellite radio

The satellite radio connection can also be used to listen to music, news, and sports broadcasts, of course.

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Bose audio

The eight-speaker Bose audio system includes a center fill and a powered subwoofer. All of the audio sources we like are present, with the exception of Bluetooth audio streaming.

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Steering

The steering doesn't offer very much feedback through the driver's fingertips, but the handling is predictable.

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Steering-wheel controls

Controls for the Bluetooth hands-free calling system can be found on the wheel alongside the audio transport controls.

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Steering-wheel controls

The other side of the wheel is home to the cruise controls.

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Instrumentation

The instrument cluster is simple and easy to read. Between the two main gauges is a small monochrome LCD that can display a variety of information.

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Climate control

Automatic climate controls, a power moonroof, and heated leather seats round out the SL package's upgrades.

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Storage capacity

The small Rogue still offers all of the storage benefits of a crossover thanks to its generous rear hatch and 60/40 fold-flat rear seats.

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Roguish

It's not roguishly good-looking, but I enjoyed my week with the Rogue SV with SL package. The performance was good, the economy was okay, and available tech was almost just right for the money Nissan's asking. Only the 2013 Mazda CX-5 wows me more (within this class) with its superior handling.

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2013 Nissan Rogue SV with SL package

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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