Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: 2012 Nissan Rogue SV FWD

Besides the Altima, the Rogue is another bright spot in Nissan's lineup. I never had an interest in the Rogue before but I was able to get an intelligent key to a 2012 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue competes against the Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and the Toyota RAV4. This is the first time that I had driven the Rogue and I must say that Rogue left me impressed. I drove a loaded Rogue SV with the SL Package that was priced at $30,125.

The exterior of the Rogue is stylish and attractive but it is becoming quite dated. The Rogue's grille resembles it's bigger sibling the Murano. My tester came equipped with 18" alloy wheels, splash guards, and came in a color called Frosted Steel.

The interior of the Rogue blew me away especially for a vehicle of this class. There was a mix of soft touch materials and plastics throughout the cabin. The center stack had a 5" touchscreen color display. I am a big fan of Nissan's navigation system and it works well in the Rogue. The front seats were soft and comfortable. The front seats are heated but living in the South I doubt anyone will be using them any time soon. A powered adjustable seat is available only for the driver. The backseats were just as comfortable and offered a lot of legroom and headroom. The Rogue can actually seat 5 due to the low tunnel shaft. My SV trim had a leather wrapped steering wheel which is a plus in my book. Two gripes I had are that the steering wheel does not telescope and the power side mirror control is in a weird place. I love the use of an intelligent key but hate that the Rogue does not have push button start. The SL package added leather seats, an Around View Monitor, Bose audio system with eight speakers, and a power sliding moon-roof.

The Rogue comes equipped with a 2.5L DIHC 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission. A lot of people cry and complain about CVT transmissions and its getting really annoying. But that's an argument for another day. The CVT works really well with the 2.5L engine and delivers power when needed. The 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque was more than enough for this small CUV. I found the ride of the Rogue to be luxurious and comfortable. The steering was light and responsive. Most people will appreciate how well the Rogue rides. The Rogue can come in either FWD or AWD. The Rogue with FWD gets around 23 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

Overall I really liked the Rogue. While the SV trim is the top of the line a buyer can get into a Rogue at $22,070. There is a lot of cargo room and comfortable seating for 5. Buyers should make their way to a Nissan dealership (visit my friends at Greenville Nissan in NC) to snatch up great deals on the Rogue. There will be a major redesign of the Rogue for 2013 so expect to see many deals. The 2012 Nissan Rogue is a terrific vehicle and should be on your list if you're in the market for a crossover.

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