The 2012 Rogue is one of the most stylish crossovers in its class, especially since receiving a mild refresh last year. The front fascia wears the same wide chrome grille seen on other Nissan SUVs, and an upswept beltline and a rear spoiler add a hint of style and sportiness. The Rogue’s compact, curvy exterior contrasts with an interior that is roomy and functional but also fairly bland. The dashboard and the center console are made from swaths of plastic that fail to live up to the style statement set by the sheetmetal. The high seating position affords the driver an excellent view of traffic, and both the rear seat and the cargo area are larger than the outside dimensions suggest. Nissan pitches the Rogue as a sporty compact SUV, and while it is somewhat fun to drive, the soft suspension tuning and the average steering feel don’t really meet our definition of sporty. Acceleration is adequate thanks to a healthy 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque from a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine. The only transmission is a continuously variable automatic. The standard equipment roster has such items as an iPod interface, keyless entry, four tie-down hooks in the cargo area, an underfloor cargo organizer, sixteen-inch wheels, and a giant “bucket style” glove box. Loading up with options packages can add leather seats, touch-screen navigation, a moonroof, a Bose sound system, and eighteen-inch aluminum wheels to the equipment list. The Nissan Rogue is an excellent and stylish alternative to compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.
Drive: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: S, SV
Body style: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
Engine: 2.5L I-4, 170 hp, 175 lb-ft
Transmission: Continuously variable
Passenger volume: 97.5 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 1000-1500 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 28.9/57.9 cu ft
The 2012 Rogue gets a new “sport mode” transmission switch, redesigned sixteen- and seventeen-inch wheels, and a new color, graphite blue. The SL package gains the 360-degree Around View camera system. There is a new special edition package, comprised of steering-wheel audio controls, a backup camera, USB and satellite radio connectivity, foglights, and tinted windows.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability control, traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
All: 22 mpg city/ 28-26 mpg highway
- Spacious interior
- Stylish exterior
- Comprehensive options list
- Dull interior
- Not very sporty
A stylish compact crossover.
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Tucson
- Toyota RAV4
- Volkswagen Tiguan