The Nissan Rogue is a competitive enough vehicle in a very competitive class, with decent steering feel, good ride quality, and sufficient power from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, even if the continuously variable automatic transmission drones a bit much. Our test car was light blue over a gray interior, which was a somewhat somber combination. The instrument panel and center stack are also kind of drab, especially compared with the Nissan Altima coupe. At least the center stack contains a decent, small-format navigation screen. But the buttons for volume and tuning are small and fussy. There's an aura of cheapness about the radio faceplate, although the sound quality from the Bose stereo is very good. There's also a huge glove compartment. It consists not of a bin that flips down, but of a door that flips down to expose a huge cavity with a flat floor.
It's funny, I remember driving a 2010 Rogue last summer and thinking that it was a pretty smart choice for someone looking to buy a smallish crossover at a reasonable price. So I figured I'd think the same about this new 2011 model. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the price and saw that it's nudging right up against the $30,000 mark. So, what is it on this vehicle that's worth an extra $6000 over the previous Rogue we tested?