The Rogue arrived somewhat quietly on the scene in late 2007 and has remained an afterthought for many people. Still, it's a solid entry in the cute-ute class, and a surprising 77,000 U.S. consumers purchased Rogues in 2009 (and after six months, the car is on pace for even better 2010 sales numbers). As opposed to competitors like the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V, the Rogue's design takes more of a tall-station-wagon approach than a mini-SUV slant, which is a refreshing change.
It had been a few years since I'd driven a Rogue, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much room there is in the back seats and the cargo area. After driving a cramped Dodge Caliber the previous week, I felt like I was in a Rolls-Royce when I tried the Rogue's back seats.
As Evan pointed out, the Rogue is no sports car, but its steering is direct (though numb) and body roll isn't as extreme as I expected. Power from the big 2.5-liter four-cylinder is certainly adequate, and the CVT is well suited to this application. The sub-$24K price is also quite respectable. I must note, however, that I thought the driver's seat felt pretty flat and somewhat uncomfortable (our test car had manually adjustable cloth seats). Also, FM radio reception was really poor compared to most of the cars I driven recently.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor