Now in its fourth model year as a compact sport utility vehicle, the Nissan Rogue is the smaller sibling of the Murano crossover. It comes standard with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is an option) and a four-cylinder, 170-horsepower engine.
For 2011, the Rogue has refreshed styling, several new colors and features for the first time Bluetooth and a USB port. It’s available in three trims, S, SL and Krom — the sport model.
The new styling includes a new front fascia with fog-light cut-outs, a redesigned chrome grille, the addition of chrome trim on the lower door edges, a revised rear spoiler, and a new chrome bar above the rear license-plate holder. Eight paint colors are now available, twice as many as the 2010 model.
The interior has also been redesigned with a new instrument panel and center stack, new seat upholstery and new ambient lighting.
The base model S includes anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry, and AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers and an auxiliary input jack.
The SL trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, roof rails, body-color power outside mirrors, rear tinted glass and a polished exhaust-tip, as well as with HID headlights, paddle-shifters and an 8-speaker stereo system.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
During a week dominated by inclement weather, the Rogue held its own. No, the Rogue isn’t the SUV for off-road treks. But it was ideal during the rainy and often windy conditions in city and freeway driving.
The rear cargo area was plenty big enough to carry a large load of firewood, and like other recent SUV test vehicles, the Rogue feels comfortable upon first driving.
Passenger and cargo room.
Intuitive controls and dials.
The SV package including automatic climate control, navigation system, traffic information, power sunroof, automatic headlights is a good deal for $1,650.
Exterior color: Platinum Graphite.
Freeway acceleration is sub-par.
Facts & Figures: 2011 Nissan Rogue
Acceleration: 0-60 mph (not available).
Airbags: front, side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags.
Antilock brakes: Standard.
First aid kit: Not available.
Fuel economy: 22 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway).
Government Safety Ratings: Frontal crash, not rated; Side crash, not rated; Rollover, 5 stars.
Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder, 170 horsepower.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $24,376.
Price as tested: $25,660.
Warranty: Bumper-to-bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000-miles; Roadside Assistance, 3 years/ 36,000 miles, Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
Manufacturer’s website: www.nissanusa.com
What Others Say:
“Overall, the Rogue is a fun, sporty and cool-looking compact crossover.” —-Popular Mechanics
“Bottom line: If you need rugged, off-road capability, get an Xterra. If you want a kinder, gentler station wagon that you don’t have to call a station wagon, get the Rogue.” —- Orlando Sentinel
“On its first try, Nissan has produced a good-looking and spirited small SUV. It doesn’t have a third row or optional V-6 power, but there are plenty of small-SUV buyers who desire neither feature. The Rogue has the rest of the small-sport-ute checklist covered.” —- Car and Driver
What The Wife Says:
“This SUV seems like a good utilitarian vehicle. The navigation system helped us get out of a nightmare traffic situation during a flash mob scene at the mall.”
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“The exterior is sleek and cool, the ride is comfortable, the interior is well-defined and intuitive. There are lots of SUV choices, not all of which have to be taken off road or expected to be tantamount to a Jeep Wrangler. The Rogue is for functional, economical and versatile road transportation, and it works well.”