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2013 Nissan Rogue: Value, but doesn’t lead SUV pack

The Sport Utility Vehicle segment is increasingly crowded and an underdog in the marketplace like the Nissan Rogue needs an outstanding feature or two to distinguish itself among the heavy hitters.

I recently drove the 2013 Nissan Rogue for eight days and for a total of about 920 miles throughout Colorado. The Rogue was an adequate companion on my trip during the third edition of the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race. I averaged 26.8 mpg for the trip and while often driving with the air conditioning engaged and at an averaged speed sometimes great than the 75 mph posting.

2013 Nissan Rogue , Topanas, Colorado. Image © James Raia/2013
2013 Nissan Rogue , Topanas, Colorado. Images © James Raia/2013

The Nissan Rogue, which debuted in 2008 and is in the final year of its current edition, has several good features. Most notably, it has a continuously variable transmission, a unique quality for its segment. And the navigation system is easily one of the best I’ve used on a substantial test drive in recent years.

The Rogue is also more carlike than an SUV and it drives like a family sedan. It has a short turning radius, a decent available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and its price starts at less than $24,000 — a good deal among competitors.

Agressive front grille, 2013 Nissan Rogue
Agressive front grille, 2013 Nissan Rogue

But the 2013 Nissan Rogue also has limitations. Like other reviewers have suggested, the Rogue is an adequate people mover that seats five. During my solo trip, I drove to several mountain cities and several times the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 170-horsepower SUV struggled in the steep inclines that sometimes surpassed 10,000 feet. I can’t imagine how sluggish the Rogue would have been on the same ascents with a full passenger load.

I posted three blogs for the On The Road section of TheWeeklyDriver.com during my week’s test drive the 2013 Nissan Rogue:

DRIVING THE WIDE-OPEN SPACES OF COLORADO

NAVIGATING THE MOUNTAINS

MIXED BAG DEBUT AT USA PRO CHALLENGE

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