By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.8
While Nissan is well known for its mid-size and full-size SUVs, they have only recently entered into the red-hot compact crossover SUV market. With its introduction in 2008, the Rogue earned mixed reviews mainly for its polarizing styling and somewhat Spartan interior. For 2011, Nissan has traded up, giving the Rogue a new look, a new interior and far more in the way of affordable creature comforts. Under the new skin, the same fuel efficient four-cylinder engine and CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) provide plenty of pep, and the available all-wheel drive model is ideal for snowy climes. With heavy hitters such as the Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 already well established, and new comers like the all-new Kia Sportage, and Hyundai Tucson, the Rogue will have its work cut out. But, Nissan loyalists have always been on the cutting edge of style and performance, and they represent a larger audience the Rogue might yet have a chance to win over.
If you're unimpressed with truck-like boxy styling of some compact SUVs, the Rogue's flowing sheet metal should definitely catch your eye. A combination of impressive fuel economy, affordable price and cutting edge options only serve to sweeten the deal.
If you need the towing and hauling power afforded by a V6 engine, you won't find one on the Rogues lengthy options list. Those who require serious off-road ability will be better off in Subaru Forester or Jeep Liberty.
For 2011, the Rogue receives a newly styled front end, new wheels and more available features including navigation, rearview monitor, USB port for iPod connectivity, 18-inch wheels and automatic climate control.
Driving Impressions We spent a few days testing the Rogue SV with all-wheel-drive and the SL Package and found that the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provided plenty of pep. Acceleration was aided by...Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which provided smooth and consistent shifts in all driving conditions. Although the CVT is a gearless transmission, Nissan builds in artificial shift points that mimic a standard transmission. Only under wide open throttle, when the engine's rpms are held steady as the vehicle accelerates, did the CVT reveal itself by causing the engine to sound harsh. Nissan's "Intuitive" AWD (as Nissan calls it), distributes the driving torque between the front and rear wheels as needed, and should prove particularly helpful in areas of bad weather and slippery conditions. Also beneficial in such conditions is the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with traction control. VDC helps keep the vehicle headed the direction the driver intends and thus reduces the chances of losing control on slick surfaces. We found that winding, curving back-country roads were easy to negotiate, thanks to the electric power-assisted steering, and the suspension kept body roll well under control.
Sizeable Glove Box
The Rogue's glove compartment is generously sized and can fit up to 34 CDs, a nice feature for those who can't travel without large music collections. Additionally, a removable partition allows you to customize the space to fit a myriad of items.
Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Nissan is one of the few automakers to still embrace and refine CVT technology, and this second-generation transmission is incredibly smooth and gives the Rogue decent performance as well as good fuel economy.
The Rogue's simple and efficient interior exhibits a sporty attitude that permeates all Nissan products. Circular themes repeat across the dashboard, from the protruding circular dash vents to the large round instrument gauges and HVAC dials. For ease of use, steering wheel mounted controls for the cruise and audio are logically placed within easy reach. The Rogue features an abundance of storage space including an oversized glove compartment and a hidden cargo compartment behind the rear seat. The cargo compartment features mesh dividers and plastic lining perfect for carrying wet or dirty gear. Nissan's provides the Rogue a set of well-bolstered front seats, which are heated and covered in leather when the SL Package is ordered. Legroom up front is generous, but with the front seats pushed to the end of their travel, rear seat passengers have precious little room to spare. If there is one short coming for the Rogue, it's the rather large blind spot created by the high swept D-pillars.Exterior
Although it shares a common platform with the Nissan Sentra, there is little in the Rogue's styling to suggest its passenger car heritage. The new front grille and lower air intakes bear more than a passing resemblance to Nissan Murano, while the new wheels and chrome door skirts seem to mimic Nissan's performance champions, the 370Z and Maxima. Wraparound head lamp and tail lamp assemblies further push the Rogue's image as a performance crossover. The SV trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels (the base Rogue has 16-inch steel wheels), roof rails, body-colored outside mirrors, stainless steel exhaust and rear privacy glass, while the limited production Krom Edition spices things up by adding unique front fascia, upper and lower grilles and fog lights, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and a chrome clad center-mounted exhaust finisher.
The base 2011 Nissan Rogue S has numerous convenient standard features, including steering wheel-mounted buttons for cruise control, four-way manually-adjustable front seats, an auxiliary input jack and power windows, locks and mirrors. The SV trim adds a six-way power driver's seat, driver's seat power lumbar support, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, and Nissan Intelligent Key. Storage space in both models is abundant, with a cavernous glove compartment and removable partition to help organize random stuff, and a large center console that could swallow a tissue box or small purse. For occupant protection, the Rogue has front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, along with a rollover sensor. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and electronic traction control are also standard.
Standalone option for the base car include all-wheel-drive and some dealer installed items. The SV has its options bundled into two well-equipped packages. The SV Premium Package adds automatic air conditioning, power sunroof, auto on/off headlamps and Bosch navigation with touch control screen and XM NavTraffic, while The SL Package includes fog lamps, HID headlamps, dual heated power mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and Bose audio with seven speakers and separate Nd Richbass subwoofer.
The 2011 Nissan Rogue is offered in S, Krom and SV trims, all powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine matched to an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is well-suited for everyday driving. For those who need a vehicle that can tackle a variety of driving conditions and road surfaces, choosing all-wheel drive results in only minimal reductions in fuel economy.
2.5-liter in-line 4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
175 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (FWD), 22/26 (AWD)
By Mine on Monday, April 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Seals on doors aren't very good. Let a lot of road noise in while driving. Can always hear the wind outside the car and the tires are loud. Don't care for the center console between the front bucket seats. Would prefer to be able to open the front windows when the window locks are engaged. Large blind spot between the small windows toward the back of the car and the passenger windows in the rear. Front bumper paint has always been discolored."
By jj on Friday, April 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "back up camera in mirror."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"When the snow was sandy over the weeks, my Honda couldn't drive in the snow. Constantly getting hung up. But my rouge with the push button AWD took me through any condition. Love that...."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By yorkie49 on Saturday, March 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nissan innovations"
Cons: "The seats are harsh in a long trip"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My wife and I are a Nissan customers since we change from Honda's to Nissan, I just sold my 2005 Altima with 60000 and we are looking to upgrade her car depending on what can of a deal can we get"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Cinderella on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "I loved all of my nissan vehicles..kept going back"
Cons: "I loved this vehicle until the event of CVT trans."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have been a Nissan customer for many years...1985, 1997, 2008....I don't plan to buy another Nissan unless the problem with the CVT transmission is fixed. I had to have transmission replaced at 38,500 miles, and again at 115,232 miles...at which time I was told 'you won't get another transmission'! I was not happy to hear this since the problem is with the CVT trans. and not any fault with my driving. I have driven for over 40 years and NEVER had to have anything done to a transmission except occasional fluid."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By joecjet on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very stylish exterior, comfortable interior"
Cons: "Poor paint quality, noisy drive train, gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We purchased our Rogue new, and loved the car at first. The first issue we found is the GPS is worthless. We constantly get lost and the worst part is sometimes it does not correct and you are real lost. Secondly, the paint is very inferior. My wifes 2008 work car, and my 2006 Jeep has less paint chips than this Rogue with 6,300 miles. Next, after the first "dealer" oil change, the motor gradually got real loud. I checked the oil and it was full. I took it back to tell them. They said the noise was normal for a CVT powered car. I asked what oil they used and they told me bulk oil. I changed it with my usual oil Pennzoil platinum and used a new Nissan filter. Made no difference ? We were religiously getting 25.4mpg. Since the noise issue, we're down to 19.7 or lower. My wife had 2 occurrences, one when she tried to go from a off ramp onto a interstate highway she pushed on the gas, the engine revved, but the car wasn't moving. She drifted off the road, called the dealer for road side assistance. They told her to shut the car off for a couple minutes, restart it and if it still wouldn't move call back. She did so, started the car and it went. She drove straight to the dealer. They checked for codes, found none,and said they couldn't duplicate the problem. The second occurrence happened in a parking garage. She stopped on a up ramp waiting her turn to get her ticket. She took her foot off the brake and pushed on the gas. The car started drifting backward. She had to shut the car off, waited a minute, started it and it went. All the while people behind her blowing horns. I have never had this happen to me, but she drives it more.This car has gotten SO loud engine wise it drowns out the radio. Any load on the engine causes it. Set the cruise on a level road and it's smooth. Pass a car or go up a grade and you'll need ear plugs. We like how the car looks, and how comfortable the interior is, but we will never own another Nissan. I might add, we got a loaner Rogue from the dealer when ours was in for service and it did not sound like ours. I mentioned that to the service manager on returning it. He said that's because it is new under 1,000 miles. It will sound like yours in a couple more thousand miles ?"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Gina on Thursday, February 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, good gas mileage, color"
Cons: "no bluetooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned this vehicle for about two years and I am very happy with all aspects. Gas milage is as stated and can get up to 32 mpg if i keep it between 65 and 70 on the freeway. I get alot of compliments on the Cayenne Red color which is what brought my attention to the car in the first place. Only thing it is lacking is bluetooth which was added the next year(2013). But I have adjusted or use a headset. Ride is very comfortable and nimble in turns. Very happy overall"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful