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 Nona on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Buyer BEWARE! The transmission CVT went down on me twice! Had it under warranty and the replaced it twice! And now, as soon as the warranty expired it's gone again! Never buying Nissan again!"
By Rosi on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable to drive, and comfortable seat."
Cons: "doesn't have the "take off power" that I like"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have 120,000 miles on my Rogue. I love Road trips and it has carried me on many of them. My Rogue has never let me down. I have taken care of regular maintenance, i.e. oil changes and tire rotations and One tune up. I'm on my 3rd set of tires and my Rogue doesn't sound or act like it is giving up on traveling any time soon. Another writer mentioned overheating the transmission when traveling. I have never experienced that issue but have only driven up to 8 hours at a time, with most of that being in the mountains of West Virginia. Highway travel up to 6 hours has never been a problem with my Rogue. Guess I've been fortunate."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By BG on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, Good mileage, roomy"
Cons: "Engine noise, stalls out when hot"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The car runs great on flatland and at 70MPH. Recently on a couple of trips west, we found that the car does not like the mountains or being pushed hard for long periods of time. Found a forum online that talks about this issue. Once the transmission gets hot, it will go into what is called limp mode until t cools down, which means pulling over and turning off the car. If you do not pull over, the car will keep losing power until it is undrivable. This is to bad, as I love the car, the fit and finish is great and it is very comfortable to drive. I also average 28MPG. However, I will be trading it as I have to travel, and cannot trust it. It needs a transmission cooler to fix this problem."
17 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By oblong on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "great idea, wrong care"
Cons: "cvt, thought would be pro is con"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"had transmission problems, found out after getting quote of 3900 dollars from mechanic still under warranty. Took to dealership and got call that problem was transmission seal and get this seal was not part of transmission 1900 dollars please. Dealer stepped in and only had to pay 300 but now I don't trust the cvt transmission"
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Bought one in May 2014 on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive and handles heavy rain extremely well"
Cons: "Still to be determined"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded in my 2003 CRV for this Rogue, best decision I have made. Not only do I get better gas mileage 28.3, I have all the bells and whistles. I have not driven in the snow yet,so I am hopeful it handles as well in the snow as it does in the downpours we have had this summer."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By oldmil on Saturday, August 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,655overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "handeling and pick up is great"
Cons: "poor quality interior and horn."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I had the 2008 Rouge when it first came out. Everything on it was better. The interior carpet was high quality, the horn was a full sound, not a beep like the 2012. The color red was beautiful, not like the 2012 color."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful