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 Steve on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Traction Control, Safe and nice looking SUV"
Cons: "Nothing at this time, overall very nice SUV"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a nice driving SUV. I did a lot of research and wanted a quality used SUV but something safe and reliable for my 16 old daughter. The Rogue drives very nice, it's simple but safe, very good traction control. Comfortable as well. Just enough power and not sluggish. My daughter loves it and I'm glad I made the purchase! My wife seems to really like it as well. She thinks it's the perfect size for our daughter's first vehicle. I found the better price on Rogues verses the CRV and Rav4. Great deal and happy with my purchase. I would buy another."
By MNP on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, comfortable, roomy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I absolutely love my car! I have the SL AWD and drove it from Chicago to LA November 2013. Ridiculously comfortable the entire trip (I drove 1/2 way - ~1,000 miles). Gas mileage - Fantastic! There is this annoying rattling noise that comes from the passenger right/dash area...not consistently and I just keep the music on to block it out. It has given me weird starting issues twice but started on the 2nd try both times. I think the back seat is super roomy for a smaller SUV and I don't know why people say the cargo area is small...? I had a 2001 Maxima and I can easily fit a lot more than I ever could into my Maxima's trunk...and remember I drove this cross-country so it was loaded to the max. Fit a lot of our stuff! There isn't a ton of power and I definitely had an adjustment period from a 6cyl Maxima to the Rogue, being a 4cyl. But it picks up pretty quickly on hwy once you understand how it drives. Handled really well and was fun to drive in the snow. Of course I bought AWD and then moved to LA 9mos later ;) I feel very safe in this car."
18 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Arqubee on Monday, December 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks very good and externally attractive"
Cons: "Low in fuel efficiency during cold season 17/Gol"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Before I bought this car I rent to drive when I was visiting GA in the summer of 2009. The car is looks sexy from out side but the interior was very crowded particularly front, mug holder area is very inconvenient. In August of 2014 I end up taking back to the dealer for some what looks like spraying water and they said it was loose muffler I was lucky enough it is in the warranty period and the fixed it with no charge. The most problem and I was dissatisfied with this car is its fuel inefficiency particularly during the cold season. for example this is just beginning of December and it runs only 17 miles gallon I am really disappointed. Also the tire comes with it was very cheap and I end up changing a week a go. I am not sure if I can recommend anyone to buy this car particularly if you live a place getting cold like MN."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By vphjr on Saturday, December 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "good mileage and handels great"
Cons: "cup holders inconvient for driver"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this car in May and have made 2 trips in it. It handles good and gets great mileage. It is a little hard for me to get in and out as I'm 6'4" and in my 70's. There are a lot of little things that need to be redesigned but over all I like it"
9 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Rube on Saturday, November 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value; reliability; handling; fuel economy"
Cons: "Blind spots"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had absolutely no issues with the car. Drives great; good gas mileage; AWD works well in snow. I am looking to get another one soon."
17 people out of 30 found this review helpful
By Jerry R on Thursday, October 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and a steady (not exactly fun) ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Rogue gives you a sense of confidence that it will perform flawlessly in all conditions, including deep, slushy snow. Perfect for cruising long distances."
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful