By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
Nissan's second-smallest Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) is designed to take on the popular Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The 2012 Nissan Rogue crossover departs from the traditional quasi-SUV look popular with so many competitors and replaces it with a curvaceous carlike design. Like the CR-V and others in this class, the 2012 Nissan Rogue crossover is powered by a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine, offers the option of an on-demand all-wheel-drive system and can be had for less than $25,000. As this field is highly competitive, Nissan gives the 2012 Rogue CUV a healthy serving of standard and available features to help it stand out from such favorites as the Subaru Forester, Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson. High-tech features such as its Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that aids it in both power and fuel management and the Around View Monitor are unique at this price point and showcase the best in Nissan's design and engineering. Straddling the line between wagon and small SUV, the 2012 Nissan Rogue is a good choice for those who need more room than a conventional 5-door car can provide, but don't want to sacrifice ride comfort, fuel economy or affordability.
If you find the boxy look of the Ford Escape or the all-too-familiar styling of Toyota RAV4 leaves you cold, check out the 2012 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue's flowing exterior design is matched by an equally handsome interior full of cool and affordable features.
If you like a really powerful engine or need off-road ability, you won't find either on the 2012 Rogue crossover. With no V6 engine or turbochargers to offer, the Rogue falls behind the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, and its all-wheel-drive system is intended strictly for on-pavement use.
For 2012, Nissan adds a Special Edition package to the Rogue lineup that includes steering-wheel audio controls, RearView monitor, a USB port, satellite radio, foglights and more. All 2012 Nissan Rogue crossovers also receive a new Sport mode switch for the CVT transmission, while the SL package gains the Around View Monitor that displays a 360-degree view outside the vehicle.
Driving Impressions After spending a few days in the 2012 Nissan Rogue SV with all-wheel drive, we came away with mixed feelings. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine felt plenty peppy, but when we...needed that extra burst of power for passing or climbing elevations, it just wasn't there. Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission proved smooth and consistent, and definitely made the most of the little engine's powerband while returning good fuel economy in all driving conditions. Although the CVT is a gearless transmission, Nissan builds in artificial shift points that mimic a standard transmission. The only time the CVT's true nature is revealed is during wide-open throttle. In this condition, the CVT holds the engine's rpm steady as the vehicle accelerates, creating a loud and somewhat harsh engine note. The 2012 Nissan Rogue's "Intuitive" AWD is not a full-time system, sending torque to the rear wheels only when the fronts begin to slip. Though not intended for off-road use, the Rogue's AWD system is indispensable in snowy climes. Adding to the Rogue's handling ability is Nissan's Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which is a fancy name for electronic traction and stability control. On winding back-country roads we found the 2012 Nissan Rogue quite happy to play, with good feedback through its electric power-assisted steering. Body lean and bounce were also quite carlike, an attribute we chalk up to the Rogue's Nissan Sentra underpinnings.
Sizeable Glove Box
The 2012 Nissan 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 myriad 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 2012 Rogue crossover's interior is typically Nissan, with simple and straightforward instruments, subtle seating fabric and lots of soft-touch finishes. There is a circular theme that carries over in the dash vents, instrument cluster and HVAC controls. Upper-level models feature steering-wheel controls for the audio and cruise that are logically arranged for quick and easy operation. The 2012 Rogue has a terrific set of comfortable contour-forming front seats that on SL trim are heated and covered in quality leather. Front-seat legroom is good for tall drivers, as is headroom. Unfortunately, the rear-seat passengers don't have the same luxury, especially when the front seats are pushed all the way back. Storage space is ample in the little Nissan Rogue and includes an oversized glove compartment as well as a hidden cargo area behind the rear seat. The Rogue's cargo hold includes mesh dividers and a plastic tub liner ideal for carrying wet or soiled clothing. If we have one gripe with the Rogue's design, it's the large D-pillar that, while creating a cool and sporty exterior look, creates a big blind spot for the driver.Exterior
Sharing its platform with the Nissan Sentra Sedan gives the 2012 Nissan Rogue the ride and handling of a car in the body of small SUV. With a front grille and lower air intakes vaguely reminiscent of the Murano CUV, and alloy wheels and chrome door skirts akin to Nissan's performance-oriented Maxima and 370Z, the Rogue appears to display the best styling elements of the Nissan lineup without favoring any single theme. The Rogue's exterior work continues with flush-fitting wraparound headlight and taillight assemblies, as well as color-coordinated door handles, bumpers and mirrors. SV trims get bigger wheel and tire packages, as well as more exterior enhancements including chrome exhaust finishers, roof rails and rear privacy glass.
The base 2012 Nissan Rogue S has numerous convenient standard features, including steering-wheel-mounted buttons for cruise control, 4-way manually adjustable front seats, an auxiliary input jack and power windows, locks and mirrors. The SV trim adds a 6-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 2012 Nissan Rogue CUV has front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, along with a rollover sensor. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and electronic traction control are also standard.
Stand-alone options for the base car include all-wheel drive and some dealer-installed items. The S Special Edition Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, premium audio with 4.3-inch color display, foglights, satellite radio and the RearView Monitor. The SV has its options bundled into two well-equipped packages. The SV Premium Package adds automatic air conditioning, power sunroof, auto on/off headlights and Bosch navigation with touch-control screen and XM NavTraffic, while the SL Package includes foglights, HID headlights, Around View monitor, 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 2012 Nissan Rogue CUV is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-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 @ 6,000 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 (FWD), 22/26 (AWD)
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."
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 ?"
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"
By abar on Thursday, February 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very safe, good size, backup camera, good looking"
Cons: "Wimpy horn, small rear window, compact cabin"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I previously drove an Altima, which is very roomy, as it is a family sedan, so when I initially test drove the Rogue, I was surprised by the compact feel of the cabin. I have had my 2012 Rogue SV for 7 months now and overall I love it, especially for the versatility and safety features. It's also a good looking car. Mine is red with the chrome details (SV with premium package), and I get compliments on it all the time, even from men. I plan to get Chrome rims too. My only complaint with the compact cabin is the awkward reach for the window controls on the door. I have gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me now, but if you have long arms (I don't) I could see how this might be annoying as it feels like I'm reaching back as opposed to my Altima. BUT I have to admit I also have short legs so my seat is further frontwards than yours might be. The only other two things I would change are the horn (its wimpy "Meep-Meep" sounding), and the rear window is small and high. If it was not for the backup camera with the large in-dash screen, it would be very difficult to parallel park this car. I think you need to have a backup camera given the small rear view. Now on to all the pros! I LOVE the truck sized side mirrors! Less blind spot and good clear view of traffic on both sides. Love the overall size, as I do a lot of Home projects and Home Depot shopping so I needed an SUV, but didn’t want a large gas guzzler. This car is big enough for hauling large materials, and possibly a new dog in the future, plus it's great on gas. I typically get 330 miles to a full tank (15 gal). The convenience features are great too, such as the dash display options (fuel range, fuel economy, etc...I think there are 5 options for your preferance). The backup camera is a huge convenience but I think it should go under safety as well. I love the steering wheel control and large entertainment/video camera screen...lots of compliments on the enertainment/video screen too. Bluetooth, is a must have these days, and it was something I had to have in my new car...absolutely love this feature! XM radio is a great option, but I don't like the subscription cost, so once my free subscription ended I went back to regular radio. BTW the radio signal is way better in this car than my Altima. Must be a better antenna. iPod & Aux connection are great too...as far as entertainment goes there are lots of options: MP3/CD, Radio, XM radio, Aux input for any device or Phone so you can play music from your device or Pandora etc., and a separate iPod/iPhone input which also displays your music on the large dash screen. I also love the Smart Key...No key needed for the ignition but it's not the push button ignition. You just need to have the key in the car with you, turn the ignition, and bam! Also don't need to get your keys out of your purse/pocket to unlock the car, just push the button on the door handle and it unlocks/locks the doors...same for the trunk. The keys cannot be locked in the car either, as it will alert you and won’t lock up. And if you get out of the car and the key-fob is with you but the ignition/battery is on, the car will beep at you to let you know the car is not off. The automatic driver seat...Goes up/down, forward/back, seat tilt, back tilt, and lumbar adjust...Like I said I'm short so good seat adjustment options are important!! Also the seats are comfortable. Ok now for the safety...The breaks on this car are smart...I have never felt safer in another car. They calculate the speed and the amount you are breaking and adjust according to the condition. I drive in HWY 4 traffic in the East Bay (CA), which is notorious for being one of the worst commutes in the country...and I have come very close to rear ending someone a few time since getting the Rogue...to my surprise the breaks have stopped me when I did not think I would be able to stop in time. The Engine & Traction Controls are also smart. I found that the engine will slow me down when I go down the sharp curvy hill on my neighborhood. I therefore have to break less, and I can feel the wheel gain more control. It’s like the car knows I am going a little too fast down the hill and at curves. You can shut these controls off but I keep them on. There is also a "Sport" button which will shut the smart engine controls off, but not the traction control...it allows the car more RPMs I think, and gives you a little more pep. The smart controls don’t inhibit my lead foot though; I like to drive fast and take corners a little fast, and I tend to break a little late on the street. The car still allows me to drive how I like, I think the smart controls just make the drive safer no matter how you drive. The CVT transmission is great especially if you drive in a lot of traffic like I do...there is no shift shock at all! I have heard some complain that it makes the car shake under certain conditions, and I have only felt this once or twice in my car...it was hardly noticeable and it only happens when I gas, break, gas, break too quickly before the transmission has completed its gear change...or right when it starts to change. I think it really depends on how you drive, as it is not a problem for me at all. I also want to note that just two weeks after getting the car, I was rear ended on HWY 4. I was not at a complete stop but was breaking as traffic ahead of me came to a sudden stop. The car behind me was going at least 30mph. She hit her breaks hard and screeched right into me. I saw it coming in the rear view and turned my wheel to the shoulder to avoid hitting the car in front of me. The car hit me pretty hard, and ended up hitting me twice because I took my foot off the break for a second, then broke again because I would have hit the center divider. I got whiplash from it, but my car was fine. Her grill was smashed and her hood bent upwards. My car had almost no damage to the naked eye. She basically hit my bumper and then slid under, and my bumper absorbed the impact. The body shop completely replaced my bumper which extends to the rear fender (big bumper), and found no damage to the frame of the car at all. As hard as she hit me I could not believe how little damage my car suffered. Her insurance paid my body repair bill, but it was only $900…which I also found surprising given the entire bumper was replaced. I hope my review and insight on the Rogue helps someone make their decision, as I read a lot of reviews of different cars before deciding on the Rogue, and I am more than happy with it."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Lah on Friday, January 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to drive, no blind spots, I am only 4'11""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have never had any problems with this auto. I recently had to change the wipers on it and tires but no more than the required maintenance. I have moved from 2 homes and used this car with the seats down to move household goods, holds a lot of stuff. I also get good gas mileage, especially on the highway."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By yiannigr on Friday, January 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas economy, stylish, functional, AWD."
Cons: "Few storage areas, elegance is not an option."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Before buying this SUV, I owned a Volkswagen Passat 3.6 litter engine, front wheel drive. I must say that it was a fast car, that performed well. But, high gas cost, required super, or anything over 91 octane,high parts cost, and general electrical system issues made me dump it. Putting $50 of gas in it, lasted between 7-9 days. Enter the Nissan Rogue. With $50 of gas the first time I filled it, lasted 16 days. It may last less next time around but twice as long as the VW? That's real savings. It is a 2.5 litter 170 HP engine. But my first point is that it's great on gas. Here is the rest of it. It is stylish, it rides beautifully, it's AWD, VW bad on snow, it's comfortable, the VW gave me a back ache, not everybody will get a backache in a VW, but I did. The VW was loaded, it had every available option, and had a $37,000 sticker price. I bought it used, and I had paid a 1/3 of that sticker, but I must say it was very nice inside. My Rogue is not as ....elegant, that's the right word here, but is not bad. First I love the red, just a touch of red, accented leather seating. It looks kind of cool. I love the GPS/radio system. It's touch screen, it's functional, and it works well. It pairs beautifully with my cell phone, and the calls come through nice and clear. It has a huge glove compartment, you can easily fit a....Hobbit in it, and a huge storage area at the center console, but there is no other storage compartments. That's one of the things I am not happy about. But I will survive. It has a feature by which you can adjust the height of the headlights. In case you have heavy cargo, and you are blinding the people in front of you. It has an on board computer for, miles traveled, gas consumption, temperature, and such, separate from the navigation/radio system. It has available XM radio, you got to pay the subscription though. There is a USB connection for your portable music player. It has ample room in the back, and enough cargo space. It's not a big SUV, so the space in the bag is relative to the size. It comes with a cargo cover. Power drivers seat, and both driver and passenger seat warmers are in it. It comes with a spoiler, and a roof rack. It looks pretty sharp. There is also a back up camera. Just in case Mine comes with 18" wheels, it must be part of the package. Don't forget the mud guards, front and back. Also it does come with a rear window wiper. Nice feature for the snowy Massachusetts weather. Did I mention the power moon roof? There is one. I feel safe in it, I feel good in it, I feel warm and cozy in it. I sound like a girl, but I kind of love this car, and it does not happen to me often. In other words I am impressed. It has almost 32,000 miles in it, and it drives like a brand new car. That is beyond me. It has this solid feel about it. Things might break in the future but for now, it's awesome. I wholeheartedly recommend this car. I think I will definitely look at a Nissan Rogue again in the future. Nissan has won my loyalty in three short weeks. It must be because of the gas savings. P.S. We had a snow storm a few days ago. With my VW i tried to always go on less hilly roads, but not always possible. I got stuck several times in that VW, moving an inch a minute. frustrating i must say. This time around i took the steepest roads, stops dead center on the hill, in the middle of the storm, and drove off like there was no snow on the ground. I love the AWD in my Nissan Rogue. Let it snow I say, as I don't mind it any longer"
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful