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 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."
14 people out of 20 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
By Carol Smith on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Many seat and space configurations. Comfort beyond"
Cons: "none. not one."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This 2012 Rogue SV is like a stallion but I really needed a pony. I bought a 2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback a few months ago and it fits this 5ft tall granny like a race car. This Rogue is parked under the carport begging to hit the highway. It is perfect for city or long drives. It is a road tripping car big enough for the kids and the dogs and trip taking and sports playing stuff. The Dealership where I bought both cars wants this one back because they know they will sell it quickly."
14 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By sparks on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Pros: "price and reliability"
Cons: "boring, sluggish and easy to scratch"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Pro: price Con: sluggish and boring to drive. I was excited when I first bought this car since the price was inexpensive and I was able to afford the sl model. Very quickly I found this car boring and did not enjoy driving it. The rogue is loud and sluggish when driving and I averaged around 22 mpg. The biggest thing I did not enjoy was that the backup camera is placed to low to use. Overall the price is not bad but spend a little extra if you want a car you will drive for a while. I never had one mechanical issue and found the car to be quite reliable."
9 people out of 12 found this review helpful