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 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