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2012 Nissan Rogue

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2012 Nissan Rogue Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the Rogue
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.

2012 Nissan Rogue Details
Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

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2012 Nissan Rogue Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 377 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Get it if you can

By on Monday, July 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great car"

Cons: "have a mechanic out side the dealership"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"No complaints on this car . if you find it for a fair price get it. ride mileage reliability cant lose."

New Transmission at 60000-are you kidding me?

By on Thursday, June 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "nice interior and exterior"

Cons: "Everything related to the CVT"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I cannot understand why Nissan would not recall this car. It is a very dangerous situation when driving on the highway at 70mph and all of a sudden you lose acceleration. This is an issue that happens after about an hour and a half of driving. The car has been looked at numerous times, and now needs a new transmission. It has already had a new mass air flow system put in and now this."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Looks great and is reliable car.

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great body design, to the point performnace"

Cons: "Los of power after inclining for one and 1/2 hours"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great basic car. My 2009 is really pretty in the light silver with the old school faceted front grill. I don't like how boxie they got after the year 2014. Mine is round and the lines are great. I know its going to be a classic in years to come. The ride is tight like a sports car. You sit up in the chair like an SUV so its comfortable. I've driven long distance to Cali and back, through snow, up to the 14er's. It does have a mechanical flaw that is a common problem with this make and model. After about an hour and a half of ascending, which we do here in the rocky mountains to get over the pass, the car literally loses power to around 20 to 30 mph. It's a computer issue sending the wrong info to...whatever. Yep, its bad, but the Nissan dealers know about this and will fix it if you are still under warranty. If you are looking to buy one, do make sure that this not going to be a problem with yours...get it in writing. That's the only problem. I put truck tires on mine and have a lot of fun getting to great hiking spots, camping, picking the kids up etc."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love my Rogue Select

By on Monday, May 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "good price"

Cons: "blind spot when looking to the side for other traf"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had many cars since I started driving over 50 years ago. I have to say my Rogue has been one of my favorite cars. It is just perfect for me and my wife. It is easy to get in and out of, has all the power we need, and if comfortable to ride in. I would recommend it to others."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

defective CVT transmissions in all Nissans

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "interior and drive are good when it runs"

Cons: "CVT is garbage and should be recalled"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"until the transmission died I was happy with this vehicle. after my transmission died I found out about ALL the problems with the cvt. nissan only offers a rebuilt with a ONE YEAR waranty! This should have been recalled, never buy a nissan with cvt!"

14 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Disappointed in Nissan

By on Monday, April 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great size"

Cons: "unreliable, few cup holders, transmission problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Nissan makes bad crossover vehicles and refuses to recall. This vehicle, like the Murano have a long history of transmission issues and Nissan charges their customers for every penny of repair. It has been giving me transmission and electrical issues for many months, even after spending $2300 for my 100,000 mile service. I do not feel safe in this car. I had high hopes. Going with Honda or any other dependable brand from here on out."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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