By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
Based on Nissan's popular Sentra sedan, the 2013 Nissan Rogue is a compact SUV designed to stand out from the competition by way of its curvaceous carlike styling and class-exclusive in-vehicle technology. Similar to the venerable Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, the Nissan Rogue is powered by a thrifty 4-cylinder engine, offers an available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and starts under $24,000. The 2013 Rogue is also one of the only vehicles in the segment to feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which bolsters both fuel economy and power output. By incorporating a satisfying blend SUV, sedan and wagon DNA, the versatile 5-passenger Nissan Rogue can accommodate a wide variety of unique uses.
If the boxy look of traditional SUVs leaves you uninspired, the Nissan Rogue's shapely, sculpted exterior might be the answer you are looking for. Admirable fuel economy, affordable pricing and premium options combine to make the Nissan Rogue one of the most appealing small SUVs on the market.
If you believe practicality and power should never be mutually exclusive, the V6 Toyota RAV4 or EcoBoost-equipped Ford Escape will get your heart racing. And while the Rogue's comparatively low starting price appears attractive on the surface, most competitors offer additional standard equipment for a marginal price increase.
With an all-new model scheduled to hit showrooms in mid-2013, the Nissan Rogue gets only a handful of updates for the 2013 model year. A new Premium Edition package replaces last year's Premium Package, while the carryover Special Edition Package now includes Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker audio system.
Driving Impressions After spending the better part of a week in a 2013 Nissan Rogue SV with all-wheel drive, we came away with mixed feelings. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine felt adequately 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. Although the CVT is a gearless transmission, Nissan engineered artificial shift points that mimic a conventional 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. On winding back-country roads we found the 2013 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.
AROUND VIEW MONITOR
Until recently, keeping your head on a swivel was the best way to successfully parallel park a car. By utilizing a series of external cameras to create a composite view of the vehicle's surroundings, the Nissan Rogue's available Around View Monitor gives you eyes on the back – and side – of your head.
XTRONIC CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT)
Nissan is one of the few automakers to still embrace and refine CVT technology, and this 2nd-generation transmission is incredibly smooth and provides the 2013 Rogue with decent performance as well as laudable fuel economy.
The 2013 Rogue's interior is characteristically Nissan, with simple and straightforward instruments, subtle seating fabric and lots of soft-touch finishes. The Rogue has a terrific set of comfortable contour-forming front seats, which are heated and covered in quality leather on SL models. 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 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 sizable blind spot for the driver.Exterior
Sharing its platform with the Nissan Sentra Sedan gives the 2013 Nissan Rogue the ride and handling of a car in the body of small SUV. The distinctive front grille and lower air intakes bear a slight resemblance to the larger Nissan Murano, and the alloy wheels and chrome door skirts seem to take after Nissan's performance-oriented Maxima and 370Z. SV trims get bigger wheels and tires, as well as additional exterior enhancements including chrome exhaust outlets, roof rails and rear privacy glass.
In base form, the 2013 Nissan Rogue S includes a multi-information display, 60/40-split rear seatbacks, a handy under-floor storage compartment, and a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio port. SV models add a power-adjustable driver's seat, premium fabric seating surfaces and a 6-speaker audio system with a 4.3-inch full color display and a USB port for portable music players. As is the case with most Nissan models, the Rogue's steering wheel does not include a telescoping function. Standard safety equipment is comparable to most other small SUVs, but not exceptional.
With the majority of feature content bundled into packages, Bluetooth and all-wheel drive are the only individual options available for the 2013 Nissan Rogue. S models offer a Special Edition Package comprised of 16-inch alloy wheels, a mid-grade audio system a 4.3-inch color display, and a rear backup camera. Available on SV trims, the SL Package includes 18-inch alloys, navigation, a Bose premium audio system, Nissan's exclusive Around View Monitor, and leather seats.
The 2013 Nissan Rogue 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, opting for all-wheel drive results in only minimal reductions in fuel economy.
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/26 mpg (AWD)
A base front-wheel-drive 2013 Nissan Rogue S has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $23,000. A fully-loaded SV version outfitted with all-wheel drive comes in just over $30,000. Comparably-equipped Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage models are slightly less expensive, while the 2012 Toyota RAV4 and the 2013 Honda CR-V share a similar pricing structure with the Rogue. Our Fair Purchase Price located at the bottom of this page shows what consumers in your area are paying for their Nissan Rogues, so be sure to give it a look before heading to the dealership. Over time, the Rogue is expected to retain better resale values than the Ford Escape, but lag behind the Tucson, Sportage, RAV4 and CR-V.
By FayettePA on Friday, April 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "good space, comfortable vehicle"
Cons: "key faub battery life is short"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I originally leased my 2011 Rogue and am currently buying it. The only reason I leased it at first was because I wasn't sure if I would like it. But I found that I love my Rogue and it's a much better value than the Murano. I highly recommend this vehicle because you have enough power and speed, yet it is very comfortable for long trips. Gas mileage for this SUV is great and there is plenty of room throughout the vehicle."
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."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
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