KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 8/8/2012
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2013
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.
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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.