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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 359 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Good small crossover

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: trade for larger vehicle

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "360 degree camera, navigation, heated seats"

Cons: "Road noise, Small interior, gas mileage, price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Good car with lots of bells and whistles. Average gas mileage only between 23-24. Expected more. Too small interior. Has a lot of road noise. Overpriced."

Great Vehicle

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "perfect fit not too big and not too small.."

Cons: "wish they came with leather"

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

"I have had not major problems with this vehicle other than service and new tires. Great on gas mileage. Comfortable ride and overall a very good vehicle."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Avoid a 2012 CVT

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style; spacious"

Cons: "Awful transmission; poor backing by company"

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

"Nothing but problems since I bought my 2012 Nissan Rogue new. Owned it barely 2 years and transmission had to be replaced. One year later, transmission is pouring fluid. CVT acts weird when on a decline and coasting; RPMs rev way too high. Will never own another vehicle with a CVT!!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable and easy to drive"

Cons: "I'd like larger backup screen"

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

"Drove many other cars over the years, mostly SUVs but a couple of others, and when I stepped into my first Rogue I knew I had found MY car. The benefits of an SUV (height from ground, etc.)with the comfort of a sedan make the Rogue the perfect car. Many SUVs are too high for us of shorter height but Rogue hits a happy medium. Front bumper doesn't graze the curb like sedans either! I'm now on my second Rogue and don't plan to change."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Tremendous Reliable Vehicle. No issues.

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,500

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
10/10

Pros: "Great sporty SUV fun to drive with paddle shift!"

Cons: "none, just too small for us now with 4 grandkids"

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

Love our Rogue

"This is a 2008 Rogue with steering wheel Paddle shift when selected! This sporty feature is no longer available in new Rogues. It has not had one issue since we bought it. Perfectly reliable. We just bought a larger SUV. 3 Grandkids and one on the way!!"

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Love our Rogue

AVOID AT ALL COSTS ESP. TALLER DRIVERS!

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I don't own this car

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Nothing"

Cons: "Noise, drinks gas, lack of amenities & seat adjmt"

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

"Got a loaner vehicle when I had my Altima SL in the dealership. Got the BASE Rogue Select for 3 days. The base model had NO seat adjustment except for moving forward/backward and seat back incline/recline. NO seat height or seat tile adjustment and NO telescoping wheel feature. Basically, made seating a living heck! The AWD vehicle gulped gas that fuel economy was really bad: 14mpg/city, 24mpg/hwy and 21mpg/mixed. Can NOT turn OFF the AWD feature to just FWD! ONLY the bare bones basics that'll please anyone who ONLY wants a stripped down vehicle as there's NOTHING included except A/C, display (NOT Touchscreen) radio and an automatic. The interior upholstery was better than expected but cheap, hard plastic also was present with some minor soft touch plastic. The ride was acceptable for an AWD vehicle though I'd never drive any SUV type vehicle fast. Bumps are felt through the suspension (NO different in other Nissan vehicles so Nissan NEEDS to fix the stiff suspensions in its cars to be softer!). It's noisy due to: 1. Road/Tire noise 2. CVT engine upon startup and acceleration - Nissan's CVT engine is a love it or hate it thing. Many reviewers have stated that the CVT engine is LOUD and they're correct! Noise (NVH) insulation is one of Nissan's Ongoing problems (just like in the Honda which is notoriously noisy as I was from a Honda family)! Basically... AVOID this Select trim and get the Newer version which does have more features like a telescopic steering column and adjustable seats! You'll still have to deal with existing issues like the NOISE and the terrible fuel economy."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?