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3/4 Front Glamour 2012 Nissan Rogue

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Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 23 City / 27 Highway
Pros
  • Small size
  • Many standard safety features
  • Attractive styling
Cons
  • No manual transmission option
  • No standard navigation
  • Cramped back seat
The Nissan Rogue is a stylish compact crossover that trades a bit of power for a surprising amount of luxury and a sharp look. It acts like a car, and hits the apex of turns like one, too. The 170 horsepower four-cylinder engine can be mated to either an all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, but the only transmission is a continuously- variable transmission (CVT). That helps with fuel economy in all trims, with the Nissan Rogue offering a 22/28 city/highway mileage split.

Introduction

In terms of safety, drivers can expect antilock disc brakes and stability control, while front, side and side curtain airbags are standard. Handling and safety are both helped by the strong braking system.

Keeping the ride smooth with good handling lets passengers enjoy the interior. Soft plastics are common, and the seats are almost as spacious as the various storage cubbies. That includes not just seatback pockets like many other models, but even a grocery hook on the front passenger seat which protects fragile food items. Under-floor storage is also available throughout the trim lines. On the other hand, cargo space is somewhat limited as the rear seats don’t fold down, which could be an issue for some.

Two competitors have newer styling, the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape, and both offer good handling with sprightly engines. The Ford Escape may be too aggressive and options cost a bundle while the CX-5 is a little light on the amenities. The Honda CR-V offers a bit more space, but the interior can seem dated. The Chevrolet Equinox starts off costing a bit more, but don’t expect sharp handling.

The Nissan Rogue offers a bevy of features and creature comforts, and drives well without encouraging a lead foot. Keeping that in mind, while there are three packages, the base Nissan Rogue S is very well appointed, but some buyers may enjoy the SV or SV with SL package thanks to impressive options for the price point.

Which Style To Buy?

2012 Nissan Rogue
Starting price
$12,900

2012 Nissan Rogue S

Recommended for: Drivers who love their amenities

All Nissan Rogues get the same engine and transmission, and even the Nissan Rogue S can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Drivers will appreciate the remote keyless entry and height adjustable seat (rather than just forwards and backwards). All occupants will enjoy the power windows and locks, as well as air filters that could help those with allergies and asthma. Finally, a digital media player and connection for portable devices are standard. Those worried about safety will appreciate Bluetooth and a rearview camera, both optional.

2012 Nissan Rogue
Starting price
$12,900

2012 Nissan Rogue SV

Recommended for: Those who wish their car could think ahead of them

Start with a Nissan Rogue S, and make it easier for cold days and even more audiovisual options. Remote start is standard, and USB ports, Bluetooth as well as satellite radio are standard. Whether it’s cold or not, the power driver seat makes it easy to adjust driving positions, especially helpful for families. Like the S, the rearview camera is optional, but so, too are an in-console GPS system or a sunroof. Nissan Rogue SV buyers may not need the latter, though, considering the great visibility throughout the cabin.

2012 Nissan Rogue
Starting price
$12,900

2012 Nissan Rogue SV w/SL Pkg

Recommended for: Buyers who want entry-level luxury that isn't ostentatious

Heat and leather upholstery are signs of a high-end recliner, but both come standard on the Nissan Rogue SV with SL package, with leather on both the seats and steering wheel. Comfort and safety both come from the automatic climate control, which reduces time spent fiddling with the dash. It also rides a bit taller, thanks to 18-inch alloy wheels. There are also high-intensity discharge headlights, and amazingly, drivers can adjust them manually based on driving conditions. Both the SV and SV with SL package come with tinted glass in the rear to help with both outside eyes and minimize the climate control system’s energy usage.

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