The Nissan Rogue comes to the marketplace at the right time, when automobile shoppers are looking for more economical vehicles. Nissan offers this crossover at the small end of the scale—a vehicle that gives you a semblance of big SUV characteristics but in a compact package and with an acceptable fuel mileage figure. It’s kind of cute and reminds us of its older sister, the Murano. Despite its name, the Rogue is very tame to drive, and there is not too much to learn since everything in it has been kept simple and organized. We think it is a great city car and that soccer moms ought to manage with it. The vehicle has good cargo capacity, especially with the back seats folded down. When we took it on the highway, it was stable even past state-approved speeds.
The little crossover offers a series of options that its competition does not: to start, there is a bit more horsepower than, for example, the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4. Attach that to a more powerful motor and Continuously Variable Transmission with Formula 1-inspired paddle shifters, turn on the bi-xenon headlamps, chat on your Bluetooth synchronized phone and you’ll be sure to make drivers of other brands a bit jealous. There is an optional all-wheel drive setup that you might need in frost-adorned states, but it will also guzzle up more of that increasingly expensive fluid you put in your tank.
Our orange alloy-colored tester with a gray interior reminded us of the econo-cars that most of the rest of the world drives—simple but completely functional, and loaded with current technology. This vehicle should be a fun option for environmentally conscious mothers.
Warranty/Service: Three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.