Nissan Rogue: A Crossover with Mass Appeal
Baltimores bustling harbor, strategically parked to capture the eye of passersbys,
is Nissans newest addition the all-new 2008 Nissan Rogue.
as the brand's first small crossover,
the Rogue is a five-door vehicle that
blends the pleasing curves of Nissans
successful mid-size Murano with the handling
of its popular sedans. The Rogue proves
it's capable of transporting those on
the go in a smaller and more efficient
and smooth, with just enough attitude to appeal to the sports-minded, the Rogue
is a tool in Nissans garage that the company hopes will attract the men
and women of Gen X. Nissans pitting this ride against competitors Toyota
RAV4 and Honda CR-V in a class that is continuously expanding.
seating for five in a comfortable cabin, a 4-cylinder engine and other added options,
prices for the Rogue begin relatively low starting at a base price of $19,250
for the Rogue S with Two Wheel Drive.
addition, the Rogue's 2008 fuel economy ratings are perfectly acceptable: 22 for
city and 27 for highway in its 2WD, and 21 for city and 26 for highway in the
AWD. These fuel scores make the Rogue a wise choice for young families seeking
more space than a car can offer without the cost of a gas-guzzling SUV.
hopped into the Rogue on a rainy morning, driving through Maryland and into Pennsylvanias
backcountry roads toward Gettysburg. Despite the slippery conditions, the Rogue
handled well; hugging curves in the road tightly and maintaining a secure grip
on the pavement. The brakes, although a bit touchy, were quick to respond to driver
Our only gripe was the loud
cabin noise that seemed to originate from the rear of the Rogue over certain types
of pavement. It was rare, but surprisingly loud, when triggered by road conditions.
Aside from that, the vehicle was a
pleasure to drive. We basked in the stares of passersbys who were likely attracted
to the sleek, sculpted bubble of the crossover rolling on its 17-inch alloy wheels.
the Rogue boasts a nature just as sporty as its exterior. Passengers will find
a comfortable cabin with seating for up to five in either cloth or leather. Also
on hand is a lifestyle-oriented cargo area, featuring a pop-up organizer with
detachable partitions (perfect on grocery day) and a bin for dirty or damp gear.
the roomy second row splits 60/40 and folds flat for large loads. The front passenger
seat also folds forward, creating the necessary space for those extra-long carry-ons.
The Nissan Rogue's 'ultra-functionality'
continues to the front seats where it converts a console into a large storage
bin with compartments best for holding pens, business cards, cups, tissues, CDs,
coins, garage door openers or even cell phones. A 12-volt outlet is also optional.
For the multi-tasker, the Rogue seems to double as a mobile office, also offering
a deep glove box for safely stowing concealable items.
technology, of course, follows closely behind. From the cockpit, Bluetooth Hands-free
Phone compatibility, Intelligent Key, XM Satellite Radio and an auxiliary audio
input jack are also available.
the crossover features Nissans Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission
with available paddle shifters that stimulate six gears, using Adaptive Shift
Control to adjust shift patterns for driver demand in various situations. For
the sports-minded driver, the Rogue offers a step up from the standard automatic
transmission, but little in the way of true performance.
the vehicle does feature Nissans latest Intuitive AWD system with Vehicle
Dynamic Control, which distributes torque for maximum power during acceleration
and a 2WD ratio during usual driving conditions. The 2WD ratio is dictated by
steering angle and accelerator input.
ideal family hauler, the Rogue also loads up on standard safety features including
Nissans Advanced Air Bag System, dual-stage front air bags, seat- and roof-mounted
air bags, front active head restraints, standard LATCH system, a tire pressure
monitoring system, engine immobilizer and Zone Body construction with front and
rear crumple zones.
offers up adequate performance and premium
function wrapped in a sleek, attractive
package. Juicy colors like Orange Alloy
and Venom Red are up for grabs, as is
a mellow shade of purple that we liked
called Iridium Graphite. For drivers that
want a bit more bang, three options are
available to sweeten the deal a
Premium Package, Moonroof Package and
S FWD, Rogue S AWD, Rogue SL FWD,
Rogue SL AWD
2.5-L I4 CVTCS
power rack and pinion
(front), 2 (side), 4 (side curtain)
mileage est. city/hwy:
22/27 mpg, AWD 21/26
S $19,250 (2WD) Rogue S
$20,450 (AWD), Rogue SL $20,670
(2WD), Rogue SL $21,870 (AWD)