Review: For having such a rebellious name, the Nissan Rogue is
awfully tame. This vehicle is civilized and predictable, following the
same path of countless other crossovers that straddle the wide line
between sporty and practical.
Like other crossovers
it's designed exactly like a normal family car, only taller and more
aggressive looking. The result is a vehicle that, while it looks like an
SUV, it actually drives far better than a truck-based beast.
If you get a Nissan
Sentra, and feed it protein shakes, you end up with a Rogue. You can get
the same effect by taking a Nissan Murano, and shrinking it in the
But calling the Rogue a
small crossover doesn't tell the whole story. After all today's
crossovers come in all different flavors, from the sports-car-like Mazda
CX-7 to the more bland and practical Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Where does the Rogue
fall in? It slots mid-way between the CX-7 and the RAV4, making it far
more fun to drive than the Toyota but not nearly as harsh as the sporty
It's also smaller than
the average crossover, with only two rows of seats, which contributes to
its nimble feeling on the road. Cargo space is generous, but knee space
Power comes from a
2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a surprising choice given Nissan's
penchant for throaty V6 powerplants. The four-banger pulls just fine
though, routing 170 horsepower through a continuously variable
On the downside gas
mileage isn't impressive for such a small crossover. It's rated for 22
mpg in town and 27 mpg on the highway. For comparison, the bigger Toyota
RAV4 with three rows of seats gets 28 mpg on the highway. I think Nissan
could do better with its zippy little Rogue.
makes up for it in the styling department. The Rogue is a handsome car,
although not one that will draw too much attention to itself. It's
contemporary and sleek, looking better in some ways than its bigger and
more expensive Murano sibling.
Inside, the materials
and construction aren't quite as good as the new Altima Coupe, but it's
nice enough. The Rogue has an honest interior, one that doesn't try to
dress itself up in knock-off wood and metal. It's straightforward, clean
and simple, which I like.
In fact, that's a good
way to describe the entire vehicle. It's straightforward. It tells you
exactly what it is, stylish, practical and fun transportation, without
trying to put on airs about providing an "upscale lifestyle" like so
many of its competitors.
It's simply a good,
solid car. And that's probably why it's one of the few vehicles to start
2009 with a sales increase over last year.
What was tested?
The 2009 Nissan Rogue SL with a base price of $21,810. Options on the
test car: The Premium package at $1,930, the moonroof package for $950
and the portable navigation system at $540. The total MSRP price as
tested including the $780 destination charge: $26,010.
Why avoid it?
Gas mileage could be improved, and it doesn't offer a third-row seat
like many of its competitors.
Why buy it? It's
got impressive style for a low-cost crossover, with a good driving feel
that splits the difference between sporty and comfortable. It has real
Bottom Line: The
2009 Nissan Rogue looks a lot like the bigger and more expensive Murano.
This car-based crossover vehicle offers the style and flexibility of a
small SUV with the good driving feel of a sedan. The Rogue doesn't have
a nice interior as the new Altima Coupe, but it's nice nonetheless and
it has two rows of seats and a spacious cargo area in back.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Nissan Home Page
Column Name: Small
Nissan crossover split between sporty and practical
Topic: The 2009 Nissan
Word Count: 685
Photo Caption: The
2009 Nissan Rogue
Photo Credits: Nissan
Rogue Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 45
the Microsoft Word version here: 2009
Download the Original Image File here:
2009 Nissan Rogue