COMFORT SHOES ON WHEELS
2012 Nissan Rogue SV
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, Dec 15, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Reed Berry Have you ever thought how convenient life would be if you could put wheels on your favorite pair of shoes? Just imagine, you could travel anywhere without sacrificing the comfort of something that fits you perfectly. While that may seem like a strange concept to anyone other than roller skating enthusiasts, it is the way I feel about the 2012 Nissan Rogue SV. Introduced in 2008, the Nissan Rogue is a compact SUV with a not-too-big, not-too-small feeling designed to combine practicality, above-average performance and impressive fuel economy. While it bears a striking resemblance to the 2011 model, some interesting features have been added for 2012 that make Rogue worthy of a closer look.
Honestly, the Rogue is not the most stylish SUV on the road but, in fairness, it’s not the worst looking either. It has a fairly generic crossover exterior appearance but it’s been dressed up a bit with sharp looking silver roof rails, a rear spoiler and, on my test vehicle, big 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. I can’t help but think how cool it would have been if designers had incorporated edgy styling similar to that of the smaller Nissan Juke. The interior is both comfortable and functional. The cabin is quite roomy and definitely driver-friendly. All controls are conveniently placed, several of them on the steering wheel, and the glove compartment and console storage are both very spacious. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a feature that is an available option on many vehicles, is standard equipment on the 2012 Rogue. While some crossovers tend to be a little plain on the inside, Rogue’s interior has a good blend of function and style. Rogue comes standard with cloth seats, but the vehicle I’m driving has the SL package (a $3,900 add-on) that includes leather seating surfaces and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as heated front seats, heated outside mirrors and a power moonroof. The package also includes touch screen navigation and an awesome 7-speaker Bose audio system (eight speakers counting the woofer) that sounds great and definitely helps reduce the stress of a commute.
And just when you thought high-tech couldn’t get any tech-ier, the SL package also features what Nissan calls an ‘Around View’ monitor. Instead of merely having a back-up camera as do many new SUVs, Rogue has cameras placed around the vehicle. As you shift into reverse, a split video screen displays your view from the back-up camera as well as what appears to be an overhead view of the backing maneuver created by the strategic positioning of the other cameras on the vehicle. It’s both fascinating to watch and an outstanding safety feature. Rogue’s cargo area appears quite generous but, at 57.9 cubic feet with the back seat down, it is slightly less generous than some of its competitors, such as the 2012 Honda CR-V with 70.9 cubic feet. Rogue also has a handy cargo area storage tray under the floor so, unless you’re a hoarder or have a great deal to transport, the cargo capacity in Rogue should be quite satisfactory under normal everyday driving situations. Driving the 2012 Rogue is quite enjoyable but takes a little work. The 170-horsepower 4-cylinder engine should, in theory, provide plenty of power for a vehicle this size but I find that it hesitates a bit on acceleration. Fortunately, Rogue is equipped with Sport Mode that seems to eliminate some of the sluggishness. Once the vehicle attains freeway speed, the engine runs quietly and the performance is smooth as silk.
Equally smooth is the way in which Rogue handles. Cornering is confident and sharp turns are executed with ease. Rogue’s combination of a continuous variable transmission and an efficient traction control system makes for an enjoyable driving experience. While this front wheel drive version seems to do the job given the conditions under which I have been driving, I would probably opt for the all-wheel drive model. The advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages, as a small sacrifice in fuel economy will result in better traction and performance in just about any driving situation you may encounter. The SV is among the Rogue models from which to choose, ranging from the Rogue S (MSRP $21,580) at the low end to the sporty Rogue SV with SL package with an MSRP of $27,920. Yes, there are a lot of crossovers and SUVs on the market and, for those in of such a vehicle, creating a short list may take some serious research. But as a solid performer at a reasonable price, the Japanese-built 2012 Rogue (production moves to the U.S. in 2013) is definitely worth considering. For more information on Nissan products: http://www.nissanusa.com/
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2012 Nissan Rogue SV FWD Price: MSRP: $23,970 As Tested: $29,005 Engine type: 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine; Direct ignition system
Horsepower: 170 @ 6,000 rpm Torque: 175 @ 4,400 rpm Transmission type: Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) with Sport mode Steering: Vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering Suspension: Front: Independent strut suspension; Stabilizer bar Rear: Independent multi-link suspension; Stabilizer bar Brakes: 4-wheel vented disc brakes; Anti-lock braking system; Electronic brake force distribution Wheels: 17” 5-split spoke aluminum alloy wheels Wheelbase: 105.9 inches Overall length: 183.3 inches Overall width: 70.9 inches Overall height: 65.3 inches (Add 1 inch for roof rails) Curb weight: 3,329 lbs EPA Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Highway): Front Wheel Drive: 28 / 42 All-Wheel Drive: 22 / 26