Test Drive: 2013 Nissan Rogue

2013 Nissan Rogue

By Barbara & Bill Schaffer

Question: After the Altima, what is Nissan?s best-selling vehicle?2013_nissan_rogue_body

 

2013 Nissan Rogue

 

If you said Rogue, you would be correct ? 2012 sales were up more than 14 percent over 2011 totals with sales of more than 142,000 for the year.? That is second only to the Altima, which was the sixth best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2012 with total sales of 302,934.

Nearly one third of the U.S. automotive market is now buying crossovers or SUVs and the number of available models is staggering when you consider the various sizes and price ranges. ?Nissan alone has seven entries in the category including their unique CrossCabriolet?, the only convertible in the category.


2013 Nissan Rogue
First introduced in the fall of 2007, the 2013 Nissan Rogue has been the Nissan entry compact crossover with highlights that include agile handling and excellent value.? The 2013 Nissan Rogue styling is distinctive, but now six years into its expected seven-year product run, is starting to look a little dated when compared to the influx of fresh new competitors like Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Escape.

Nissan has done a good job of keeping the Rogue fresh with innovative new technology, however.? For example, for 2013, it is the first non-luxury vehicle in the U.S. to offer the unique Around View? Monitor feature.? The Monitor uses four small super wide-angle cameras mounted in the front, on both side view mirrors and in the rear.? When they are all active, the camera images combine to show a virtual 360-degree view around the vehicle.? This can be very helpful when parking or backing out of a parking place.? You can actually see someone walking or driving behind or beside the vehicle.? It also helps to check out tight maneuvering spaces for added safety.

Another new feature for 2013 is the new Premium Edition that adds fog lights, Bose? audio, automatic climate control, power moonroof and

the navigation system along with several other enhancements.

2013 Nissan RogueThe 2013 Nissan Rogue is built on Nissan?s front-wheel ?C? platform, which also underpins the Nissan Sentra, and all trim levels of the Rogue are available in all-wheel drive.? This is not a rugged off-road style vehicle, that?s a function of the Nissan Xterra and Pathfinder; rather it?s perfect for adverse road conditions like wet roads, snow and gravel.

The 2013 Nissan Rogue platform is on a long 105.9-inch wheelbase and overall length of 183.3 inches, which makes it one of the longest in the compact class. That extra length creates a generous five-passenger seating area.? When the rear seat back is folded, it produces 57.9 cubic feet of cargo space with more than 8.5 feet of front-to-rear length for carrying longer loads.

2013 Nissan Rogue

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A 170-hp 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine powers all models of the Rogue through a standard CVT transmission.? We?re not normally big fans of the continuously variable transmissions, but the Nissan Xtronic? is one of the best in the business.? The Adaptive Shift Control optimizes the shift pattern and eliminates the ?mushy? feel that many CVTs have.? We would prefer to see some sort of manual shifting mode however, preferably like the steering wheel mounted shift paddles like on the new Altima.

The Rogue accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds in its front-wheel drive configuration and takes a bit longer for the AWD version.? The AWD model we drove has an EPA fuel economy rating of 22 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway.? We averaged 24.6 mpg during our week of mostly local driving.

2013 Nissan RogueThe 2013 Nissan Rogue is offered in three trims levels: S, SV and SV with SL Package.? There are two major option packages, the Special Edition Package and Premium Package mentioned earlier.? The Special Edition package includes 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, 4.3-inch audio display, USB interface, rearview monitor, steering wheel audio controls, satellite radio, and Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System.

Prices range from $23,375, including the destination charge, for the front-wheel drive S to $29,715 for the front-drive SV w/SL package.? All-wheel drive adds $1,300 to all trim levels.?? The special Edition Package is $1,200, Premium Edition Package is $1,700 and the SL package ups the price by $3,900.

With its rigid platform, agile handling and responsive four-wheel independent suspension, the Rogue is enjoyable to drive even on the curvy mountain roads we use to sample vehicle handling.? There is a little body sway but it stays relatively flat even during exuberant cornering.

Someone looking for a good value in the compact crossover segment should be sure not to overlook the Nissan Rogue.

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