With the Nissan Rogue, the evolution of car-based sports utilities seems to have peaked.
The Rogue is nearly all car. It does retain much of the utility of a SUV. But it's mostly car.
That's good. It rides like a car--very comfortably. It handles like a car, competently on curves with well- controlled lean.
Rogue accelerates like a car--8.3 seconds 0 to 60 mph. That's remarkable given the four cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. The 2.5L churns out 170 horsepower and drives the front-wheels. All-wheel drive is available for mainly on-road usage.
And like a good car, the Rogue is undemanding of the driver. The lightly bolstered seats are high for a good driving position. The radio has but one round knob not two.
Vision to the rear is severely restricted by the stylish sheet metal. Side mirrors are truck-like large, though.
The Rogue is handy around town and well up to cross country touring. Luggage space is at a premium, though.
There's four wheel disc brakes with anti-locking to go with vehicle dynamic control.
Standard equipment in the $21,810 base vehicle includes tilt steering column, cruise control, air conditioning, a trip computer and something called "mood lighting" (untested.)
Step up to the premium package and a total $25,400 in the tested vehicle and add these goodies: a killer sound system, audio controls on steering wheel, fog lights and a navigation system.
There's pre-wiring for a towing hitch--maximum weight 1,500 pounds. So don't expect to see long lines of Rogues towing more than kayaks.
Fuel economy is 22 city and 27 highway in either model--except when towing.
So car-like plus is just fine for the Nissan Rogue.
Nissan Rogue Sl Fwd
Dimensions...105.9" wheelbase; 182.9" length.
Base price...$21,810/tested $25,400.
Fuel economy...22/27 mpg.
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