Nissan Rogue — Fresh Style, More Features for 2011

The always well-presented Nissan Rogue turns out more style for 2011 on the outside and inside. Enhancing this compact Crossover Utility Vehicle’s value for 2011 is a nice list of optional features that have never before been offered on the Rogue.

Though the 2011 Nissan Rogue is offered in three trims — S, SV and Krom — the range of packages and drivetrain configurations make the Rogue lineup seem extensive. Prices for this smart-looking compact sport crossover utility vehicle begin at $20,810.

The entire model line is offered with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission. Nissan’s CVT makes use of Adaptive Shift Control, which adjusts shift points according to the driver’s input, as well as vehicle speed, steering and road traction.

Nissan’s four-cylinder delivers a power output of 170 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. Since this is the only engine choice to Rogue buyers, we’d recommend that they take out for a test drive both the front-wheel-drive Rogue and the all-wheel-drive version.

Every driver has preferences on how responsive they want their vehicle to feel when they push down on the gas pedal. The maximum curb weight differences between the FWD (3,329 pounds) and the AWD (3,479 pounds) could tip the scales in helping a buyer nail down the choice between the two drivetrain configurations. And although some buyers are just going to feel more secure with AWD, the compact Rogue does come standard with electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, Brake Assist and electronic brake-force distribution and six airbags.

Having said that about the Rogue’s standard safety build we’d go with the FWD model. The AWD’s weight distribution percentage difference of just one-percent from front-to-rear doesn’t make the added 150 pounds appealing to our driving side that likes horsepower. The weight distribution in the FWD Rogue SV is 59/41, and in the Rogue SV AWD it’s 58/42. Not only that, the Rogue is a car-based, unibody platform crossover. It’s not a traditional sport utility vehicle.

The EPA-rated fuel economy estimates are 22 miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway (FWD); and 22/26 mpg (AWD). Driver and passengers are given a nice-riding vehicle in the Rogue with its four-wheel independent suspension system — and both the front and rear suspensions include high-performance shock absorbers with rebound springs.

The Rogue’s body presents a well-planted stance. It’s a confident looking five-passenger crossover with plenty of egress for getting passengers in and out. The doors have a wide opening in the rear liftgate offers access to the Rogue’s versatility to convert into a cargo-hauler with 58 cubic-foot room. Over-sized storage holders and a washable removable center console tray add family-friendly and active lifestyle functionality to the Rogue.

The many subtle exterior styling revisions for 2011 include a new front fascia and grille, front and rear spoilers, and new chrome side door guard molding trim accents, among other small details. On the inside of the 2011-model-year Rogue, Nissan stylists freshened up with a new gauge panel and center cluster.

This Nissan now has available features that have never before been offered on the Rogue: the Nissan Navigation System, RearView Monitor, automatic climate control, automatic on/off headlights and 18-inch wheels. The Rogue’s 2011 prices range from $20,810 for the base model to $25,660 for the top-line Rogue Krom. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters

Manufacturer photo: The Nissan Rogue gets an upgraded look for 2011 inside and out — including exterior, interior, comfort and convenience, and audio and entertainment system enhancements. Model names are revised, helping keep Rogue fresh and exciting. A series of new features, not previously available for Rogue, are offered for 2011, including the Nissan Navigation System, RearView Monitor, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, USB port, automatic climate control and auto on/off headlights — to name just a few.

VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD compact CUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $24,470 (as tested: $29,305)
MOTOR TYPE___________________ 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder w/SMPFI
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 2.5-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 170 at 6000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 175 at 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ CVT
WHEELBASE____________________ 105.9 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 183.3 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 37.4 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 15.9 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 22 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Copyright, AutoWriters Associates Inc., 2011

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