The 2012 Nissan Rogue offers impressively capable road manners, sporty good looks and a refined interior in the compact crossover SUV segment. New for the 2012 model are updated wheel designs, a 360-degree-view camera and a Special Edition package.
And once inside, it's hard not to be impressed with the fairly high quality overall fit and finish for a vehicle in this price range, which gives the Rogue more of an upscale ambiance than its competitors.
As much as the 2012 Nissan Rogue has going for it, it's always wise to check out other top-rated choices before making a final decision. Other small SUVs worth a look include the Honda CR-V as well as the Toyota RAV4, both of which offer additional cargo space and functionality, while the Rogue leads with its fun-to-drive personality and nicer interior.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2012 Rogue is classified as a 5-passenger compact crossover SUV and is offered in S and SV trims.
Standard features on the Rogue S include power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a trip computer, folding side mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, a tire pressure monitor, halogen headlights, an anti-theft system, an engine immobilizer, a tilt steering wheel, a full array of safety features (see below), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, variable intermittent wipers, a rear window defroster, a rear spoiler and a 4-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The new Special Edition package for the S includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 4.3-inch-display audio screen, a rearview camera, foglights, rear tinted glass and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
Moving up to the SV model adds most of the Special Edition's features along with a 6-way power driver seat, a fold-down front passenger seat, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless ignition/entry, upgraded upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The optional Premium package for the SV adds navigation with a 5-inch touchscreen display, a sunroof, automatic climate control and automatic headlights, while the SL package adds everything from the Premium package plus leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 360-degree camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, xenon headlights and a Bose sound system with a subwoofer.
Incidentally, here's an infographic listing the 12 carmakers who've given the biggest new car price discounts off MSRP (includes Nissan) and how much they have averaged.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
The 2012 Nissan Rogue comes in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive forms. Under the hood of all models is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The single available transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission). In performance tests, a front-wheel drive Rogue was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds, which is quite quick for a four-cylinder SUV.
Gas mileage for the new Rogue is EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway with the FWD and 22 and 26, respectively, with the AWD ... both in line with others in the compact crossover SUV segment.
Standard safety features across all 2012 Rogue models include antilock disc brakes (ABS), stability control, front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags.
In government crash tests, the Rogue received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, consisting of four stars for overall frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection.
The 2012 Nissan Rogue has one of the nicest cabins in its class. It's attractive, well-designed and user-friendly, while the overall materials quality is higher than is usually expected in this price range. The seating is comfortable and supportive, both front and rear while a large center console and huge glovebox , along with a clever under-floor compartment, makes for easy and close-at-hand storage.
There is a downside to the interior, however. The rear seats don't recline or slide backward and forward, as most others do. This makes the rear quarters a bit less functional and versatile when compared to competitors.
Overall storage capacity comes in about average for the class at 28.9 cubic feet with the seatbacks up, while folding the seats increases storage to 59.7 cubes, a little less than average. However, there's a fold-down front passenger seat (standard on the SV) that opens up space nicely for long items such as surfboards, lumber or whatever.
Another quite strong attribute of the 2012 Rogue is its engaging and fun-to-drive road manners. True, crossovers are supposed to drive like cars anyway. But the Rogue actually ups the ante with a drive like a car with advanced handling capabilities. It's body control is excellent for an SUV, its steering is impressively responsive and highway cruising is a breeze
At the same time, its suspension also easily absorbs road bumps and rough spots, while its four-cylinder power gets the job done better than most. If there's a downside, however, there's a drone to the CVT when at full throttle that some may find annoying.
Overall Pros And Cons:
Things that are good:
Things that are less good:
Short on cargo room and rear-seat versatility
CVT causes engine drone
No V6 option
Rear seat doesn't slide or recline
Invoice And Sticker Prices
The 2012 Nissan Rogue is a good looking and comfortably accommodating compact SUV with a surprisingly high quality cabin. What's more, it even provides an engaging driving experience at a level fairly uncommon in its price range. As a "sportier" type of SUV, however, the downside is that it is probably not a good choice for those who put a high value on large cargo capacity and rear-seat versatility.