Merriam-Webster defines a rogue as a dishonest or worthless person. There are other definitions, none of them much more flattering. Our new long-term Nissan Rogue SL doesn't strike me as particularly dishonest -- quite the opposite, actually. From the outside, it looks like any other small family-hauler that could be used off-road in a pinch, but more than likely will spend the majority of its miles toiling away between yoga studio and soccer field. The inside sparkles with the plainness of usability and the rounded edges of conformity, but it's a family-hauler, so nothing flashy is needed.

The hard plastics and simple design can be attributed to the Rogue's astonishingly low starting price of $23,650. For comparison's sake, that's only $670 more than the base price of the Altima, Nissan's bread-and-butter sedan and the CUV's powertrain sibling. Our long-termer arrived with a sticker price of $32,580, but we have the SL all-wheel drive, which is essentially a loaded vehicle. Power leather seats, navigation, around-view cameras, and 18-inch wheels are all part of the SL trim level, plus we have a $310 self dimming mirror and the $1990 Premium Package that includes things such as the panoramic roof, LED headlights, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert, blind-spot warning system, and even moving-object detection.

The Rogue needs every advantage it can get in this hotly contested category, which includes everything from the Honda CR-V to the Mazda CX-5 and even our own SUV of the Year Subaru Forester. The Honda offers amazing storage and packaging solutions, the CX-5 is a hoot to drive, and the Forester is just a great all-around package. The Rogue's only available powertrain is a 2.5-liter I-4 boasting 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Nissan's CVT transmission makes the most out of the power, even if the Rogue is lagging a bit behind its competitors when it comes to performance.

So far, about all we've done with the diminutive CUV is accumulate a little over 5300 break-in miles of daily use. Once it was broken in, we eagerly sent it to our fuel economy experts to get a Motor Trend Real MPG rating. As does its drivetrain mate the Altima, it came in significantly under EPA ratings. The EPA gives the Rogue a 25/32 city/highway mpg with a combined rating of 28 mpg. Our Real MPG testing returned 20.1/28.2 city/highway for a combined 23.1 Real MPG. We will see how it does over the coming year, and if all those features win us over.


Our Car
Base Price $30,280
Price as Tested $32,580
Service life 1 mo/4333 mi
Average fuel economy 23.8 mpg
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 25/32/28 mpg
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0