As its name implies, the Nissan Rogue stands apart. This brand-new car-based cute 'ute is one of the smallest contestants--giving up 2400 pounds to the Toyota Land Cruiser and 19 inches in length to the Buick Enclave.
The Rogue is fun to drive--garnering much praise for its game paddle-shiftable CVT. More than one editor took note of the Rogue's tossability and small-car driving dynamics on the canyon twisties.
Our fully loaded SL AWD Rogue did show its off-road cred by scampering over some light trails with ease. Credit its lockable AWD system and light (for this group) 3500-pound curb weight.
Not surprising, given its small size, the Rogue is a bit tight in the back seat, though it does score high marks for its front- and rear-seat comfort. Interior styling was less well received, but it's still miles ahead of a vehicle like the Patriot.
So with handsome, Murano-esque styling, a kickin' stereo, and cool features like a pop-up grocery-bag holder, what's not to love? In its rookie year, the Rogue makes a strong case, but just doesn't separate itself enough from veteran heavyweights like Honda's CR-V and Toyota's RAV4.
| 2008 Nissan Rogue |
| Base price range || $19,000-$23,000 (est) |
| Price as tested || $26,000 (est) (SL AWD) |
| Vehicle layout || Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV |
| Engine || 2.5L/170-hp/175-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4 |
| Transmission || Cont. variable auto |
| Curb weight (f/r dist) || 3529 lb (59/41%) |
| Wheelbase || 105.9 in |
| Length x width x height || 182.9 x 70.9 x 65.3 in |
| 0-60 mph || 8.9 sec |
| Quarter mile || 16.8 sec @ 84.2 mph |
| Braking, 60-0 mph || 131 ft |
| Lateral acceleration || 0.76 g (avg) |
| MT Figure Eight || 28.8 sec @ 0.56 g (avg) |
| EPA city/hwy fuel econ || 21/26 mpg |
| CO2 emissions || 0.84 lb/mile |
| Ratings |
| Engineering || *** |
| Design || *** |
| Interior/Functionality || *** |
| Performance || *** |
| On-Road Refinement || **** |
| Off-Road Ability || *** |
| Value || *** |
| Bottom Line || More carlike than SUV. Fun to drive, too. Simply doesn't make enough of a statement. |