- Looks like the larger Nissan Murano
- Well-balanced ride and handling
- Attention to fit and finish
- Clever cargo organizer
- Middling acceleration
- CVT isn’t familiar to many consumers
- Rear visibility suffers from styling
- Rear-seat room can be tight for adults
With the 2009 Nissan Rogue, the crossover market gets another right-sized entry that’s just a little tighter inside than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The 2008 Nissan Rogue is the Japanese automaker’s first attempt at a small crossover along the lines of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, and it’s largely a success. Based on Nissan’s Sentra sedan, the Rogue wears a tall body styled like the company’s larger Murano crossover, and provides seats for five, though four adults will be about the maximum you’ll transport in its compact body.
The Rogue has a sole engine and transmission combination: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission. The unconvetional transmission uses pulleys and a belt to simulate gear ratios--and Nissan outfits some Rogues with paddles for shifting that mimics an automatic’s five or six gears. It works well enough, but CVTs are less familiar than the usual manual or automatic gearboxes.
The 2008 Nissan Rogue offers a flexible cargo area with easy-folding second-row seats and a strong list of features, including a nifty cargo organizer. All-wheel drive is an option, as is satellite radio, but no navigation system can be ordered.