The Rogue's 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides decently strong acceleration with the CVT—just under nine seconds, according to some tests—and it comes with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. While the CVT allows better fuel economy, its rubber-band-like feel could leave some drivers uneasy. And while the CVT responds quickly to prods of the throttle, hard acceleration is punctuated by a coarse drone from the engine.
Overall, the Rogue is not meant for off-roading, in any way. The system is configured for traction in deep snow or mud, where it can send more power, quite delicately, to the rear wheels.
The 2011 Rogue maneuvers well, with a quick, almost nimble feel at low speed thanks to the responsive electric power steering system, but at higher speeds it becomes abundantly clear this vehicle is tuned more for ride than handling.