There are no good choices for in the 2013 Nissan Rogue for those who want sprightly performance, but with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Rogue manages to provide acceleration that's adequate—think about nine seconds to 60 mph.
With this combination come two attributes that don't make it a very pleasant combination, however. The first is that under even moderate acceleration the engine drones coarsely; and secondly, there's a rubber-band-like delay when asking for quick passing power. Road noise also isn't all that well masked, so if you live around hills and coarse road surfaces your impression might not be so positive. In either case, the big benefit of the CVT is that it returns impressive real-world mileage.
Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available, and it's a better choice for snowy climes, though it saps 1-2 mpg year round. The AWD system can send power as needed to the rear wheels, and with some finesse.
The Rogue is built on car underpinnings, and it drives that way, which makes it an agreeable companion around town. It's maneuverable, nimble, and comfortable in town—although hardly tuned for performance.