2011 Nissan Rogue Review

Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
February 3, 2011

The 2011 Nissan Rogue has a good feature set and great packaging for small-family use, but its performance and details aren't always delightful.

Landing somewhere between a tall wagon and an SUV, the Rogue aims at those who want the fuel-efficiency and maneuverability of a small car, combined with the space and comfort (and versatility) of a utility vehicle.

The Rogue gets something of a mid-cycle design refresh for 2011, but you'd have to look hard to see the differences. That's fine, as the Rogue's sleek, rakish design still looks fresh. Its proportions appear wider and longer than it actually is from the outside, and few would guess that the Rogue is actually based on the compact Sentra sedan. Up close, cues from the larger Murano give it a hint of upscale. New wheels, added chrome accents, and new front and rear spoilers go a long way toward enforcing that.

While the Rogue has received a few details to spruce things up inside and out, its core attributes remain. 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. The Rogue maneuvers well, with a quick, almost nimble feel, but at higher speeds it becomes abundantly clear this vehicle is tuned more for ride than handling.

Review continues below

Inside, the five-passenger Rogue gets a chunky interior design that borrows a bit from all of Nissan's cars and crossovers. Packaging is the priority in the 2011 Nissan Rogue; it has enough space to accommodate four adults, along with their luggage—plus it has a good ride and reasonably quiet interior. Cargo space, even with the back seats up, is ample, and the cargo floor is quite low. Ride quality is good too, which will make most sensibly minded buyers happy, though some surfaces can bring out pitchiness and road noise.

The Nissan Rogue comes with all the requisites for basic family comfort—including air conditioning, cruise control, and a nice-sounding audio system with steering-wheel controls. For 2011, the Rogue is newly offered in S and SV trims, replacing the S and SL trims last year. The SV model more closely aligns it with the trims that have been phased in for Nissan's sportier models, like the Maxima, and its options list has been reconfigured. A nav system, a power moonroof, xenon headlamps, rearview monitor, and XM satellite radio remain on the options list.

The stylish Rogue S Krom Edition returns for 2011. It gets special 18-inch wheels, a center-exit sport-tuned exhaust, a unique grille and bumper with fog lamps, and other styling tweaks.

7

2011 Nissan Rogue

Styling

Function comes first for the 2011 Nissan Rogue, but most will find its design aesthetically pleasing inside and out.

The Rogue gets something of a mid-cycle design refresh for 2011, but you'd have to look hard to see the differences. That's fine, as the Rogue's sleek, rakish design still looks fresh. With its gently arced roofline and a more aggressive tuck downward in back, the Rogue has more of a 'lifted' station wagon appearance than is the case for most crossovers. Its proportions appear wider and longer than it actually is from the outside, and few would guess that the Rogue is actually based on the compact Sentra sedan.

Up close, cues from the larger Murano give it a hint of upscale. New wheels, added chrome accents, and new front and rear spoilers go a long way toward enforcing that.

Inside, the five-passenger Rogue gets a chunky interior design that borrows a bit from all of Nissan's cars and crossovers. With cues like an aggressively hooded gauge cluster, the interior feels sporty and a little more cockpit-like than those of other crossovers. However the materials can still feel a bit drab up close.

Returning for 2011 will be the stylish Rogue S Krom Edition, which gets special 18-inch wheels, a center-exit sport-tuned exhaust, a unique grille and bumper with fog lamps, and other styling tweaks.

Review continues below
6

2011 Nissan Rogue

Performance

The 2011 Nissan Rogue performs well enough, but it's there's no excitement in the driving experience.

While the Rogue has received a few details to spruce things up inside and out, its core attributes remain. The Rogue's neat, car-based underpinnings make it feel like an especially peppy, maneuverable vehicle at times, though some will find it difficult to warm up to the mandatory continuously variable (CVT) automatic.

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.

Review continues below
7

2011 Nissan Rogue

Comfort & Quality

The 2011 Nissan Rogue is spacious and well designed but not particularly refined or comfortable.

Packaging is the priority in the 2011 Nissan Rogue; it has enough space to accommodate four adults, along with their luggage—plus it has a good ride and reasonably quiet interior.

While the ride is comfortable and there are no issues with headroom or legroom, the seats in particular feel thinly padded throughout and not necessarily up for long road trips. The backseat, which folds forward flat, can fit three adults across, but they'll have problems if they're broad-shouldered or large; the seatback adjusts for rake. The front passenger seat will also fold flat to fit especially long pieces of cargo.

Cargo space, even with the back seats up, is ample, and the cargo floor is quite low. Ride quality is good too, which will make most sensibly minded buyers happy, though some surfaces can bring out pitchiness and road noise.

Review continues below
8

2011 Nissan Rogue

Safety

The 2011 Nissan Rogue includes all the right safety features, but crash-test results haven't been perfect enough for those most concerned with safety.

While the 2011 Nissan Rogue has all the safety equipment that shoppers expect in a compact, small-family-oriented crossover, the Rogue's safety ratings haven't quite been at the top of the class.

The Rogue performs quite well in testing from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including top 'good' results in frontal, side, and rear impact—although it does score just 'acceptable' on the roof strength test, which is critical for rollover protection. Under the previous federal tests, which resulted in few three-star ratings and mostly four- and five-star ratings, the Rogue was rated four stars for frontal impact and five stars for side impact.

That said, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, and side and side-curtain airbags are all on the standard-features list.

And you might want to spring for the available rearview monitor; rearward visibility can be a bit challenging, given the Rogue's aggressively upward-swooping windowline and chunky rear pillar.

Review continues below
8

2011 Nissan Rogue

Features

While it's not a class standout in this respect, the 2011 Nissan Rogue comes with a strong list of standard features and options.

The Nissan Rogue comes with all the requisites for basic family comfort—including air conditioning, cruise control, and a nice-sounding audio system with steering-wheel controls.

For 2011, the Rogue is newly offered in S and SV trims, replacing the S and SL trims last year. The SV model more closely aligns it with the trims that have been phased in for Nissan's sportier models, like the Maxima, and its options list has been reconfigured. The new SV model includes many of the features of last year's SL at what sounds like a lower price point. A nav system, a power moonroof, xenon headlamps, rearview monitor, and XM satellite radio remain on the options list.

The stylish Rogue S Krom Edition returns for 2011. It gets special 18-inch wheels, a center-exit sport-tuned exhaust, a unique grille and bumper with fog lamps, and other styling tweaks.

Review continues below
6

2011 Nissan Rogue

Fuel Economy

The 2011 Nissan Rogue isn't a tremendously green pick, but it's stingier on fuel than most larger crossovers or SUVs.

With ratings of 22 mpg city, 27 highway for the front-wheel-drive version, the 2011 Nissan Rogue remains quite fuel-efficient—though a number of compact crossovers now do considerably better on the highway. Mileage ratings are 1 mpg lower with AWD,

If going green is a priority, you'd likely be better served with a vehicle such as the Ford Escape Hybrid, which returns a real-world 30 mpg or higher.

Review continues below
Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

2 Reviews
5 star
100%
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
July 29, 2015
2011 Nissan Rogue FWD 4-Door SV

Nissan Rogue Review

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
This is our 2nd Rogue and our 5th Nissan. I love this SUV we travel from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to Florida every winter and it has always been reliable and very comfortable. We will be buying a new one next... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 29, 2015
2011 Nissan Rogue AWD 4-Door SV

I love it!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Purchased 3 months ago with 56,000 miles. Very stylish, handles well, more options than I know how to use and as a 4 cylinder the gas mileage is great compared to my 1997 Toyota 4 Runner. With the Navigation... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$5,499 - $15,599
Browse Used Listings
in your area
7.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 8
Fuel Economy 6
Compare the 2011 Nissan Rogue against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Nissan Rogue?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used