Nobody wins the lottery or inherits a bundle from their Uncle Fred and says, “I’m gonna buy something I’ve always wanted but never dreamed I could afford—a Nissan Rogue.” Rogue buyers are busy people who have to haul the kids and/or stuff to and fro and are looking for a reliable chariot that gets decent mileage, won’t break down and doesn’t cost an arm and leg and a kidney.
The Rogue delivers all the above in a package containing the most up-to-date technology stem to stern, technology designed to keep you and your passengers intact and to compensate for those who may or may not know how to take safe evasive action during hairy road situations. The car doesn’t drive itself—yet—but “Active Trace Control,” for example, automatically engages the inner or outer brakes through turns, preventing skidding. “Active Engine Braking” slows your vehicle with less effort, even with a full load of passengers. “Hill Start Assist” is what it sounds like – the car helps nervous drivers take off when their car is on a steep incline. The Rogue also, for better or worse, helps you stay plugged in via NissanConnect’s plethora of Apps, text-to-speech mechanism, hands-free texting and other gizmos aimed at helping keep your eyes on the road and avoiding LMAO LOL CRASH. A 2.5 liter, DOHC 16-valve four cylinder, 170-horsepower engine provides better-than-decent performance, and “zero gravity” seats are reasonably comfortable.
So what if its just-ok looks didn’t make a single head swivel as we tooled around Nashville, where my two-day test took place, ya’ll? Every guy doesn’t have to be Mr. Universe and every car doesn’t have to cause a riot when you pull into a parking lot. The Rogue continues to thrive, too, with sales up a whopping 13.5% in the past year, so clearly they’re doing something right. Introduced in ’07 for the ’08 year, the Rogue had held its nose and jumped into an already-crowded pool of crossovers at almost the exact moment when the American economy and the auto industry in particular was skidding off the road and into a tree. (Uncle Sam could have used Active Trace Control, come to think of it.)
The Rogue also gets better mileage than its closest competitors the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 or the Subaru Forester, averaging 28 miles per gallon in combined city and highway. It comes in five packages, each with different goodies depending on needs and budget starting at $22,490 and topping out at $29,420.
The Rogue is not Fierce. But it’s got your back, and sometimes that’s all you need.
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