in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,092 - $13,134
Original MSRP: $20,220 - $23,010
MPG: 22 City / 27 Hwy
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2009 Nissan Rogue Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

For the most part, test drivers are satisfied with the Rogue's performance. Some, however, complain about the gearless transmission and underpowered four-cylinder engine.

  • "Highway cruising is where the Rogue and its transmission work best. Secure on-center steering feel, a firm but compliant ride, and a quiet cabin combine to effortlessly count down highway miles." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Rogue had very little body lean for an SUV, but it's probably still not up to the level of the Outlander. Even so, the Rogue is probably the best all-around performer in the four-cylinder class." -- Cars.com
  • "The Nissan's tall-sidewall 60-series tires and well-sorted suspension translates into carlike ride quality. In fact, the Rogue feels like it's riding on clouds: cushy, compliant and controlled, no matter the situation. Potholes, speed bumps and gravel roads are all easily handled by the small sport utility. When asked for more cornering capability, the Rogue proves that its steering and brakes are more than up to the task." -- MSN

Acceleration and Power

The Rogue comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Almost every reviewer says it's surprisingly powerful, but lacks oomph in certain situations. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive Rogue achieves 22/27 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model nets 21/26 mpg.

  • "Rogue is adequate from a stop and around town, but it's slow to build power needed for highway passing or hill climbs. The transmission is generally responsive to driver inputs for more power." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Both the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape offer V-6s in addition to their four cylinders. We wouldn't complain if Nissan gave it more power, as we had to floor it to climb through some of the elevated turns in the mountains." -- About.com
  • "We aren't crazy about the CVT [Continuously Variable Transmission] in this new vehicle, or in any other for that matter, nor have we been convinced yet of its claim to dramatically improve gas mileage, but the wide spread of gear ratios and the smooth power delivery do seem to be a better idea than the four- or five-speed conventional automatics of the competition." -- Car and Driver
  • "CVTs have a tendency to create a droning engine note at wide-open throttle, and when merging on the freeway, it's noticeable in the Rogue. Still, it's less intrusive than other vehicles we've driven recently." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

Though reviewers have mixed opinions of the Rogue's handling, most find the suspension provides a stable and car-like ride.

  • "Rogue feels less solid and refined than the class leaders. Washboard freeway surfaces can bring about annoying pitching and bobbing. S models, with their smaller, less aggressive tires, ride better than their SL counterparts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Nissan has tuned its small crossover for responsive cornering, but the downside is a ride that delivers sharp kicks over bumps." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Rogue also lived up to its sporty roots in the handling department. While the steering felt loose at low speeds, it really tightened up the faster I went. I was tuned into the turns on windy roads, and the feel of the wheel was dead-on." -- Cars.com

Next Steps: 2009 Nissan Rogue

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