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#9

in 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $15,656 - $18,865
Original MSRP: $22,070 - $29,710
MPG: 23 City / 28 Hwy
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2012 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. Nonetheless, some complain about the loud continuously variable transmission and underpowered four-cylinder engine. The CVT is designed to improve fuel economy, but reviewers prefer refinement over fuel economy returns.

  • “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, though it causes the engine to put up a noisy fuss when doing so." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Four-cylinder power is adequate enough, but the CVT's constant drone at full throttle can tax ears and nerves." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The Rogue comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower. Almost every reviewer says that while it's competent when up to speed, this engine lacks oomph when passing or going up hills. It's paired with a continuously variable transmission, but test drivers dislike the CVT because it is noisy.

According to the EPA, front-wheel drive Rogues should achieve 23/28 mpg city/highway, while all-wheel drive models should net 22/26 mpg.

  • "The Rogue isn't faultless, of course. Its buzzy, droning continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only choice for changing gears, and unlike some other competitors, there's no V6 option." -- Edmunds 
  • "After spending a few days in the 2012 Nissan Rogue SV with all-wheel drive, we came away with mixed feelings. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine felt plenty peppy, but when we needed that extra burst of power for passing or climbing elevations, it just wasn't there." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The automotive press gives mixed reviews about the Rogue's handling and braking. Some call it car-like and say it provides good steering feedback, while others say that the Rogue exhibits noticeable body lean around corners, is tossed by strong winds and can have touchy brakes.

  • "Body lean in sharp corners is pronounced. Steering feel is responsive. Rogue is subject to wandering in gusty crosswinds, making steering corrections at highway speeds necessary. The brakes provide good stopping control, but one test model suffered from a slightly touchy pedal." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Adding to the Rogue's handling ability is Nissan's Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which is a fancy name for electronic traction and stability control. On winding back-country roads we found the 2012 Nissan Rogue quite happy to play, with good feedback through its electric power-assisted steering. Body lean and bounce were also quite carlike, an attribute we chalk up to the Rogue's Nissan Sentra underpinnings." -- Kelley Blue Book

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