The Nissan Rogue was restyled for 2011, with an upgraded look inside and out. Some of the model names have changed, and new features are available that were not before, including a navigation system, rearview monitor, a USB port, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
The 2011 Rogue gets fresh styling with a new front fascia and grille, new front and rear spoilers, new trim accents. Rogue's exterior is designed to present an image of modern sophistication. Its dramatic styling includes dynamically arched forms and powerful rear shoulder lines. The extensive redesign for 2011 adds to its sporty feel, while enhancing its upscale appearance.
Interior changes for 2011 include a new instrument panel design and a new center cluster. Rogue's interior is designed to satisfy both the functional needs of the buyers and their emotional needs, including the versatility provided by a large 58 cubic feet of cargo space. Leather-appointed seating surfaces are available along with a six-way power driver's seat and a 60/40 split folding rear bench seat. We found the cabin pleasant, with materials that would look good in higher-priced vehicles. In addition to the navigation system and rearview monitor, the Rogue is available with Nissan Intelligent Key, Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio and a powerful Bose-developed audio system with seven speakers with woofer, AUX input and MP3 playback. The controls are easy to use and understand.
The Rogue seats five. There is no third row available for seven-passenger seating. The Nissan Rogue is a compact SUV. Based on a car platform, it's considered a crossover vehicle, like the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Chevy Equinox. Utility is enhanced by numerous convenient storage and ultra-functionality features, including an oversized glove compartment, a large center console and a washable, removable tray that fits below the cargo area floor to hold wet or dirty gear and tools. The driver gets a variety of cupholders, a memo/pen holder, coin holder and cell phone/sunglasses holders.
In back, the Rogue offers good cargo utility. The rear seats fold flat and an available folding front passenger seat allows ladders and other long items to be loaded.
All Rogue models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower mated to a continuously variable transmission. No V6 is available. We found the four-cylinder engine works well with the CVT to provide decent performance and frugal fuel economy.
All-wheel drive is available for snow and rain. The Rogue is meant as a daily commuter and weekend runabout, not an off-road adventure vehicle. Towing capacity is just 1,500 pounds.
Behind the wheel, the Rogue offers carlike ride and handling. We think it's one of the better handling small SUVs, though we would not call it sporty. The ride allows for a lot of road feel and can become harsh on rough and irregular surfaces. Road imperfections and engine sounds intrude into the cabin.
The Rogue was introduced as a 2008 model, and changes since then have been minimal. For 2011, the styling has been updated inside and out, electronics have been advanced, and the packaging of the models has changed.