While the Nissan Rogue may look like its fellow Nissan crossover, the Murano, it actually shares more mechanically with the Nissan Sentra compact car. The only similarities that the driver might notice between the Rogue and the Sentra, however, are its lean, nimble footprint, and car-like ride.
The Rogue's appearance is in tune with Nissan's current forward thinking designs. This CUV or crossover utility vehicle looks as if it's gone straight from concept to production with little restraint placed upon Nissan's styling gurus.
There are two trims of the Rogue; The Base S, and the SL. Both are available in either front wheel or all wheel drive. All models are powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 that produces 170 horsepower and 175 pound feet of torque, sent through a continuously variable transmission.
Fuel economy for the front wheel drive Rogue is 22 miles per gallon city, 27 highway, with the all wheel drive model getting one mile per gallon less in each category.
When it comes to crossovers these days, versatility mixed with sportiness seems to be the predominant theme. The Rogue doesn't disappoint, as the interior is highlighted by two-toned red and black seating that looks to be borrowed from a sports car. The mix of steering column mounted paddle shifters and steering wheel mounted audio and voice controls further blends performance and versatility. These features come with the premium package and also include keyless entry and ignition, trip computer, and a Bose sound system with 6-speakers, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, and Bose subwoofer.
The Rogue features a 60/40 split-fold rear seat that gives way to nearly 58 cubic feet of cargo room.
Standard safety equipment includes 4 wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control, front and side impact airbags for both driver and front passenger, and rear side impact airbags.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Nissan Rogue is $20,220. A fully loaded SL will top out just short of $30,000. The Rogue is backed by a 5-year 60,000-mile power train warranty.
The 2009 Nissan Rogue offers the versatility and handling of an all wheel drive crossover, but with the smooth road-going ride that comes from sharing its underpinnings with a well-designed compact sedan.