Nissan's compact crossover vehicle, the Rogue, gets a few notable updates for 2012. A new Special Edition version has been added to the line in place of last year's Krom package and several other option packages have been revised. A new Sport Mode switch is now offered on all models and Graphite Blue joins the list of available colors. New 16- and 17-inch wheels are optional, and the SL package now includes Nissan's Around View Monitor.
All Rogue models come with a 170-horsepower, 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combination is enough to provide surprisingly quick performance off the line as well as adequate passing power. Front- or all-wheel drive variants are offered; the all-wheel drive system is oriented toward good all-weather performance, rather than toward off-roading. The 4-wheel independent suspension has stabilizer bars front and rear to help keep cornering flat while maintaining a smooth ride. Electric power steering helps save fuel, and EPA ratings for the Rogue are as high as 22 mpg city, 28 highway on the front-wheel drive version.
The Rogue has spacious interior, with buckets for two in front and a bench that's either more than enough for two adults or a little on the tight side for three. The rear seats are split 60/40 and they fold forward for more cargo space. The front passenger seat also folds forward to allow extremely long cargo items like ladders to fit (more than 8.5 feet in all). There are also plenty of storage bins, as well as an oversize glovebox, a big center console and a removable/washable tray that's under the cargo floor--good for either dirty/muddy items or keeping valuables out of sight.
All the safety and security features that are expected in this class come standard-- that includes front side airbags, roof-mounted side-curtain bags for front and rear occupants, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control and brake assist.
Standard features on the Rogue lineup for 2012 include iPod connectivity, a 6-way manual driver's seat and illuminated vanity mirrors. Cruise control and a trip computer are among the standard features on all models. A Sport Mode button has also been added to all trims.
The Special Edition package includes 16-inch wheels, XM satellite radio, 4.3-inch color display with USB connectivity, and a rearview camera. The cost of the package is just $1,200.
Most of the other main options on the 2012 Rogue are grouped into one of two other option packages. The Premium Package brings automatic climate control, a power moonroof and a navigation system with touch-screen and real-time traffic features. An SL upgrades the SV with even more features, including larger 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, the navigation system, upgraded Bose premium audio, xenon headlamps, fog lamps and automatic climate control. The Around View Monitor uses four cameras to provide a virtual 360-degree view of what's around the vehicle, which helps in tight parking situations.