All photos by Nissan
The 2011 Nissan Rogue is a confident vehicle upon first impression and as I spent more time with the car, that impression proved true. We tested an AWD SV model, the overall look and feel of which gave me the sense that a few more upgrades to this vehicle would allow it to compete with much pricier brands.
The exterior of the Nissan Rogue was refreshed for 2011 with a new front end. It has a very classy look that could easily be mistaken for upscale competitors. Our Rogue was an SV model with the SL package, so pretty much all of the goodies offered were on board. The Frosted Steel paint job was a great fit for the Rogue - it was sporty but also had a high end look to the finish. The halogen headlights, body color real spoiler, chrome grille, chrome door handles, chrome body side moldings and chrome exhaust gave passersby no choice but to notice the Rogue on the street. This little SUV carries some serious bling and it carries it well. When you add the privacy glass, roof rails with silver accents and 18" alloy wheels, there isn't a whole lot you would want to add to this car when it arrives at the dealership for delivery.
Much like the exterior, the interior of the 2011 Rogue benefitted nicely from the 2011 refresh. The cabin sports a new dashboard, iPod connectivity, a new navigation system with a 5" touch screen monitor and a very comfortable leather wrapped steering wheel. The cabin of the 2011 Nissan Rogue SV AWD has a decent amount of room for its segment; the leather appointed seats were wide enough to handle larger passengers. The new dashboard is clean and easy to navigate while also taking things up a few notches in comfort and styling. The heated seats in our model had two levels and were a welcome feature during this cold Ohio winter. The crystal clear, 7-speaker Bose sound system pumped out impressive, high quality sound. The system also included XM satellite radio, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a rearview monitor and Nissan's Intelligent Key keyless entry and ignition. The Rogue manages adequate spacing in the back seats and sufficient cargo space as well.
The 2011 Nissan Rogue SV AWD did a great job handling snow and icy road conditions - the firm handling from the AWD coupled with the traction control system made me feel confident I was in control. The ride in the Rogue was smooth and efficient, coming in at 22mpg city and 26mpg highway. That being said, I was a little disappointed with the Rogue's power. As the engine noise grew, I kept waiting for more power to kick in but it just wasn't there. Nissan should really take a look under the hood here – the Rogue deserves a little more kick. The 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cyclinder with 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque should be able to do better on mpg and acceleration with some tweaks. Handling was right on target, though, and the independent multi-link rear suspension with a stabilizer bar contributed to a very controlled driving experience.
The 2011 Nissan Rogue SV AWD has the looks of a vehicle priced higher than the 29k sticker on our test model. I even had folks ask when this SUV came out as they thought it was a luxury brand rather than a Nissan at first glance. That says a lot about the work Nissan put into the 2011 Rogue refresh. When you enter the cabin, the clean and stylish interior keep that upscale feel consistent with the exterior appeal. The Rogue is very easy to get in and out of and the comfort behind the wheel will rival any SUV/Crossover I have driven to this point. I did mention earlier that there is a lack of power in the standard and only engine available, but hopefully that will be addressed sometime soon. Overall, the 2011 Rogue is built and designed to compete well in a very crowded field.
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