There’s always been something about compacts sport utilities that makes them great companions for errand running in town. Whether it’s their urban-friendly size and excellent visibility, or the cargo area that’s much larger than you’ll find in the average compact station wagon or sedan. The all new Nissan Rogue is a solid example of this new breed of compact crossover; it may look like an SUV, but the Rogue’s much more closely related to the Nissan Sentra than to any of the brand’s trucks.
The design details, like the grill and greenhouses are high up, giving the impression of size, but really this is kind of a tall compact wagon. The Rogue is tall, but like Nissan’s larger crossover, it’s clear from a glance that this one’s not intended to go off road. The lack of obvious front and rear bumpers gives it an ultra modern, almost egg-shaped look.
The modern interior has a tall console and satin-silver accents everywhere, from the round air vents to the cup holders. The seating position is tall, of course, and its just right for slipping in and out quickly with minimal effort. There’s also more legroom in the rear than in other small crossovers.
Standard equipment includes side and side-curtain airbags. Heated seats, Nissan’s Intelligent Key keyless entry and ignition system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a Bose sound system are all on the options list. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. It produces 170 horsepower and returns decent economy. Around town is a delight, with ample power from the four-cylinder engine and great, smooth response from the CVT.
The rogue drives more like a car than an SUV, as befits its car-like fully independent suspension. Using coil springs with independent struts up front and a multi-link rear, the Rogue is never wobbly around town.
For small families in urban areas, this is your ride. It’s affordable without being too low-rent.