The Rogue, Nissan’s first entry in the compact crossover class, first debuted for the 2008 model year. For 2011, the Rogue receives its first refresh, with interior and exterior revisions. The 2011 Rogue has a new grille and fascia, chrome-accented door moldings, and a new rear end design with a rear spoiler. The engine, a 2.5 liter, 170 horsepower, four-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Transmission, remains unchanged since its 2008 debut.
The 2011 Nissan Rogue is offered in three trim lines: the S, the SV, and the Krōm. One of the trim lines has changed names for the 2011 model year. What was the SL trim in prior Rogues is now known as the SV. All models offer seating for five, the same four-cylinder engine and an all-wheel drive option.
The Krōm is the up level trim. It is differentiated from the other trim by its slightly different grille and front fascia, fog lights, body-colored mirrors, distinctive rear fascia with central exhaust outlets, and 18-inch alloy wheels. For comparison, the S trim has 16-inch alloy wheels while the SV has 17-inch alloy wheels.
Even the base S comes with an impressive set of standard features that includes power windows and locks, air condition, tilt steering wheel, and cruise control. Standard safety features include head-protecting side curtain airbags. The two-wheel drive S is expected to have a starting price of about $21,000.
The Rogue, which has final assembly in Japan, is based on the same unibody platform that Nissan uses for its Sentra compact car. The Rogue is actually the longest SUV in the compact class. Even longer, by one inch, than the Toyota RAV-4, which has third row seating. However, its curvy body shape limits its cargo room, which is significantly smaller than its three largest competitors the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV-4.
The Rogue’s styling and crisp handling differentiate it from its peers. New options for 2011 include the model’s first navigation system and USB interface. Fuel economy for the 2011 Nissan Rogue is expected to be about 22 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for all-wheel drive models.
The Rogue has been a success for Nissan. While it sells only about half as many models as its main competitors, sales have been increasing. Nissan hopes that the refreshed Rogue will continue that trend. The 2011 Nissan Rogue goes on sale in September 2010.