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2009 Nissan Rogue

March 8, 2009
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Complaint: This is a mild-mannered, city/suburban commuter vehicle. Anyone thinking that it will in any way demonstrate the hot highway performance implied by its name will be sorely disappointed.

Ride, acceleration, and handling: It gets excellent marks in city/country driving, and is a decent-to-marginal performer in high-speed highway traffic.

Head-turning quotient: Cute, friendly, likable.

Body style/layout: The Rogue is a compact, front-engine crossover-utility wagon designed with sport-utility vehicle pretensions. It is based on a compact Nissan Sentra sedan platform and is available with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. It can be had in base S trim with standard 16-inch diameter wheels or the upscale SL with leather-covered seats and optional 17-inch wheels.

Engine/transmission: It comes with a standard 2.5-liter, 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine that develops 170 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 175 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 revolutions per minute. The engine is mated to an automatic continuously variable transmission.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Luggage capacity with rear seats up is 28.9 cubic feet, 58 cubic feet with rear seats down. The tested all-wheel-drive model has a maximum payload of 1,053 pounds. It can be equipped to tow up to 1,500 pounds. Fuel capacity is 15.9 gallons of recommended regular unleaded gasoline.

Mileage: I got 27 miles per gallon on the highway - one mile better than the federal government's highway rating of 26 mpg. City mileage, affected by congestion, was 2 mpg less than the federal rating of 21 mpg.

Safety: Ventilated front and rear disc brakes with antilock control, side and head air bags, and electronic stability and traction control are standard.

Price: The base price of the Nissan Rogue SL with all-wheel-drive is $23,010. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $21,450. Price as tested is $27,970, including $4,180 in options (premium sound system, satellite radio, MP3 player and iPod hookup capability, leather-covered seats, 17-inch diameter wheels) and a $780 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $25,857. Prices are sourced from Nissan and Edmunds.com.

Purse-strings: This is another good urban wagon. Compare with the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Rav4, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

2009 Nissan Rogue

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