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2013 Nissan Rogue

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The 2013 Nissan Rogue is the latest version of a very young vehicle out of the Nissan stable. It debuted for the 2008 model year and is still in its first generation of production. After a minor refresh in 2011, the 2011 and 2012 models had some minor recall issues. Nissan is hoping to avoid those same issues on the 2013 Rogue, but only time will tell that story.

Most consumers looking for a compact crossover should be pleased with the materials quality used on the Rogue but performance seems to be an area where it could use some improvement. There are a few drawbacks, as there are with just about any vehicle, but those flaws don't seem to hinder the 2013 Nissan Rogue's chances of being a fairly strong contender in this class.

Expert Reviews

"Overall, Rogue's competitors are quieter and more refined, but this compact Nissan gets points for sleek styling, high levels of interior functionality, and value pricing." (Consumer Guide) That seems to be the feelings among expert reviewers across the board - the Rogue isn't going to drop any jaws, but it still remains functional and affordable in a segment that provides stiff competition in both categories.

"The driving enthusiast in me wants to give the edge to the friskier [Mazda] CX-5, but I think your average crossover buyer will find more value in the more settled Rogue." (CNET) Reviewers praise its body style as being sleeker and more resistant to wind push than many of its higher-profile competitors. Though power does seem to be slightly inadequate for most, it does manage to at least be effective in regular driving conditions.

Other reviewers are downright unimpressed. "After spending the better part of a week in a 2013 Nissan Rogue SV with all-wheel drive, we came away with mixed feelings. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine felt adequately peppy, but when we needed that extra burst of power for passing or climbing elevations, it just wasn't there." (Kelley Blue Book)

Of course, if you can hold off one more year, there are those who feel a redesign may be in the near future. "Based on the previous Sentra, the compact Rogue is enjoyable and competitive in the small-SUV class. The 170-hp, 2.5-liter engine is raspy at high revs but gets 22 mpg overall. The standard continuously variable transmission works well. The ride is supple, and handling is fairly nimble and secure. Convenience features include a removable, foldable cargo organizer for the rear storage area. Fit and finish is very good. Cargo capacity is modest, and rear visibility is poor because of the thick roof pillars and small rear windows. A redesign is imminent." (Consumer Reports)

Owner Reviews

Once again, it's the age-old story...

Some love it: "Great for my wife and I. Plenty of room for traveling and plenty of storage space. The fuel mileage is about 24.5 mpg and I admit that my foot is a little heavy; I consistently drive about 10 miles an hour above the posted speed limit. [I have] nothing bad to say about the vehicle. Love the rear view camera and power sun roof. Navigation is great but I wish the updates were free ($150 cost each year, but extremely accurate). In the snow, the vehicle tracks excellent." (Owner review from Ohio owner, KBB)

Some like it: "I wanted the AWD for a safe vehicle as well as one economically good on gas. I feel safe in it and I get good gas mileage. But, the power is quite disappointing especially during acceleration. It also is quite noisy. It doesn't idle very quietly either. The design of it makes it travel very well in strong winds without much resistance, but when travelling around 70 mph in a strong wind, there is an annoying whistling." (Review from Utah owner, KBB)

Some hate it: "I don't know if it's just mine or all of them, but the 2013 Nissan Rogue is a dog! It has no power when needed, offers no decent form of ride control, and whines incessantly. It's not a loud whine, just an annoying hum that the dealership told me was ‘standard' on all of them. Whether it is or it isn't, this is the last Nissan I buy." (Review from owner Michael S. in Wisconsin)


The 2013 Nissan Rogue comes in only two trim levels but does offer a couple of packages as add-ons which should appeal to the bulk of buyers. The base Rogue is the S class. It comes standard with such features as keyless entry, folding side mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, and a four-speaker sound system with CD player, auxiliary jack and iPod interface. All are equally attractive.

There is also a Special Edition package that is available for the S-class Rogue. It adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, rear privacy glass, a 4.3-inch audio display screen and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with USB/iPod interface, steering wheel controls and satellite radio.

Moving up to the only other available line, the SV, will garner the buyer larger 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, a six-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, roof rails, upgraded upholstery and everything else that comes standard on the S trim level.

With the SV you can also add either one of two packages. The first, the Premium Edition, comes with automatic headlights, sunroof, automatic climate control, navigation system, and a Bose stereo sound system. The highest edition is called the SL package. Not only does it up the wheel size to 18-inch alloys, but it also offers xenon headlights, foglights, leather upholstery, heated side mirrors, a 360-degree camera view, the navigation system, and an eight-speaker Bose sound system with subwoofer.


The cockpit of the 2013 Rogue features a dual-eye display with large, easily read numbers. Steering wheel audio controls, if one chooses to go that route, are well laid out and don't interfere with driver function at all. The interior is actually quite plush for the price. Don't expect Mercedes-style fabulous, but the layout, quality and color scheme should impress most passengers.

The seats are comfortable and firmly supportive, but don't expect much from the rear seating area. It is both cramped and stiff. They also do not recline (unlike many competitors), nor slide for and aft, and there is no center armrest. Aside from the lack of luxury in the back seat, the cabin of the Rogue is sleek and refined - something you just don't expect from this class.

The front of the cabin features some nice storage spaces, such as the deep center console, a cavernous glove compartment, and an under-floor organizer. That's about as much as this Nissan can boast on the cargo capacity side though. At 28.9 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up and in place, the Rogue is not the vehicle of choice when hauling hefty amounts of anything. Folding the seats down will improve that capacity to 59.7 cubic feet, but that still falls short of competitors.


The 2013 Nissan Rogue comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 175 ft.-lbs. of torque. It comes coupled to a Continuously Variable Transmission. This is a serious drawback for consumers and experts alike. The CVT tranny tends to produce a loud droning hum at highway speeds and isn't well-known for its reliability. There is no V6 option, which could also drive away potential buyers.

The Rogue is offered in both two-wheel and all-wheel drive. The AWD model will drop fuel efficiency slightly, but it's worth it if you're daily winter commute has you barreling through inches and inches of snow. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the compact Nissan crossover at 23/28 mpg (city/highway) without the AWD. These numbers are right on par with competition.

It offers a car-like ride but isn't exactly cloud-like over rougher roads. If you're not driving on a well-paved surface, expect to get jostled around a bit, especially if you're sitting in the back seat. Handling is capable but not really noteworthy. It provides an adequate ride as a daily commuter or a get-around-town kind of vehicle, but don't make any plans for off-road adventures in the Rogue - she's not going to stand for that.

Safety & Reliability

The 2013 Nissan Rogue does not earn Top Safety pick honors but it isn't exactly a slouch either. It earned four out of five stars in NHTSA front crash tests and a perfect five stars in side-protection tests. Its overall score was four, probably due to the standard four-out-of-five rating that nearly every SUV receives in the rollover test. The IIHS awarded it a classification of Good (top honors) in overall crash protection but only gave it the second-best rating of Acceptable in roof strength.

The Rogue comes standard with such safety features as stability control, antilock disc brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints. The antilock brakes brought the Rogue to a dead stop from 60 mph in just 121 feet, which is pretty good for its class. There are currently no major recalls, and reliability has been above average over the past few years, aside from the droning CVT transmission.

The 2013 Rogue is offered with the standard 3-year/36,000-mile manufacturer's warranty, along with the 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. MSRP ranges from $22,610 for the base model in a two-wheel drive version, all the way to $30,250 for the top-end trim.

Trim Engine Drive Train MSRP
S 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder FWD 20310
SV w/SL Package 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder FWD 26650
SV 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder FWD 22750
AWD S 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder AWD 21610
AWD SV w/SL Package 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder AWD 27950
AWD SV 4dr Crossover 4 Cylinder AWD 24050

Comparison of 2013 Nissan Rogue with Similar Cars

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