Nissan Rogue: A Chicago-worthy SUV


2011 Nissan Rogue

I just had the opportunity to drive a compact SUV I actually liked: the 2011 Nissan Rogue. While the price of the test car came in around $27K, I don't think you have to top out there. I liked the AWD that came on the test car, but I could probably do without pretty much every other option. So, if all you want is AWD, you're looking at $22K. Which I think is just right for a compact SUV you'll drive in Chicago.

Other things I liked about the Rogue:

  • Easy to parallel park in an urban environment
  • Peppy 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower
  • Attractive exterior with sleek lines
  • Easy step-in height 
  • Great turning radius
  • Comfortable driving position
  • Smooth continuously variable transmission
  • Estimated MPGs for the AWD model in the 22/26 range with actual combined MPGs in the 22 to 23 mpg range

The Chicago-worthy rating on the Rogue: I'd slot it between an 8
and a 9. I have a hard time giving any SUV a perfect 10, but the Rogue
comes close. Compact, reasonably priced and easy to drive, this is a car
you'll love to drive and won't fret over every ding and dent. Plus the
AWD is a huge bonus for the 4 months of snow, slush, sleet mix we get
here in the Chi.


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  • My wife's vehicle is a Rogue, so far it's been a good vehicle. Your comment about not fretting over door dings is warranted as the sheet metal is rather flimsy and door dings are easy to get. Mileage is ok on the highway and mediocre (at best) in the city. My wife has a lead foot however. I actually got 30 mpg once on the interstate - with a very friendly tailwind and adherence to the posted speed limit.

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