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2010 Nissan Rogue S Krōm AWD Review

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2010 Nissan Rogue Krōm Edition


By John Heilig
The Auto Channel

Model: 2010 Nissan Rogue S Krōm AWD
Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC I4
Horsepower/Torque: 170 hp @ 6,000 rpm/175 lb.-ft.@4,200 rpm
Transmission: Xtronic CVT
Wheelbase: 105.9 in.
Length X Width X Height: 184.3 x 70.9 x 66.3 in.
Tires: P225/60R17 – space saver spare
Cargo volume: 28.9/57.9 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway/21.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 15.9 gal.
Curb weight: 3,435 lbs.
Sticker: $26,125 (includes $800 destination charge and $1,850 in options (floor mats and cargo mat)

Bottom line: The Nissan Rogue isn’t the first small cross over sport utility vehicle (CUV), nor will it be the last. But what differentiates it from the masses is typically impressive Nissan styling and solidity on the road.

First let me say that I hate cutesy spelling, so the Krōm part of the Nissan Rogue’s name I fund off-putting. And if they’re going to call it chrome why not put more on the car? The only additional chrome is the exhaust tips and brilliant finish alloy wheels. Enough ranting.

At first the Rogue seems underpowered and exhibits so-so handling. After a couple of miles, though, the Rogue comes to you and becomes a pleasant car to drive.

Rogue has all the controls in the right places, it has decent power for its size, reasonable handling and decent ride quality. You just have to let it be a Rogue.

Rogue has decent power from its 2.4-liter inline four engine. The engine is coupled to a constant velocity transmission (CVT) which is supposed to eliminate shift points, but they’re there. Shifting is as smooth as a standard automatic, though.

Front seats are cloth and comfortable. The rear seats offer decent knee room and a reasonably flat floor that would allow a third adult to sit in the middle. A feature I liked, especially when trying to install a child seat, is that the center seat belt receiver is labeled. I have discovered too often that when I’m doing my contortionist imitation trying to install seats that I invariably put the belt into the wrong receiver.

A utility vehicle, SUV or CUV, must have utility in the form of decent cargo capacity. Rogue fits the bill here, with 28.9 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seat backs raised, 57.9 cubic feet with them lowered. There’s enough space to fit four golf bags in the back with the seats up. There’s also a small space under the floor where the jack is located to “hide” smaller items. Our tester had receivers for a cargo shade cover, but none was installed.

We found the HVAC system to be excellent in hot and humid weather. I was disappointed in the audio system, however. It was a standard AM/FM/CD system with no satellite radio or USB input. Since the radio had trouble pulling in Philadelphia stations, I tried my iPod in the AUX slot. Unfortunately, I left it on overnight and the battery wore down.

Storage areas inside the Rogue include a deep center console, a large glove box, small door pockets and two good-sized cup holders for the front passengers.

Other than its styling, the Nissan Rogue is not initially impressive. But it’s the kind of vehicle that grows on you and you learn to like it more the more you drive it. It has no serious deficiencies, although the Krōm package even with its unique grille, 17" wheels, and a special rear fascia with center-exit exhaust may be a bit much.

2010 The Auto Page