One of the most fiercely contested automotive segments of all is the compact crossover market. There, vehicles like Ford’s Edge, Toyota’s RAV4, Honda’s CR-V and Nissan’s Rogue struggle to “out-cute” one another in an effort to attract your attention.
On the face of it, the compact crossover segment would seem to be a contradiction. After all, if you really want a compact auto, why should it be so SUV-like when, in most cases, the car it’s based on does everything it does with better fuel economy? The answer to that question is of course style, which brings us to the subject of this overview, Nissan’s Rogue.
Based on the rather pedestrian Nissan Sentra, the Rogue has tons more personality than its sibling. With looks that mimic its Murano big sister, Rogue captures the eye in a way the Sentra never could. Further, its Sentra roots bequeathed Rogue a smooth ride, exceptional stability and impressive quietness — for the most part.
We’ll get to that a bit later.
Remarkably, for all of its graceful styling and convivial road manners, Nissan chose a name for the vehicle that doesn’t really fit its personality. “Rogue” implies a toughness, buttressed by a disdain for convention. Meanwhile, the Nissan compact crossover is far more graceful than its name represents and frankly, there’s really nothing unconventional about the Nissan.
To date, Rogue is still in its first generation. Introduced in 2007 at the North American International Auto Show (AKA the Detroit Auto Show), Rogue is also one of the newest entries in the class, its competition being well into second and third generations.