On January 7, 2007, Japanese automaker Nissan introduced the North American audience to the Nissan Rogue at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. It is a compact crossover SUV and has no relation to the American Motors Rogues that were available from 1966 to 1969.
The Rogue was presented exclusively to North America and serves as a replacement for the Nissan X-Trail which is now marketed in Europe and other choice locations like Mexico. Nissan Rogues are powered by a 2.5L 170hp V4 QR25DE engine coupled with a standard transmission which is classified as continually variable. Nissan decided upon the Rogue's name to signify the vehicles propensity towards independent-oriented positioning.
The Rogue is designed for a slightly more refined crowd than the other four SUVs in the Nissan lineup. Its stealthy utility is geared to attract a more sophisticated crowd than say, the Xterra, which is aimed attracting an extreme sports crowd. It is described by Bill Bosley, general manager of Nissan, to have all of the desired and necessary components and compartments, however, they aren't yelling at you to notice them.
The interior gauges are big, well-positioned and easy to read. The cockpit is space-aged and has a plane feel to it. Optional xenon headlights look sharp and produce extremely bright, long-lasting illumination. The Rogue also offers one of the most spacious backseat areas of any of its class competitors. Rogues are also notably more aerodynamic in design than their competition. They look quite upscale for a vehicle under $25,000.
The Rogue seems eerily similar to the Korean-made Hyundai Santa Fe. Slightly smaller than the Santa Fe, the Rogue is slightly larger than the Honda CR-V. It is constructed on the same platform as the Nissan Sentra - the "C" platform. Although the standard version of the Nissan Rogue is front wheel driven, there is an optional automatic all wheel drive model available as well.
There are two separate trim levels available, the S and the upgraded SL, both utilizing the same engine/transmission combination. Boasting 175 lb-ft of torque, the Rogue is stronger than many of its V4 competition. It nearly equals the power exerted by the V6 Santa Fe. It offers a fully independent suspension system coupled with both struts and coil springs in the anterior. Further, it utilizes an unseen rollbar. In the vehicle's posterior, instead of struts, the Rogue uses a multilink system in order to maximize the available cargo space.
The 16 inch steel wheels are graced with antilock disc brakes and both electronic stability and traction control systems. Loaded with convenient options, the Nissan Rogue sells for about $25,000. At that price range, owners are pleased with heated leather seats, Bluetooth communication and a Bose stereo system that can make the ears bleed. A pop-up cargo organizing system is hidden neatly in the rear and contains a removable, washable tray for items too dirty for the carpet.
Safety is considered well with standard side curtain airbags for the front and back seats. The front is also equipped with dual stage seat-mounted airbags. The sleek styling, superior strength, functionality and high-end optional features are working to make the Nissan Rogue a heavy hitter in the sales department. Nissan is well pleased and continues to refine future models for release.