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2013 Nissan Rogue Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Nissan Rogue was new.


Performance: 7.2

While some test drivers say that the 2013 Nissan Rogue isn’t as nimble and sporty as newer rivals like the Mazda CX-5, others are pleased by the Rogue’s car-like ride. Still, a few reviewers complain that the Rogue needs more power, particularly on the highway or steep hills, where the engine struggles.

  • "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 
  • "The Rogue has more power, more torque, and a CVT that helps it to better make use of that grunt. It feels more confident on the highway and is more resistant to crosswinds than the Mazda [CX-5]." -- CNET 
  • "Four-cylinder power is adequate enough, but the CVT's constant drone at full throttle can tax ears and nerves." -- Edmunds (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Nissan Rogue comes with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on all models. The EPA reports that the FWD Rogue gets 23/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly worse than the fuel economy of crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Subaru XV.

Most test drivers say that the 2013 Rogue has competent power for the average commute. However, they also note that the Rogue can run out of steam when you need to pass someone on the highway or climb a steep hill. The Rogue’s CVT is also the subject of some debate. Most reviewers walk away impressed by its responsiveness, though one auto writer says it’s a bit too noisy.

  • "The 2013 Nissan Rogue is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is well-suited for everyday driving." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Acceleration is confident and strong, thanks in part to the 2.5-liter engine, but mostly due to the CVT's ability to stay out of the driver's way and give access to economy or power as necessary." -- CNET
  • "Rogue is adequate from a stop and around town, but it's slow to build power needed for highway passing or hill climbs. The transmission is generally responsive to driver inputs for more power, though it causes the engine to put up a noisy fuss when doing so." -- Consumer Guide (2012) 
  • "The Rogue isn't faultless, of course. Its buzzy, droning continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only choice for changing gears, and unlike some other competitors, there's no V6 option." -- Edmunds (2012)

Handling and Braking

Reviews say that while the Rogue offers a car-like ride, it’s not quite as composed over bumps and road imperfections as higher-ranking compact SUVs. Additionally, one critic writes that while the Rogue’s handling is competent, newer SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 are more agile on twisty roads.

  • "Body lean and bounce were also quite carlike, an attribute we chalk up to the Rogue's Nissan Sentra underpinnings." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "However, the Mazda [CX-5] is less anonymous-looking and is more rewarding to take through a bendy bit of road thanks to its sportier steering and suspension setup." -- CNET 
  • "Rogue feels less solid and refined than the class leaders. Washboard freeway surfaces can bring about annoying pitching and bobbing." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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