"Car Talk" with Jonathan Pitman
When you think of rough, maybe you think of something that has been put to the test numerous occasions without failure. Or maybe you think of a vehicle that is both rough and ready, that lasts and can survive anything that you can throw at it, with little impact. That is what Nissan had in mind when they went to the drawing board to design the new 2008 Nissan Rogue. This small SUV implements fuel economy, power and interior space for those consumers who want to stretch their legs.
Let’s talk power and fuel economy.
The Rogue has a remarkable fuel-efficient 170 horsepower 2.5 liter engine that gets 26 mile per gallon on the highway. Most comparable SUVs don’t come close to matching the fuel economy that this vehicle produces. The improved fuel economy is the direct result of new testing standards in measuring MPGs. The test results are more accurate and practically eliminate the notion that MPGs are estimated. They are now accurate. Also contributing to fuel economy is the CVT transmission, advanced technology Nissan advertises on most of its cars, which reduces shift shock and improves fuel economy. Something that might convince you to investigate the Rogue its ability to cover 400 miles on a single tank of gas. With gas prices approaching five dollars a gallon, you should rest assured that the Rogue has got it covered by saving you money at the pump.
The Nissan Rogue comes in two models: the S (front wheel drive) and SL, which includes all wheel drive. If you opt for the S model, you get more than just the bare bones. You get options, such as ABS brakes, power mirrors, traction control, six standard air bags, remote keyless entry and more. If you want an upgrade, then the SL with all wheel drive might be your choice. The SL features volume control knobs on the steering wheel, along with cruise control, and fog lights.
The SL also offers Bose audio system with eight speakers, including a subwoofer that is conveniently located in the trunk above the spare tire, maximizing rear cargo room. Also available in the SL: Bluetooth technology, sunroof, leather seating, leather wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, and more. The S and SL models not only have safety features such as ABS brakes. They both go above and beyond with Vehicle Dynamic Control, which monitors and protects the vehicle from rolling over in the event of an emergency.
The model I test drove was the SL AWD (All wheel drive). This car exceeded my expectations in the interior room department with seating for five and enough leg and headroom for those long road trips. One thing that I believe contributed to the smooth ride was the CVT transmission, a shiftless transmission that eliminates shift shock and jerking motion usually associated with shifting gears on standard automatic transmissions.
Another plus is the autostick, a "got-to-have" feature for those who want the feel of a manual transmission, but without the clutch. Note that the driver is only limited to 6 gears with the autostick function engaged.
On the road, the Rogue was very smooth. It handled very well on corners with very little body roll, perhaps because of the vehicle dynamic control system. The Rogue went from 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. The braking was equally impressive stopping at a respectable and safe distance.