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    2013 Nissan Rogue SL AWD


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 27, 2013

    What if I hadn't driven the Mazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage?

    That was a thought that kept popping into my head when I was driving around in the 2013 Nissan Rogue a couple weeks ago. The Rogue is the oldest model in the compact crossover class, introduced back in 2007 and getting a refresh in 2011. But having driven the CX-5 and Sportage recently, could the Rogue stand up?

    gallery_10485_668_1034564.jpg

    The Nissan Rogue doesn't really shatter the status quo in design. In fact, the Rogue could be classified as the status quo. The profile of the Rogue mimics Nissan's larger Murano crossover in every which way. Up front is unique front grille treatment and a hood with creases running towards the middle. The side has a set of very stylish eighteen-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels and not so stylish chrome trim pieces and door handles. These pieces just look like an afterthought.

    Stepping inside, the Rogue is a dreary place to be. Amy Winehouse's Back to Black was playing in my head as I looked around and saw the black leather seats, black dashboard, and black and silver trim pieces. This isn't helped by the materials used which range from ok to bad. This is an interior that could use some rehab.

    What the Rogue doesn't need help is with passenger comfort. My SL tester came equipped with a power driver's seat which made finding a comfortable position very easy. Back seat passengers will find plenty of head and legroom. Cargo space measures out to 27.9 cu.ft. with the seats up and 57.9 cu.ft. with the seats down, making the Rogue one the smallest in the class.

    gallery_10485_668_1222092.jpg

    Feature wise, the Rogue has pretty much got it covered. My SL tester came equipped with leather, heated front seats, automatic temperature control, sunroof, seven-speaker Bose Audio system, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and a five-inch color touchscreen with navigation. One note on the touchscreen: During the day, I found the screen washes out very easily, making it difficult to see the navigation or what's playing.

    Powering all Rogues is a 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's XTronic CVT and is sent to the front wheels or my test vehicle's AWD system.

    gallery_10485_668_684161.jpg

    Despite the small numbers, the 2.5L is very much suited for the job. During my week, I never found myself wishing for more power in any situation. Whether I was leaving a stop, merging onto a freeway, or cruising down the road, the 2.5L just worked. A lot of credit goes to Nissan's excellent XTronic CVT. The CVT knows what RPM the engine needs to be whatever situation is at hand. Plus, the XTronic CVT that doesn't make that much cabin noise... Well aside from flooring it.

    The EPA rates the 2013 Rogue AWD at 22 City/27 Highway/24 Combined. During my week, I averaged 25 MPG.

    The Rogue's ride is what most people want in a compact crossover; a soft and comfortable ride. On rougher surfaces, the Rogue's suspension does transmit those imperfections. Wind and road noise are kept to a minimum.

    gallery_10485_668_1180656.jpg

    One item Nissan should be given a lot of credit for adding as an option is their Around View Monitor system. Part of the SL option package, the Around View Monitor system adds four cameras (one up front, one in the back, and one on each side-view mirror) that give a full 360' view when backing up or trying to parallel park. This is one system I hope other automakers are taking notes on.

    The 2013 Nissan Rogue is very much a competent compact crossover. It does everything well that you might throw at it in your daily life. But the problem for the Rogue is that it doesn't really stand out in the compact crossover class like before. Consider the two vehicles I mentioned at the top of this review, the Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5. Both vehicles are examples on how far the compact crossover class has moved on and how far back the Rogue is in comparison.

    A competent compact crossover can get you far, but not far enough when there is fresh meat in the marketplace. Here's to hoping the next Rogue brings it.

    gallery_10485_668_1321907.jpg

    Disclaimer: Nissan provided the Rogue, Insurance, and one tank of gas.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Nissan

    Model – Rogue

    Trim – SV AWD

    Engine – 2.5L DOHC Inline-Four

    Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Continuously Variable Transmission

    Horsepower @ RPM – 170 @ 6,000 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 175 @ 4,400 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/27/24

    Curb Weight – N/A

    Location of Manufacture – Kyūshū, Japan

    Base Price - $26,050.00

    As Tested Price - $30,965.00* (Includes $825.00 destination charge)

    Options:

    SL Package - $3,900.00

    Floor Mats & Cargo Area Protection - $190.00

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    Great write up and comparison is understandable for those that have read the other two reviews. This is a solid little CUV that like Drew says, needs a little Rehab to take the stage again.

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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class.
      For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LX 570
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn
      Base Price: $88,880
      As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00
      Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00
      Luxury Package - $1,190.00
      Heads-Up Display - $900.00
      Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00
      Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00
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