2011 Nissan Rogue gets refresh

Nissan’s Rogue was introduced in 2007 as a 2008 model, and for 2011 it will be receiving its first refresh.  The model names are being changed to follow in the Maxima’s footsteps, so you’ll find S and SV models on dealership lots.  Newly-available features include a USB port for your iPod, navigation, backup camera, automatic climate control and automatic on/off headlights.  That’s a lot for a compact crossover, and a big boost to the feature (and option) list on the Rogue.

In addition to S and SV models, Nissan is offering a Krom version of the redesigned Rogue, just as it has on the 2010 model.  The Krom model features more chrome, unique body kit, special 18″ wheels and a sport-tuned exhaust.

The front end gets a more grown-up look which is more cohesive and more in line with the Murano’s face, especially in the grille area.  There’s more chrome on the exterior as well, which I’m not sure if I like, but since even the average AWD Rogue won’t see much more than some snow-covered roads, it might work out well.

Out back, on the other hand, screams boy racer with its long overhanging spoiler.  The spoiler itself looks tacked on as an afterthought, while the rest of the rear of the Rogue looks very similar to the new Hyundai Tucson.

Inside the Rogue, you’ll find a two-tone black over beige theme, with the standard Nissan color scheme of red and white for its gauges and needles.  An overly large hood covers the main instrument panel, and the center console looks out of place with its squared-off lines, in stark contrast to the rounded shapes found elsewhere in the Rogue.  The information display found between the two main gauges in the instrument panel, however, looks decidedly upmarket, reminding me of the ones used by Mercedes-Benz.  The 5″ touch screen for the navigation seems a bit small, especially considering the 7-8″ screens found in other cars, and its distance from the driver.

Overall, I think the new model looks better than the one it’s replacing, but Nissan still has a ways to go before they get a really cohesive design on this car.  It’s as if Nissan isn’t sure what to do with the Rogue – should it be an entry-level vehicle, and thus mass market, or should it play a smaller, but more expensive role?  When it first went on sale, it was the 3rd best-selling vehicle Nissan had, and it still continues to sell well.

The 2011 Nissan Rogue will be officially unveiled to the public at the 23rd Annual International Z® Car Convention in Nashville on July 31st, and should go on sale August 13th.

by John Suit

Source: Nissan

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