By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2009 Nissan Rogue. It competes with the Toyota RAV4 and Saturn Vue.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas of cars.com and we're here with the 2009 Nissan Rogue.
Now the Rogue debuted last year as an all new model for 2008 and not much has changed for 2009, but the Rogue remains one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the market, and we're going to show you why it's a great buy. The Rogue starts around $20,000, an all-wheel drive is only $1,200 option on either the base S trim or the higher-level SL trim, which we have here. Among the competition, few are less money. Basically, the Subaru Forester starts just under $20,000, but you're talking a couple hundred bucks here or there, but the Forrester does come with standard all-wheel drive, so it's a bit better value. But really, there's not much out there that's cheaper than the Rogue. Like the Honda CRV, the Nissan Rogue only comes with a four-cylinder engine. This one puts out 170 horsepower. It's actually pretty peppy. It's fun to drive, but get this, it gets really good gas mileage. 22 miles per gallon in the city, 27 miles per gallon on the highway. And that is better than Honda CR-V, better than Subaru Forester, better than Mitsubishi Outlander. So it's really efficient and it's fun to drive. One nice thing about the Rogue is this interior. For $20,000 compact SUV, It's pretty upscale inside. I'd say it's a step up from the Mitsubishi Outlander or the Toyota RAV4. It's definitely on par with the Honda CRV, and that's saying something for this Rogue. My only beef about the interior is it's spaciousness or lack of spaciousness. Now the seat has a height adjustment, but I have it all the way down as you can see the level of the window here is almost at my eye level. That's really disconcerting as a driver. I'm 5'10", so if you're taller than that, you might be uncomfortable in the driver's seat. Obviously, shorter drivers, you probably won't have that problem. If you'd like to recline, you probably won't have that problem either, but I had the seat the way I like it and I'm a little uncomfortable. Unlike the front seat, I actually find the backseat pretty comfortable. I have plenty of knee room, as you can see. The front seat's exactly where I had it as a driver. Head room's a little less than I'd like, but there is a sunroof and that cuts into headroom. I actually have my baby seat right here in the center for a number of days. It fits great back here as do passengers alongside it. So if you have a small family, it's a really good option. One of the main reasons you get a compact SUV like the Rogue over a sedan is for the cargo room and the utility. However, even though it is 28.9 cubic feet back here, that's well below the competition. So people that haul a lot of stuff, especially bulky items, you're really going to miss out because it's not that tall back here. If you just carry luggage and other kind of everyday stuff, groceries, you're not going to have a problem. A year after its debut, and the Rogue is still the top of one of the most competitive segments in the industry. It's got a lot going for it too, especially at affordable price, available all wheel drive, and it just earned a top safety pick award from the IHS, which is a great thing. So if you don't have a lot of cash and you need a compact SUV, the Rouge should definitely be on your shopping list. <v Voice-over>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, KickingTires.