2013 Nissan Rogue Expert Review

3.4 Overall Score
Performance 3.3 Comfort 3.2 Styling 2.9 Value 3.2

Editor's Overview

With an all-new model looming on the horizon, 2013 represents the end of the current generation Nissan Rogue. Despite its age, the Nissan Rogue is the only compact SUV to include a gearless CVT transmission as standard fare, and its tech-laden cabin offers innovative features like an available 360-degree Around View Monitor.

You'll Like The 2013 Nissan Rogue If...

If the boxy look of traditional SUVs leaves you uninspired, the Nissan Rogue’s shapely, sculpted exterior might be the answer you are looking for. Admirable fuel economy, affordable pricing and premium options combine to make the Nissan Rogue one of the most appealing small SUVs on the market.

You May Not Like The 2013 Nissan Rogue If...

If you believe practicality and power should never be mutually exclusive, the V6 Toyota RAV4 or EcoBoost-equipped Ford Escape will get your heart racing. And while the Rogue’s comparatively low starting price appears attractive on the surface, most competitors offer additional standard equipment for a marginal price increase.

What's New

With an all-new model scheduled to hit showrooms in mid-2013, the Nissan Rogue gets only a handful of updates for the 2013 model year. A new Premium Edition package replaces last year’s Premium Package, while the carryover Special Edition Package now includes Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker audio system.

Interior Features

The 2013 Rogue’s interior is characteristically Nissan, with simple and straightforward instruments, subtle seating fabric and lots of soft-touch finishes. The Rogue has a terrific set of comfortable contour-forming front seats, which are heated and covered in quality leather on SL models. Front-seat legroom is good for tall drivers, as is headroom. Unfortunately, the rear-seat passengers don’t have the same luxury, especially when the front seats are pushed all the way back. Storage space is ample in the little Nissan Rogue and includes an oversized glove compartment as well as a hidden cargo area behind the rear seat If we have one gripe with the Rogue’s design, it’s the large D-pillar that, while creating a cool and sporty exterior look, creates a sizable blind spot for the driver.

Exterior Features

Sharing its platform with the Nissan Sentra Sedan gives the 2013 Nissan Rogue the ride and handling of a car in the body of small SUV. The distinctive front grille and lower air intakes bear a slight resemblance to the larger Nissan Murano, and the alloy wheels and chrome door skirts seem to take after Nissan’s performance-oriented Maxima and 370Z. SV trims get bigger wheels and tires, as well as additional exterior enhancements including chrome exhaust outlets, roof rails and rear privacy glass.

Driving Impressions

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. Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission proved smooth and consistent, and definitely made the most of the little engine’s powerband while returning good fuel economy. Although the CVT is a gearless transmission, Nissan engineered artificial shift points that mimic a conventional transmission. The only time the CVT’s true nature is revealed is during wide-open throttle. In this condition, the CVT holds the engine’s rpm steady as the vehicle accelerates, creating a loud and somewhat harsh engine note. On winding back-country roads we found the 2013 Nissan Rogue quite happy to play, with good feedback through its electric power-assisted steering. Body lean and bounce were also quite carlike, an attribute we chalk up to the Rogue’s Nissan Sentra underpinnings.

Pricing Notes

A base front-wheel-drive 2013 Nissan Rogue S has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $23,000. A fully-loaded SV version outfitted with all-wheel drive comes in just over $30,000. Comparably-equipped Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage models are slightly less expensive, while the 2012 Toyota RAV4 and the 2013 Honda CR-V share a similar pricing structure with the Rogue. Our Fair Purchase Price located at the bottom of this page shows what consumers in your area are paying for their Nissan Rogues, so be sure to give it a look before heading to the dealership. Over time, the Rogue is expected to retain better resale values than the Ford Escape, but lag behind the Tucson, Sportage, RAV4 and CR-V.

Notable Equipment

In base form, the 2013 Nissan Rogue S includes a multi-information display, 60/40-split rear seatbacks, a handy under-floor storage compartment, and a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio port. SV models add a power-adjustable driver’s seat, premium fabric seating surfaces and a 6-speaker audio system with a 4.3-inch full color display and a USB port for portable music players. As is the case with most Nissan models, the Rogue’s steering wheel does not include a telescoping function. Standard safety equipment is comparable to most other small SUVs, but not exceptional.

Notable Options

With the majority of feature content bundled into packages, Bluetooth and all-wheel drive are the only individual options available for the 2013 Nissan Rogue. S models offer a Special Edition Package comprised of 16-inch alloy wheels, a mid-grade audio system a 4.3-inch color display, and a rear backup camera. Available on SV trims, the SL Package includes 18-inch alloys, navigation, a Bose premium audio system, Nissan’s exclusive Around View Monitor, and leather seats.

Favorite Features

Until recently, keeping your head on a swivel was the best way to successfully parallel park a car. By utilizing a series of external cameras to create a composite view of the vehicle’s surroundings, the Nissan Rogue’s available Around View Monitor gives you eyes on the back – and side – of your head.

Nissan is one of the few automakers to still embrace and refine CVT technology, and this 2nd-generation transmission is incredibly smooth and provides the 2013 Rogue with decent performance as well as laudable fuel economy.

Under the Hood

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. For those who need a vehicle that can tackle a variety of driving conditions and road surfaces, opting for all-wheel drive results in only minimal reductions in fuel economy.

2.5-liter inline-4
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/26 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Based on Nissan’s popular Sentra sedan, the 2013 Nissan Rogue is a compact SUV designed to stand out from the competition by way of its curvaceous carlike styling and class-exclusive in-vehicle technology. Similar to the venerable Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, the Nissan Rogue is powered by a thrifty 4-cylinder engine, offers an available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and starts under $24,000. The 2013 Rogue is also one of the only vehicles in the segment to feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which bolsters both fuel economy and power output. By incorporating a satisfying blend SUV, sedan and wagon DNA, the versatile 5-passenger Nissan Rogue can accommodate a wide variety of unique uses.

Road Test Video Reviews

  • Car Tech - 2013 Nissan Rogue SV
  • 2013 Nissan Rogue Review by Automotive Trends
  • 2013 Nissan Rogue Colorado Off-Road Review
  • 2013 Nissan Rogue S Full Tour & Startup
  • 2008-2013 Nissan Rogue review | Consumer Reports
  • 2013 Nissan Rogue SL AWD

Owner Reviews


341 Reviews

48% 40% 10% 1% 1%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

It is a reliable crossover SUV that will keep you safe if the worst thing on the road were to happen.

I like the fact that my car is reliable, and it has a diverse number of features. Also, I owned a 2012 Rogue before this one, and they're very similar cars. I lost the 2012 due to being in a car crash where it was totaled. To this day I believe I was able to walk away from that crash unharmed because of the many safety features of the car. I wish my vehicle sound system would integrate better with Android phones. When I plug my phone into a USB outlet, it will charge the phone, but that's it. Media doesn't connect. I have to use the AUX setting to listen to music, and manage it with my phone instead of the radio/steering wheel controls. The car also has an issue with the paint peeling on the front by the windshield. This is a problem seeing as the car is from 2013 and there should be no rusting in a car less than 10 years old that is taken care of.

- Arianne S

Mostly a good car but some minor faults especially for taller folks.

The car is small for a sports utility vehicle. I previously owned a Nissan pathfinder and that car had a lot more room for loading things in the back as well as space for comfortable sitting. I have taken my rogue on quite a few road trips but it is not as comfortable for passengers. My boyfriend is 6'4 and his head almost hits the roof when he is sitting in the passenger seat. The way the front of the vehicle curves reduces the amount of headspace for those in the front seat if they are tall. I also do not like that the USB and aux outlets are at the bottom of the storage compartment beneath the arm rest. If I want to plug something in I have to remove everything from the compartment and then the position of the outlets makes it hard to plug anything in. I feel safe driving my car. I like the camera and find it really helpful when parking.

- Katie H

It's very basic, but not a bad midsize for the price.

At first sight, I loved the 2013 Nissan Rogue. I had two kids under two, and I needed more room than my old car could offer. The back seat is fairly roomy, though it could be bigger. The front is just okay, in my honest opinion. The storage space leaves much to be desired, and the floors don't seem all that big. It's almost uncomfortable to have anything at your feet while riding. The stereo system works, but it's not impressive and very old looking. The trunk is probably the best part. Plenty of space, and if necessary the seats fold down. We were able to transport a dishwasher with the seats folded down. Overall, the Nissan Rogue is good if you're just looking for a midsize with the basics. I'm no car expert by any means, but I have seen older models of other makes with much better features and better prices.

- Kimberlyn U