Styling & Interior

The Rogue's styling had been a bit anonymous, but a few exterior changes — more creases up front, extra chrome along the doors and grille — add some character. The silhouette remains the same, but it looks less bulbous now. The Krom edition adds more aggressive bumpers, a new grille, 18-inch alloy wheels and center-mounted dual tailpipes. Like its name, it's a bit much for me.

Save a crummy headliner, the cabin materials are actually quite good for this class. There's padding where it's needed, and panels all the way down to knee level have a decent, consistent finish. Storage areas abound, with a spacious center console and a mammoth glove compartment.

Unfortunately, the overall design is plain: vast stretches of nothing, too much dull gray plastic, a steering wheel and automatic gearshift that look like they were styled by a toy company. Other interiors, from the Chevy Equinox to the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, have inventive dashboards and eye-catching controls. The Rogue leaves no powerful impressions.

A navigation system, backup camera and USB/iPod integration are new for 2011. The navigation system has a small, 5.0-inch display. Based off an SD card, it's not as robust or quick to respond as many hard-drive-based systems, but it gets the job done. As part of a $1,700 package on the SV that also includes a moonroof and other features, it's also relatively affordable.

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    Exterior design
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