EXTERIOR

While I'm not wild about the Rogue's looks, it is a unique-looking vehicle, and I respect that. The grille has a perforated, hole-punched look. It leans much more toward a sporty look than the utilitarian looks of its competition such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

Whatever I think of the looks, the Rogue does a nice job with the kids. The doors aren't too heavy or wide, so my kids could open them with ease and get in without incident. Parking-lot door dings and struggles to close the doors once the kids are in the car are a rarity in this five-seater. However, the step-in height will be a little high for preschoolers. The doors are a perfect height to get those infant carriers in place or buckle up your child without chronic head-bonking.

The Rogue's cargo door is easy to reach and operate. This may sound strange, but the liftgate stays low enough when open for shorter people to reach it easily. It's not too heavy, either, so I didn't have to figure out how to leverage my body weight to close it in one pull. For this, I thank you, Nissan.

The Rogue has a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and uses regular gas. A front-wheel-drive Rogue gets an EPA-estimated 22/27 mpg city/highway. The all-wheel-drive Rogue gets 21/26 mpg.

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