New for 2008, the Nissan Rogue SL comes decked out with a number of features that put it a step above the entry-level Rogue S trim, including 17-inch wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, and a stainless-steel exhaust tip.
In addition, the SL offers a number of options not available with the S trim, including steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, foglights, heated outside mirrors, a keyless entry and ignition system, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and a digital Bose audio system with a 6-CD changer. So if any of those options, not to mention a number of others, appeal to you, you'll have to choose the Rogue SL trim to get them.
Officially classified as a crossover vehicle, the Rogue SL sits on a platform borrowed from the Nissan Sentra and sports an exterior design borrowed from the Nissan Murano. What's more, it offers the cargo space of a midsize SUV as well as the improved gas mileage many drivers demand today.
A lightweight 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter, double-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine powers the Rogue SL, and while the vehicle won't break any speed records, it does eke out a respectable 27 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. The engine links to a quick-shifting Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), one of the features that distinguishes the Rogue from other crossover vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.
Inside features include sporty gauges, illuminated steering-wheel controls, two-tone supportive front seats, and fold-down rear seats, all designed to appeal to younger, urban drivers. The Rogue SL also comes equipped with a wide range of safety and stability features, including side-impact airbags, traction control, antilock brakes, steel side-door guard beams, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Drivers and reviewers note that the Rogue definitely provides a sporty driving experience, with good handling and performance, as well as a contemporary look that makes it stand out from the crowd.