At first glance, the interior of the Nissan Rogue seems nice, if somewhat plain. Closer inspection reveals some quality materials that are impressive for its starting price. The dash, for instance, is molded in a soft-touch material that would be right at home in a Lexus. The door tops also have a nice soft-touch material. The remainder of the materials are price-appropriate plastic that fits together well.
The instrument panel features only two gauges, the tachometer and speedometer. There is also a motorcycle-inspired round graphic readout that displays the fuel level and water temperature, and on Rogues so equipped, trip computer information.
The center stack features three easily used round climate control knobs, and Nissan's unique radio layout. It has substantially sized buttons, but the presets are grouped in A, B, and C folders, instead of AM and FM sets. It takes some getting used to, but with 18 total presets, most drivers will be able to program all of their favorite stations. An auxiliary input jack is provided for MP3 player connectivity.
Storage for small items up front is adequate. The center console has two integral cupholders and a small tray that will work for holding life's minutiae. If that's not enough, the console bin is very deep and is available with a removable tray to give it two levels of storage.
The driver's seat is comfortable and offers a good driving position, even though there aren't many seat adjustments. The tilt steering wheel helps, and there is enough head and leg room for all but the tallest drivers. There is good visibility to the front and the side mirrors are large, but over-the-shoulder visibility is compromised by a smallish rear window and rear side windows that are pinched at the rear. The ride height makes getting in and out of the Nissan Rogue very easy.
The second row is usefully roomy, with head and leg room that can accommodate adults, even with the front seats moved far back. Three adults in the rear will be cramped, but they should be able to deal with short trips. Toe space under the front seats is plentiful.
Cargo space is good but not at the top of the class. The second-row seats are split 60/40, and they fold flat in an easy one-step motion to open up the maximum 57.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
Rogue SL models include a folding front passenger seat. It folds almost flat to allow loading of longer items. The Premium Package adds a rear cargo organizer. It has a recessed floor and removable nets to act as partitions, both of which help prevent groceries from rolling around in the back.
While the low floor makes loading items easy, separate opening rear glass would make the cargo area even easier to access.