With unrest plaguing oil-producing regions from Venezuela to the Middle East, and global oil demand growing hand over fist, the price of a gallon of gasoline can only go up. Accordingly, consumers in need of cargo and seating capacity are crossing over to more efficient car-based utilities, which explains why Ford Explorer sales are in freefall. No doubt eager to enter this hot segment, Nissan has taken its sweet time building a compact crossover of its own. Christened Rogue, Nissan's entry is squarely aimed at the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4, arguably the segment's top dogs. To separate the Rogue from the rest of the pack, Nissan gave it a few unique features, like a CVT and a rear cargo organizer. While it's hard to say if the Rogue is best in class, it is as good as any compact utility. Anyone shopping for a vehicle in this segment should definitely put Rogue on his or her shortlist.
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