In the years since we first drove the Nissan Rogue back in the Fall of 2007, it has been a favorite around The Garage every time one is in our test fleet. Each time we’ve reported about how much we love Nissan’s little suv. Now that we’ve spent a week with the 2011 version, we still love it.
Perhaps we continue to love it because the revamp it received for the 2011 model year was essentially a face lift rather than a complete going over. The Nissan press material says:
Among the many enhancements for the fourth year of Rogue production is a redesigned exterior featuring a new front fascia and grille, front chin spoiler, rear spoilers, new chrome side door guard molding trim accents, new front and rear tire deflectors and a new chrome license plate finisher. Also added for 2011 are available 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, new lower rolling resistance tires (available with the 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels) and a new under-body cover.
The cosmetic stuff is nice and all, but the reality is that the core vehicle just fits so well into our family’s lifestyle. The Rogue is comfortable and versatile, with a tactile feel that rivals that of vehicles costing much more money. Add in the outstanding reliability record and Nissan has a golden package on their hands.
It pains me to think that I’m writing holiday gift suggestions before Halloween, but I’ve had so many cool things sent my way to write about that I’m just going to have to go for it. Besides, here in Southern Ontario we’ve had frost a few times already so the time is right to talk about the Garant SnoFlex shovel.
This morning arrived with a bit of a conundrum here in The Garage. With a huge blast of winter forecast for this evening, what will my weapon of choice be for the drive into the big smoke. Let’s see now: old Nissan Xterra with some sort of generic snows, 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4×4 or the 2009 Saab 93 Aero Xwd. Hmmm.
The Xterra was the best choice For Mamma G to cart snow covered kids around town for the day, so that left the big honkin’ pick me up (no snows) or the Saab with brand new Hankook snows. As much as I’m really enjoying my time with the Ram, the Saab was the flavour of the day given the more appropriate contact devices.
Its pretty common for reviewers to compare any Saab to a fighter jet given Saab’s other product line. I suppose that’s a fair comparison, as the 93’s interior feels like it means business. Completely free of squeaks and rattles, with absolutely no outside noise to detract from my enjoyment of the Charlie Brown Christmas tunes I loaded on my iPod last night. No noise other than the surprisingly aggressive growl from the turbo V6 motivating all 4 wheels through a sweet 6 speed autobox.
Winter 2008 has been one of the worst on record here in Ontario. The snowfall record in Toronto was 207 cm (81.5 inches) and was set way back in the 1930’s. As of Thursday, we had received over 170 cm. On Friday & Saturday, Mother Nature dumped another whopping 30 cm.
Winter weather has been getting more and more unpredictable over the past few years here in Ontario. Apparently last year we only received a total of 60 cm (27.7″) over the whole winter. So far in the fall of 2007, we’ve had almost that much already! Our Chrysler 300 tester stayed parked on Sunday.
The crazy thing is that they are predicting we will have a green Christmas!
For years now, I’ve been enlisted to don a Frosty the Snowman suit for the Whitby Santa Claus Parade on behalf of the dance studio our daughter goes to. It makes the kids happy (well, the 13 year old is suitably embarrassed) and believe it or not, I have a blast doing it. Over the past few years it has become increasingly colder, which certainly makes it a challenge to be Frosty. After all, that suit looks toasty, but there isn’t room for anything more than gitch and the wind howls through the fleece.
Yesterday was a frosty -12 C. For our American friends, that is just a tad over 10 F. Talk about frozen snow balls!
I don’t know about global warming, but the weather patterns have certainly been changing. It used to be the parade would occur well above freezing and if there was snow in November, it was a fluke. Last night we had snow storm #2 of the season already, which has dumped about 4 inches, with foot tall drifts! I just can’t wait to see how this winter pans out. Not!
The first winter storm, is always the worst. It doesn’t matter how much snow falls, the city always comes to a stop. Yesterday it rained all day until about about 10 pm, when it turned to ice. Early this morning, it turned to snow around 6 am, just in time for rush hour. As you can tell from the shot above, traffic was at a standstill. That’s probably a good thing, as it’s hard to crash when you’re parked! I made it from Whitby to Scarborough, a grand total of 28 kilometers in an hour and 40 minutes.