The 2012 Nissan Rogue is gaining a new feature that will make it easier to parallel park and maneuver in tight spaces. According to Nissan, the compact SUV will be offered with the automaker's innovative Around View Monitor, which includes cameras that provide a 360-degree view around the SUV's sides.

Available only on the upscale Rogue SL, Around View Monitor's debut in the small SUV marks its first appearance in a non-luxury vehicle. The helpful system debuted in the upscale Infiniti EX35 compact SUV, and is currently offered in several of the luxury brand's models.

"More driver's license tests have probably been failed due to the applicant's inability to parallel park than any other task," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager for Nissan North America's Nissan division. "It's anxiety provoking at best, and risks damage to a vehicle and surrounding property at its worst. Around View Monitor now comes to Rogue drivers' rescue."

According to Nissan, the system utilizes four small wide-angle cameras - one on the front, one on the rear, and two under each rearview mirror - to provide a full view around the vehicle. Images from each camera are stitched together on the Rogue's in-dash navigation screen, providing a virtual image of the SUV from above whenever reverse gear is selected.

Nissan says Around View Monitor was designed specifically to be easy to see and understand. According to the automaker, the system's virtual overhead view provides the optimal vantage point for parallel parking, with side views allowing drivers to judge their distance from the curb and front and rear views providing feedback on proximity to other vehicles.

With more than 10,000 sales recorded last month, the Rogue is Nissan's most popular SUV. Through the end of October, Nissan sold more than 100,000 Rogues in 2011 - an increase of more than 25 percent versus the same period in 2010.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on

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