- MSRP: $22,790
- MPG City: 26
- MPG Hwy: 33
- Seating Capacity: 5 or 7
- Rating: 8.3
The Nissan Rogue, new for the 2014 model year, is a carryover of the Rogue Select, now outdated but still in production. The new Rogue is more flexible and more comfortable with better handling and much better gas mileage than the Select.
The new Rogue styling theme makes its familiar proportions more contemporary in appearance. The grille is tidier, more straightforward, bracketed by angled chrome bars, and braced by more distinctive light-emitting diode headlights, and the front fenders are somewhat arched like sturdy shoulders. In the past few years, Nissan has moved styling gradually away from some odd flourishes of the recent past back to more mainstream, traditional contours. Side and fender sculpting push the Rogue in a more evocative direction than the plainer first-generation Select crossover. The more handsomely finished interior is better organized with materials of higher quality.
The Nissan Rogue gas mileage is significantly higher this year, rising from the ranks of the mediocre to the top level of compact to mid-size crossover sport utility vehicles.
The safety news is mixed. The redesigned 2014 Rogue won the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus designation, earning top ‘good’ scores in all five required categories; it also rates as “basic” rating front crash protection when equipped with the optional Forward Collision Warning System.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent gas mileage
- Cramped optional third row seating
- Reasonable cargo space
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Nissan Rogue comes in three trim levels: S, SV, and SL.
The Rogue interior trim is finished handsomely with plush, high-quality materials. Layout of the controls is elegantly ordinary, round knobs for climate control, a center stack with a liquid crystal display monitor, a cowl over the gauges, a slight dip over a pair of slim vents, but no fancy, all-touch interfaces, asymmetrical lines, or cluster of single-function buttons, just plain and simple detailing for a clean, uncluttered appearance.
Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, eighteen-inchers optional on the Rogue SL, both with all-season tires. Third-row seating, run-flat tires, panoramic sunroofs, advanced-safety features, and light-emitting diode headlights are all optional.
The base-priced Rogue S, available at $22,490, has power windows, locks, and mirrors, an AM/FM/CD player with a universal serial bus port, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and a rearview camera. The all-wheel-drive version of the S model sells for $23,840.
The $24,230 Rogue SV ($25,580 with all-wheel drive) has 17-inch wheels, a powered driver’s seat, satellite radio, automatic climate control, a push-button start, and NissanConnect for Smartphone applications.
For $28,070 ($29,420 with all-wheel drive), the Rogue SL gives buyers Bose audio, a powered tailgate, surround-view cameras, 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, and leather upholstery.
- Trim: FWD 4dr S
- Passenger Capacity: 5
- Passenger Doors: 4
- Transmission: Automatic
- Drivetra26 City / 33 Hwy
- Engine: Regular Unleaded I-4 2.5L/152
- Horsepower: 170 @ 6000
- Torque: 175 @ 4400 2.5L/152
“This roomier interior leaves space for an optional third-row seat, which Nissan says is for “occasional use.” We say this is an overstatement, as the ridiculously cramped sixth and seventh seats are more like jump seats barely even large enough for kids.”
– Automobile Magazine
“The NASA-inspired ‘zero gravity’ front seats are superb and the 40/20/40-split rear seats have padding in all the right places. Even the middle seat is livable.”
“”It doesn’t completely rewrite the compact crossover formula, but it doesn’t need to. Everything the Rogue does, it does well, and it’s a far better offering than the model it replaces. There isn’t anything to get particularly excited about here, but all in, the Rogue is a competent and relatively enjoyable offering in this incredibly competitive class. And that, folks, is just fine.”
Performance and Powertrain
The Rogue retains the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 170-horsepower engine and continuously variable transmission of the first-generation crossover Select. Acceleration is mediocre.
Give it lots of gas and the continuously variable transmission simulates an automatic with numerous sets of gears. But the Rogue has no fixed-ratio points or shift paddles, so the result is adequate but lackluster eight-second acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour and a noisy pause at the end. It’s more refined than the Select but less satisfying than turbocharged four-cylinders with automatic transmissions.
Noisy, unexciting acceleration from its four-cylinder engine may be the 2014 Nissan Rogue’s least attractive feature. Handling, however, is surer, much more confident than with the Select, and Nissan says 175 pound-feet of torque make the Rogue engine tops among compact crossovers on that metric.
Where the Rogue compensates for mediocre performance is in gas mileage. Both front-wheel and all-wheel drive Rogues rate 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in combined city/highway fuel economy, the front-wheel drive model rating 33 mpg on the highway. The 33 mpg highway rating is impressive, but the 28 mpg combined rating for either the front-wheel or all-wheel drive Rogue is even more so.
Last year, the front-wheel drive Rogue rated 23/28 mpg, the all-wheel drive 22/26. Still available as the Rogue Select, it may interest drivers who value low lease payments more than high fuel economy and high crash-test scores.
An optimized transmission and more efficient tires now give the Rogue excellent fuel economy ratings on either city or highway use. The front-wheel drive Rogue rates 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, the combined rating is the same.
All Rogues have standard curtain airbags and stability control, rearview cameras, tire pressure monitors, and Nissan’s Easy Fill tire alert. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the new Rogue Top Safety Pick Plus status. Blind-spot monitors, forward-collision alert systems, lane-departure warning systems, and surround-view cameras are optional safety features.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the new Rogue a four-star overall rating with three stars for front-impact protection but five for side impacts. As for visibility, the uptick at the rear pillars blocks some rear vision but less than do the pillars of the Select.
Blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warning systems, and forward-collision alert systems are optional safety features. One add-on everyone should have is the surround-view camera optional on the Rogue SV, standard on the SL. It brings together a 360-degree view of obstacles from a quartet of cameras that make parking anywhere almost a pleasure. Packaged with other useful SV options like smartphone connectivity, it’s worth the extra outlay.
Special Features and Interior Design
As with the Altima, Nissan has fitted the Rogue with a very comfortable driving position with a touch of steering-wheel tilt. Dense foam makes Rogue seats suitable for 12-hour trips. All seats are manually adjustable with power for the driver on the Rogue SV and SL, but there are no powered passenger seats. The front passenger seat folds down for extended cargo space, enough for an eight-foot ladder inserted through the tailgate. The front seats additionally have heating controls that warm up sensitive contact spots.
There is ample accommodation for adults in the second row seat, which adjusts on a nine-inch slide track to extend leg room, reclines for rest on long-distance trips, and is removable for maximum cargo stowage. The third row seat, barely adequate for small children, is an option unavailable on the premium Rogue SL model. Only the Rogue S and SV include it.
With just a small (0.6 inch) wheelbase increase, the Rogue hasn’t gained much more interior space over the Select, so it stays at the small end of the compact-crossover class on that metric. It has grown 1.2 inches in height, however, with doors that open farther for easier entries and exits that make the car feel more spacious than its predecessor.
Both second and third row seats split and fold for more or less cargo space as needed, 70 total cubic feet behind the front seats, 32 total cubic feet behind the second row, and 9.4 behind the third.
The Divide-N-Hide cargo setup is standard on five-seat models. Reconfigurable panels create storage boxes and bins for whatever cargo carried, from ice packs and beverages to boots muddy from back-country treks.
The Rogue excels in gas mileage and road manners. The Rogue’s all-independent suspension and electric power steering control the ride. A new function, Active Ride Control, directs engine and transmission responses to external conditions to smooth body motion after crossing bumps, says Nissan. Active Trace Control can apply brakes or adjust torque to inside wheels in cornering. The new Rogue feels more substantial and composed than the Rogue Select in every way.
The Rogue’s ride feels more secure and substantial than ever. Electric power steering is no problem as in some compact cars, no wandering on grooved concrete but smooth responses on changing surfaces and in changing conditions. The independent suspension makes ride quality very stable.
New stability-control logic electronically augments the suspension by damping acceleration to smooth out bumps rather than surge over them and by clamping the inside front brake to draw through corners nimbly.