After what has to be one of the longest life cycles for a compact crossover, six model years, the second generation of the nissan rogue has finally arrived for 2014. But there’s nothing wrong with taking your time, if the result is worth the wait. Especially if you bring something unexpected to the party. And that’s exactly what the new rogue does.
It may have taken awhile for the 2nd generation, 2014 Nissan Rogue to arrive, but its arrival will not go unnoticed by the rest of the compact crossover segment as Nissan is making a serious attempt to grab a much bigger piece of the market. And we can all agree that in order for that greedy sales grab to take place, the Rogue will need to stand out more than before; so Nissan has brought about much change.
This is an all new chassis, one that will be sold globally; and while the overall length is actually down an inch to 182.3-inches, wheelbase, width, and height are all up. The upgraded looks feature lots of flowing lines and substantial wheel arches; all very reminiscent of the Rogue’s big brother Pathfinder. But the Rogue’s grille with its narrowed U shape is all its own.
And that slick new shape not only looks great but cuts through the air even better and works with an uprated CVT transmission to raise all-wheel-drive Government Fuel Economy Ratings to 25-City, 32-Highway, and 28-Combined. The Energy Impact Score is also very good for a crossover at 11.8-barrels of annual oil consumption with yearly CO2 emissions of 5.3-tons.
And while few mainstream compact crossovers deliver notable driving enjoyment, and none provide extreme levels of comfort, the Rogue has enough of both to keep your commute enjoyable and vacation time very pleasant. Active Trace Control uses selective braking to mitigate understeer and Active Ride Control goes one step further by using brakes and engine torque to reduce both vehicle vibration and body motion.
And there was a definite attempt by Nissan to go more premium on the inside, with very good material quality as well as more features like Nissan Connect.
But the most unexpected surprise by far is a new 3rd row option for 7-passenger seating. Access is aided by the EZ Flex sliding second row. But, as Rogue is still a compact, 3rd row space is expectedly tight, best fit for small children. Still, most rivals don’t offer comparable versatility. And, even with the 3rd row in place there’s 9.4 cubic-ft. of luggage space. Capacity behind the second row is 32.0 cubic-ft.
And with both rows folded, there’s a mid-size like 70.0 cubic-ft. And a trick divide-‘n-hide cargo management system helps you keep things organized. Working our way forward, new Zero Gravity front seats offer excellent comfort for drives both long and short.
But the newness doesn’t make it all the way forward however, as under the hood is the same QR25DE 2.5-liter I4 as before. There are updates in the name of efficiency, but horsepower and torque are unchanged at 170 and 175 lb-ft. And the usual excessive engine noise that accompanies a CVT is on full display as you work your way from a stop light, or in our case, down a drag strip.
Power is a tad soft at launch, but once those RPM’s reach their steady peak it feels fairly decent. The simulated shifts feel more like bouncing off a rev limiter and don’t really seem to help times. 0-60 takes a leisurely 8.9-seconds, with a slow quarter mile of 16.9-seconds at 83 miles-per-hour.
The fully independent front and rear suspension with stabilizer bars and twin tube shocks performs above average, provided you keep inputs smooth thus keeping the aggressive traction control from engaging. Except for some pretty hard nose dive, braking performance is also good, with stops averaging 126-feet.
Safety conscious families can opt for one of the two Premium packages to add a Blind Spot Warning system, as well as Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object detection.
As for prices, they slot in nicely against compact CUV rivals, starting at just $23,350. Top level SL trim begins at $28,930; and all-wheel-drive can be added to any Rogue for 13-hundred-50 dollars more.
While it was definitely long overdue for a re-design, it looks to have been worth the wait; as the 2014 Nissan Rogue appears to be a much more serious player in the segment. That’s good news for Nissan and good news for buyers looking for unexpected largess in a compact crossover.
Engine: 2.5-liter I4
Torque: 175 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 8.9-seconds
1/4 mile: 16.9 seconds @ 83 mph
EPA: 25 mpg city/ 32 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 11.8 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 5.3 tons/yr