The updated Nissan Rogue is a spacious crossover with lots of amenities and some unique advanced safety features. Redesigned for 2014, the new Rogue replaces a model that stayed pretty much the same since its 2006 debut. Now with flared wheel arches and a more flowing, less angular shape, the Rogue has grown in every dimension. Interior space has gone up, as has the quality of materials and the availability of tech gizmos. Weight has gone up as well, reflected in the 2014 Nissan Rogue’s relatively leisurely acceleration.
Powered by a 2.5 liter 4 harnessed to one of Nissan’s redesigned CVTs, the new Rogue posts some surprising fuel economy numbers, at least for a vehicle of its hefty proportions. The EPA rates the Nissan Rogue SL AWD at 25 city/ 32 MPG highway and 28 overall, improvements of 3-5 mpg compared to last year’s model. However, in our around-town driving in the Rogue, we averaged only 20.6 mpg, enough to make us wonder what sort of hypermiling techniques were used to obtain the EPA ratings. The 2014 Rogue now uses more aluminium in its construction, in addition to a composite rear hatch, in the hope of saving some weight now that this Nissan crossover finds itself shopping at the Big ‘N Tall section. Aerodynamic tweaks help nudge the drag coefficient to .33, down from last year’s .36.
With its generous 70 cubic feet of cargo space, the Nissan Rogue is great for hauling groceries, luggage, camping supplies and even small furniture. Its panoramic sunroof provides a nice, open-air feeling for rear-seat passengers and the accommodations are generally comfortable. The interior, aside from the rather uterine shape of the steering wheel’s center section (call it “organic,”) is nicely designed, and it comes with the expected suite of phone/car compatibility features. I did find though that the power window switches were annoyingly placed, and that the gear-selector lever looked like something out of a mid-90s Mitsubishi Galant. Also, looking at the design of the rear hatch and taillights, I found a distinct tribute to one of the great classics of automotive art: the 2004 Lexus RX 330. These minor quibbles aside, the 2014 Nissan Rogue is a pleasant, practical and reasonably stylish crossover.