The 2014 Rogue arrives in November, priced just above $23,000, as a part of a new global family of Nissan and Renault vehicles. Around the world, our Rogue will wear an X-Trail badge; in other iterations, its architecture will spawn several more Renault and Nissan vehicles. Among its new features: a first-time third-row seat, a more flexible seating system, and a cargo-organizing setup with 18 possible configurations.
The Rogue embraces a new styling theme, one that dresses up its familiar proportions with more interesting surfaces. Nissan’s done a positively Honda-like job in the past few years, evolving styling in gradual steps to remove the odder flourishes of the past. Remember the last Rogue’s crazy grille treatments? They’re broomed; Nissan’s more traditional vertical-bar front end is in place, now braced by LED running lamps. The side sculpting’s borrowed some lessons from the wild Juke–and clearly has seen the latest Santa Fe and CX-5. There’s less of the recent Resonance concept than expected, but the shape pushes the Rogue’s corners in more evocative directions than the plainer first-generation crossover.
Inside, Nissan promises a more handsomely finished interior, with higher-quality materials. Given its work on the Altima sedan, it’s a safe bet Nissan won’t let the Rogue stray too far from a conventional look.
Rogue performance and gas mileage
The Rogue returns with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and continuously variable transmission found in the first-generation crossover. Power output’s still fixed at 170 horsepower, though Nissan says 175 pound-feet of torque put the Rogue at the top of the compact-crossover niche.
Improvements in efficiency are said to boost efficiency by about 10 percent; the estimated 33-mpg highway fuel economy rating on front-drive models pairs with a 26-mpg estimated city rating, and a 28-mpg combined rating. All-wheel drive will be an option.
The Rogue’s all-independent suspension and electric power steering gets some assistance in controlling the Rogue’s ride. A new function, Active Ride Control, directs the CVT and engine responses to smooth the Rogue’s body motions after it crosses a bump, Nissan says. Active Trace Control can also apply a brake or adjust torque to an inside wheel to aid cornering.
Seventeen-inch wheels with all-season tires are standard; 18-inchers are an option on the top Rogue.
Rogue comfort and seating
With just marginal growth in wheelbase (up just 0.6 inches), the Rogue hasn’t gained considerable interior room, which keeps it positioned at the smaller end of the compact-crossover class. It’s 1.2 inches taller, though, and doors open more widely.
As with the Altima, Nissan promises better seating comfort with especially dense seat foam, and quotes more room for back-seat passengers, thanks to a sliding and reclining second-row seat. The front seats also borrow a page from the Leaf playbook, with heating controls that warm up in more sensitive contact areas. A power driver seat is available, but like the Ford Escape, there’s no power offered for the front passenger seat–though it does fold down for more carrying capacity.
Maybe the most unusual decision is to offer a third-row seat in the Rogue, though there’s not a big increase in passenger space. Since the second row can be adjusted on a 9-inch-long track, the third-row seat could surprise us with decent leg room.
Rogue safety and features
All Rogues will come with standard curtain airbags and stability control, as well as tire pressure monitors. Nissan’s Easy Fill tire alert is also included. Options will include a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitors, a lane-departure warning system, and a forward-collision alert system.
The base Rogue S will be priced from $22,490, not including destination charges, and will come with power windows, locks, and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD player with a USB port; Bleutooth with audio streaming; and a rearview camera. The all-wheel-drive version of this model is priced from $23,840.
The $24,230 Rogue SV ($25,580 with AWD) adds 17-inch wheels; a power driver seat; satellite radio; automatic climate control; pushbutton start; and NissanConnect, which enables use of smartphone apps like Pandora.
For $28,070 ($29,420 with AWD), the Rogue SL gets Bose audio; navigation; a power tailgate; surround-view cameras; 18-inch wheels; heated front seats; and leather upholstery.
Options will include third-row seating; run-flat tires; a panoramic sunroof; those advanced-safety features; and LED headlights.