Nissan’s completely redesigned 2014 Rogue is now on sale, the second generation of the popular compact crossover that first arrived for 2008.With the arrival of the new model, the car also is now available with a third row of seating, giving it a maximum capacity of seven passengers; the previous generation had only two rows, with room for up to five.There are three trim levels – the base S, midlevel SV and top-of-the-line SL. All three models are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive.Prices begin at $22,490 (plus $860 freight) for the S model with front drive, and $23,840 with all-wheel drive. The SV lists for $24,230 with front drive, and $25,580 with all-wheel drive; the SL begins at $28,070 with front drive, and $29,420 with all-wheel drive.Until now, the Rogue had been produced in Japan for the U.S. market, and in a surprise move, Nissan said it would continue to sell the previous-generation model, at least through the 2014 model year, with production of that version continuing at the factory in Japan. It’s called the Rogue Select, and it begins at $20,000.As for the new generation, it’s been completely redone, with lots of improvements. It fits into the Nissan lineup of crossover utility vehicles below the midsize, five-passenger Murano and the full-size, seven-passenger Pathfinder. The Pathfinder also is made in Tennessee; Nissan this year also is moving production of the Murano from Japan to the U.S., but to its plant in Canton, Miss.All models of the Rogue -- the second-best-selling vehicle in Nissan’s U.S. lineup, behind the Altima – come with a 2.5-liter engine four-cylinder engine, rated at 170 horsepower and 175 foot-pounds of torque, connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission.Front-drive models have EPA fuel economy ratings of 26 mpg city/33 highway/28 combined; with all-wheel drive, the ratings are 25 city/32 highway/28 combined. Those ratings are an improvement over the previous generation, as the Rogue Select, the carryover model, has EPA numbers of 23 city/28 highway/25 combined with front drive, and 22/27/24 with all-wheel drive.That difference reflects some of the changes Nissan made to the new generation to improve fuel economy, including some lighter-weight materials and a more-aerodynamic exterior.We tested the Rogue SV all-wheel drive on a variety of roads, ranging from freeways to hilly country lanes, and found the four-cylinder engine to have plenty of power, even when passing on two-lane roads and merging into traffic on uphill freeway on-ramps.Rogue’s next-generation CVT shifts smoothly with a minimum of engine run-up that’s often noticeable with such transmissions. It seems more like a conventional transmission with defined shift points.The cabin is very quiet, even at highway speeds, which is something of an improvement over the previous generation – not that it was particularly noisy, though. Although the Rogue has electric power steering, it seemed tight and responsive, especially on some curvy back roads that I routinely use to check out road-handling attributes. With its four-wheel antilock disc brakes, the Rogue’s braking was safe and confident.Designed primarily for kids, the third row of seating is available only with the S and SV models; Nissan said it would not offer the top SL model with a third row because that would put it into competition, pricewise, with the midsize Pathfinder, which is standard with three rows.A Family Package adds the third row for $1,190 on the S model, and $940 on the SV.I found the driver’s seat quite comfortable, even for a daylong drive. I also took a turn sitting in the second row, and had plenty of legroom. We put a couple of teens into the third row, and had no major complaints, but I wouldn’t expect adults – or big teens -- to want to ride back there on a regular basis.With the third row, you’ll also get the new Rogue’s new EZ Flex seating system. It allows every seat except the driver's to be folded down easily to increase cargo space. There is up to 70 cubic feet of cargo space with both of the rear seats folded. The front passenger seat can be folded to the rear, allowing long items such as two-by-fours or ladders to be carried when the 40/20/40-split second seat and 50/50-split third row bench seat are folded down.There is 37.9 inches of legroom in the second row, which can be moved fore or aft with a nine inch range of movement. Rear doors have a wider opening for easier entry and exit, and the tailgate lifts up in one piece.On two-row models, there is a new Divide 'n Hide cargo system, which has 18 different cargo/seating configurations. They include a compartment to hide items out of sight, and a lower deck to handle taller items.The new Rogue has a slightly longer wheelbase (0.6 inches), along with short front and rear overhangs, with the wheels pushed to the four corners. This helps increase interior space. It’s also 1.2 inches higher, giving it more headroom.Among new exterior features are halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, body-color mirrors with integrated turn signals, and a rear spoiler. Optional are self-leveling LED headlights, fog lights, privacy glass, roof rails, heated outside mirrors, and a power liftgate.The optional power panoramic moon roof has a front panel that slides and tilts, but the rear panel is fixed. When the front panel is opened, it slides under the second panel.High-tech features available on the Rogue include NissanConnect with Navigation and apps, Nissan’s nifty Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection; Blind Spot Warning; Lane Departure Warning; and Forward Collision Warning.The Rogue's new front bucket seats use a "zero gravity" design, which was introduced last year in the redesigned Altima. They provide continuous support from the pelvis to the chest, and are designed to help reduce fatigue during long drives.Optional Quick Comfort heated front seats immediately begin warming the body parts that are most sensitive to heat, such as the thighs and hips, Nissan said. There is a six-way adjustable driver's seat (power and lumbar support optional), while the passenger seat is four-way adjustable. Various storage cubbies and nooks are provided throughout the cabin. There are six front storage areas, five within reach of the driver, two front cupholders and two front bottle holders.Standard are electroluminescent gauges; a front center console; power door locks with automatic locking; power windows with one-touch up/down for the driver; a five-inch color display for the driver-information system; air conditioning with micro filter and adjustable second-row vents; AM/FM/CD audio system, with four speakers, USB port, Bluetooth audio streaming, and auxiliary input jack; LED map lights; rearview monitor; and Bluetooth phone connection with Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.The Rogue comes with a four-wheel independent suspension, electronic stability control with traction control, and Hill Start Assist. The optional all-wheel drive includes Hill Descent Control.Available are dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, and a premium Bose audio system with nine speakers.S models come with 17-inch steel wheels and 225/65R17 all-season tires; SV versions get 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; and SL models have 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/60R18 all-season tires.Other standard features on our SV model included dual-zone automatic climate control, privacy glass, the Nissan Intelligent Key with pushbutton start, six-way power driver's seat, power driver's seat lumbar support, satellite radio, NissanConnect Apps, two more speakers for the audio system, roof rails and automatic headlights.The SL model comes with leather seats, an outstanding Bose audio system with nine speakers, the NissanConnect system with in-dash navigation and seven-inch color touch-screen display, the power liftgate, the nifty Around View Monitor, fog lights, the Quick Comfort heated front seats and outside mirrors; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.Standard safety features include front seat-mounted side air bags; roof-mounted side-curtain air bags with rollover sensors front and rear; and the LATCH system for child-safety seats. Child-safe rear door locks are included, along with an anti-theft alarm and tire-pressure monitoring with Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert system.Exterior color choices are Midnight Jade, Saharan Sun, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Moonlight White and Graphite Blue. Interior colors are Charcoal and Almond.Extras on our tester included the Family Package, the Moon Roof Package ($1,320); and the Premium Package ($1,420), which brought the NissanConnect system with navigation, the Around View Monitor, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Moving Object Detection and the power liftgate.Total delivered price of our SV all-wheel-drive model was $30,120, including freight and options. The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
2014 Nissan Rogue
The package: Five-door, five- or seven-passenger, front- or all-wheel-drive, four-cylinder, compact crossover utility vehicle.
Advantages: Nissan’s compact crossover has been completely redesigned for 2014, with new exterior and interior styling, lots of standard amenities, and new standard and optional high-tech features.
Negatives: Third-row seat is tight for adults; no engine upgrade offered for those who want more power.
Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder.
Transmission: Continuously variable automatic.
Power/torque: 170 HP./175 foot-pounds
Length: 182.3 inches.
Curb weight: 3,393-3,545 pounds.
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; side-curtain for all rows.
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Cargo volume: 9.4 cubic feet (behind third row); 32 cubic feet (behind second row).
Towing capacity: 1,000 pounds.
Fuel capacity/type: 14.5 gallons/unleaded regular.
EPA fuel economy: 26 mpg city/33 highway/28 combined (front-wheel drive); 25/32/28 (all-wheel drive).
Major competitors: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Outback, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Santa Fe, Dodge Journey, Mazda CX-9.
Base price range: $22,490-$29,420, plus $860 freight.
Price as tested: $30,120, including freight and options (SV all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger).
On the Road rating: 9.2 (of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.