September 29, 2014
When I took our long-term Chevy Silverado to a Tough Mudder event a few months ago, it proved to be the perfect transport for a group of dirty, sweaty and sore adults. Last weekend, I signed myself up for a 12.5-mile obstacle course called the Spartan Beast that promised similar levels of mud and pain. The forecast was for 105 degrees, and a few of my friends were joining me, so we needed seating for four, good air conditioning and a place for our muddy gear when the race was over.
For space and mud-friendliness, the obvious choice was our Ram 1500, but it was spoken for, so I went with our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue. It has enough space for four, and plenty of cargo capacity, but it turned out to be the wrong vehicle for the job.
September 8, 2014
Passengers and cargo are the 2014 Nissan Rogue's forte, and rear doors that open to 77 degrees emphasize the point.
Seventy-seven degrees feels close enough to 90 degrees to be useful and this kind of utility seems rarer than it should be among crossovers and SUVs.
It's odder still when it seems like most crew cab trucks offer similar functionality, and what are crossovers but more palatable covered trucks on comfier platforms?
July 30, 2014
What's the point of that "Power Door On/Off" switch to the right of that cluster on the 2014 Nissan Rogue's dash?
Well, first I'll tell you what it does: If you turn the button to "off," the power hatch function will no longer work via the push-button on the exterior of the hatch, or the one on the inside of the hatch. If you press that exterior hatch button when the main switch is "off," you'll still be able to lift the tailgate manually, though.
Full power will still work via the key fob as well as the button on the dash.
What I couldn't figure out was why have an "off" switch in the first place...
July 22, 2014
Just back from our annual wine country road trip in the 2014 Nissan Rogue. Several of my colleagues have commented on the compact crossover's roomy cargo hold, so we decided to really put it to the test.
On the way up from Southern California to the Napa and Sonoma regions there were four adults and luggage for a long weekend, not a terribly challenging load.
On the way back we lost our two passengers, who flew home. But we kept some of their luggage and augmented that with eight cases of wine (not all for my cellar; we buy for a small group of enthusiasts).
July 11, 2014
A hot summer weekend in Las Vegas: the perfect time and place for...a librarian's convention? Perhaps not. They must have got a screaming deal on hall space in the heat of summer. Nevertheless, my non-librarian wife had business there, so the four of us loaded into the 2014 Nissan Rogue and headed out across the desert on a recent Friday evening.
The odds of escaping town without hitting traffic were not in our favor, so we left at 8:00 p.m. It wasn't late enough. The Rogue's navigation system showed the dreaded dark red line extending some 80 miles east on Interstate 15 from just past Barstow.
So we took Interstate 40 and some deserted two-lane Mojave Desert back roads instead.
May 1, 2014
Our 2014 Nissan Rogue comes with configurable cargo area shelves. Nissan calls this feature "Divide-N-Hide," and it's actually a pretty neat setup.
April 24, 2014
Recently, I had to take a family road trip to visit my in-laws for Easter. Edmunds has a few three-row crossover SUVs in its fleet right now, but I had yet to drive our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue. This trip seemed like a good opportunity to see how well the Rogue would serve a family of four for about 700 miles round trip.
April 16, 2014
The 2014 Nissan Rogue is misnamed. This comfortable, competent crossover is not brash or belligerent, and its only unruly behavior comes from its loud and lazy continuously variable transmission. True, this is not an easy characteristic to overlook. For some, it will be a deal-breaker. But we've all got a derelict among our gene pool, so for the moment, overlook it we will.
Nissan would like you to think the Rogue rebels against its rivals, that it has uncommon swagger in its segment because of things like optional third-row seating and an ability to drive atop trains.
March 17, 2014
When I sign out an SUV like the 2014 Nissan Rogue for the weekend I always try to think of things I wanted to buy but were too big to load in my own car. My wife usually also has a list of her own things she wants to haul around. This weekend, we did it all in one trip: three big bags of mulch and one new bicycle.