2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD: What's It Like to Live With?
Read the latest updates in our long-term road test of the 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD as our editors live with this car for a year.
What do you want to know about?
- 360-Degree Parking Camera
- Feature Rich
- Cargo Area
- Easy To Get Comfortable
- Engine Up to the Task
- Effective Visors
- Fuel Economy Update for March
- Crash Test Safety Ratings
- Odd Mix of Materials
- Hard To Find Sport Mode
- Nice, But CVT Is a Deal Breaker
- Charming, Thoughtful and Misnamed
- Easy To Park
- Child Safety Seat Install
- Family Road Trip, Packing Up
- Family Road Trip, Driving Impressions
- Helping You Avoid Crashing Into Things
- Solar Eclipse Visors
- Useful Cargo Area Configurations
- LED Headlights
- Perfect Storage Tray
- Fuel Economy Update for April
- 5,000 Miles
- Sunroof Tilt Caveat
- Glad To See Rear Vents
- Graphic Display
- Funky New-Car Smell
- Solid Rear Seats
- Fuel Economy Update for May
- Do You Know What Pure Drive Is?
- Real-Time Traffic
- Terrific Front Seats
- First Oil Change
- Edmunds Rating
- Recessed Knobs
- Loose Lug Nut Recall
- Super-Sized Crossover
- Fuel Economy Update for June
- Las Vegas Road Trip Observations
- Well-Designed Cruise Control Buttons
- Hauls More Than You'd Think
- Power Door On/Off Switch
- Fuel Mileage Update for July
- Power Door On/Off Switch, Revisited
- 10,000 Miles
- Rear Vents Revisited
- Armrest Report
- Multifunctional Visor
- Instrument Flight Rules
- 10,000-Mile Service
- Straightforward Climate Controls
- Wide-Open Spaces
- Fuel Economy Update for August
- Safety Rating
- Windshield Wipers
- Performance Testing
- Disappointing Road Trip
- Seat Heater Review
- Fuel Economy Update for September
- Three Child Seats A Possibility
- Subwoofer Packaging
- Non-Gated Shifter
- Helpful Cargo Floor Dividers
- Sunroof Warmth
- Door Locks
- 2015 Rogue Price
- Fuel Economy Update for October
- Suffering a Flat Tire While Parked
- Helpful iPod Interface and Voice Commands
- In Partial Defense of the CVT
- A Runabout That Gets the Job Done
- 15,000 Miles So Far
- Fuel Economy Update for November
- 15,000-Mile Service
- A Sales Hit
- Another Family Road Trip
- A Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats Fits, But I Do Not
- A Comfortable Ride
- Seatbelt Pinchr
- Fuel Economy Update for December
- Portland Road Trip Part 1
- Portland Road Trip Part 2
- Portland Road Trip Part 3
- Portland Road Trip Part 4
- Stink Removal
- 20,000 Miles
- Fuel Economy Update for January
- Oversensitive Blind-Spot Monitor
- 20,000-Mile Service
You might not be familiar with the Nissan Rogue, but more than 160,000 were sold last year, making the compact crossover the second-best-selling vehicle in the company's lineup. Nissan wants to keep that momentum going in the face of stiff competition from Ford, Honda and Toyota, so the Rogue received a full redesign for 2014.
'The sheet metal has been sharpened dramatically, leaving the crossover considerably less egg-shaped than its predecessor. LEDs, which seem to be required on all automobiles these days, have been arranged to surround the headlights in a boomerang design. The Rogue has grown slightly taller and wider. Cargo space has increased and the extra room allows an optional third row to be installed in the S and SV trims. Most notably, this Rogue has a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that promises improved efficiency.
What We Got
Even in its most basic S trim, the 2014 Nissan Rogue comes loaded with standard features. For an MSRP of $23,350 including destination charge, this well-equipped crossover includes power mirrors, a rear spoiler, rearview camera, rear air-conditioning vents, a touchscreen radio with a 5-inch display, a four-speaker sound system and a multifunction display sandwiched between the tachometer and speedometer.
Stepping up to the SV trim adds $1,740 to the list price. It adds 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic headlights, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, lumbar support for the driver seat, and six-speaker audio. If you are so inclined, you can also option features such as power heated mirrors, panoramic moonroof and a 7-inch navigation screen that cannot be ordered in the S trim.
To decide how many of its options are worth the scratch, our Rogue is a top-of-the-line SL trim. The Rogue SL is an extra $3,840 over the SV, but again, the list of additions is substantial. The wheels are now 18-inchers, and there are foglights, leather seats and a premium nine-speaker Bose audio system. Options on the SV trim, such as the heated power outside mirrors, power liftgate, navigation system and 360-degree overhead monitor are all standard. We like our utility vehicles to be used in a variety of situations, so we ordered ours with all-wheel drive.
No matter the trim, the 2014 Nissan Rogue is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to Nissan's latest CVT, which drives either the front or all four wheels, depending on which box you tick. It is worth noting that AWD is available on every trim level, so it is possible to purchase a versatile, sure-footed Rogue without all the added weight and cost of comfort and technology packages. All-wheel drive adds $1,350 to the cost of the Rogue, regardless of trim level.
Other than the equipment offered as standard on the SL trim, our tester was equipped with floor mats ($125) and the Premium package. The $1,990 add-on includes a panoramic moonroof, LED headlights, moving object detection, and blind spot, lane departure and forward collision warning systems. Including $860 for destination, our tester totaled $32,395.
Why We Got It
The compact crossover utility vehicle market has never been hotter, with the segment accounting for 10 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. last year, and growing. The Nissan Rogue is in 4th place behind the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, and all have been refreshed and renewed over the last couple of years to keep competition fierce.
We docked the first-generation Rogue a few points for its balky CVT, lack of storage space and the high beltline and small rear window that compromised outward visibility for the driver. Despite these flaws, the Rogue was an instant hit that has only grown more popular since its inception. Nissan is betting big on one of the heaviest hitters in one of the most aggressive segments in the industry, but will it pay off? Follow along on our Long-Term Road Test page as we find whether the updated Rogue has what it takes to unseat the kings.
Best mpg: 26.9
Worst mpg: 24.2
Average mpg over 829 miles: 25.1
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Our 2014 Nissan Rogue is the highest trim level available, known as SL. Standard on the SL (optional otherwise) is a 360-degree parking camera that is pretty rare in this class of vehicle. Rearview cameras are standard on rivals like the 2014 Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but a 360-degree camera (or Around View Monitor, as Nissan calls it) isn't even on the options list for most competitors.
Combined with a crisp display and a logical control layout, the 360-degree camera helps the Rogue's interior feel classy and modern. Parallel parking is often the only option in Los Angeles (as in any big city), and technology like this makes any car much more versatile.
The 360-degree camera on the Rogue allows me to see items like tow hitches, passing traffic and curbs, and subsequently avoid them. With multi-angle cameras like this on more vehicles, there'd likely be fewer dented bumpers and curb-damaged wheels all-around.
The compact SUV segment is crowded and Nissan is clearly trying to load up the 2014 Rogue with features to elevate it in the rankings. Currently the Nissan Rogue is in 4th place behind the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.
For me, I'd want an SUV with the latest safety features, all of which are found in the Rogue's $1,990 premium package. Among other things it includes: moving object detection, blind spot warning, lane departure and forward collision warning systems.
In congested areas like Los Angeles, these safety features are also stress reducers for the daily commute. The only thing it doesn't have is adaptive cruise control, yet another fatigue-reducing feature gradually making its way into lower-priced SUVs.
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.
The Rogue's seats fold down without taking off the headrests. And after you are tired out from loading the stuff, you just hit the button on the automatic tailgate to close it up. They call this a compact SUV but it is plenty big to take care of all my cargo needs.
The mark of any good crossover is ease of use. Whether it's how it drives, how quickly it connects with your phone or how easy it is to open the doors, everything should work with little effort.
And that was the impression I got after driving our 2014 Nissan Rogue for the first time last night. Getting in is easy thanks to light doors with big handles and a modest seat height. Once you're situated, the seat has a good amount of adjustment and the controls are simple. I found it easy to find a comfortable driving position for my six-foot two frame.
Even though the Rogue isn't a very big vehicle, it feels spacious inside. Nothing crowds the driver unnecessarily and there are good sight lines through the windshield. There's easily reachable storage space ahead of the shifter and between the cupholders which are also well placed.
In other words, you can get in, get situated and ready to drive without having to look for anything twice. That's a good setup in my book.
Looking at the 2014 Nissan Rogue from the outside, it looks too big to only have a four-cylinder engine. But that's the way crossovers of its size are headed these days. It's pretty much a four-cylinder or nothing.
After driving it for several hundred miles this weekend, however, I'm not so sure it needs anything bigger under the hood. It feels adequately powered on the highway and although it can be caught out on occasion in town, it's pretty rare.
Much of it has to do with the standard Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Because it's able to adjust the gearing to fit the situation, the engine is often running in the heart of its powerband. It's only when the CVT is "thinking" about it that the Rogue gets a little sluggish.
Thankfully, that doesn't happen all that often. In fact, once you get used to the CVT's tendencies, it's pretty easy to predict how it will react to various throttle inputs. I wouldn't go as far as to say I wouldn't prefer a standard automatic just yet, but so far I'm fine with the CVT in this Rogue.
Driving into the sun is no fun, especially when a vehicle's sun visor isn't big enough to prevent you from getting zapped in the eyes. Thankfully, the 2014 Nissan Rogue's designers realized this and equipped this compact crossover's big windshield with equally generous visors.
Swinging them straight down as shown here provides plenty of sun-blocking ability. Should you not need that much glare protection, you can obviously just push them towards the windshield for less coverage.
We're still getting to know our new 2-14 Nissan Rogue and March was our first full month of recording the crossover's fuel economy. After 10 fills, averaging about 9 gallons per fill, we're well shy of the EPA combined rating of 28 mpg.
That said, we achieved 26.4 mpg on our standard test loop run through the local mountain roads, freeways and city streets, and should see better lifetime averages as we pile on the miles with freeway commutes and road trips. We shouldn't waste time. The scant snow that has fallen in our locals and in the Sierras is melting fast.
Best Fill MPG: 26.9
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 22.3
EPA MPG Rating: 28 combined (25 mpg city/32 mpg highway)
Best Range: 334
Current Odometer: 2,773 miles
Three stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover crash test.
Five stars is the highest rating from NHTSA.
Additionally, the 2014 Rogue earned the highest Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an improvement over the outgoing model.
The Top Safety Pick+ designation is based on the new Rogue's "good" ratings in the latest round of IIHS crash test results released in late March.
Materials quality isn't typically a big deal when it comes to midsize crossovers like the 2014 Nissan Rogue. It's meant for families, so the interior trim usually leans towards durability above all else.
Our particular Rogue has plenty of that durable looking material on the dash and doors, but it also has an odd splash of black "carbon look" trim as well. I can see the need to break up all the standard stuff with something a little flashier, but this particular black on black combination just looks odd in a vehicle like this.
The only other interior color available on the Rogue is a tan-on-black combination which probably looks quite a bit better with the shiny black trim. Then again, tan is never great when it comes to wear over the years, so this might be the better combination after all.
This is the "sport" mode button in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. It's buried on the left side of the steering wheel along with a half dozen other auxiliary controls. Seems like an odd placement for a control like this. It's almost as if Nissan doesn't want you to know it's there.
Like most sport buttons, it's designed to give the vehicle a livelier feel by adjusting the throttle settings and transmission shift points. Because of that, it also reduces the fuel mileage, so I can see why Nissan might want to keep it a secret.
Since the Rogue has a Continuously Variable Transmission with no gears, I was curious how much difference it would make. Turns out, it's subtle but noticeable. The throttle definitely reacts more quickly to inputs, but it's not overly jumpy. As far as the transmission goes, the Rogue's CVT simulates gear changes to make it feel more natural, so in sport mode it merely changes its simulated shift points.
It's most noticeable when getting on the freeway under full throttle for an extended period of time. Like a standard automatic, the Rogue's CVT merely holds its simulated gears longer to wring the most out of the four-cylinder engine. It's actually quite effective as it gets up to highway speeds quickly. I definitely prefer the feel in sport mode, although the tradeoff in fuel mileage might not be enough of a tradeoff.
I spent a few days in our new 2014 Nissan Rogue. It's a nice, roomy crossover that's comfortable with plenty of space for a small family and their things (and relocating their things). It's got a power liftgate. Once used, you'll never want to lift a slab of glass and steel by yourself again.
But the CVT is not one of the Rogue's flattering features. In traffic and around town, it delivers the classic rubber band sensation that requires delicate throttle inputs and out-thinking the transmission logic simply to sustain a smooth ride. And the Rogue isn't available without it.
People smarter than I can articulate why CVTs tend to work better with large engines. I just know that they do. The CVT matched to the 3.5-liter V6 in our former long-term Nissan Quest, for example, worked great. That van's seamless power delivery was one of its defining features.
Not so the Rogue. The gear selector stalk includes an "overdrive" lockout button, which for our purposes we'll rename push-to-pass. You need to get friendly with this button to extract any swift sauce from the Rogue. All that could be forgiven if the Rogue delivered exceptional fuel economy. But we're 3,000 miles into this test and we've yet to near the EPA-rated 28 combined MPG. We're hanging around in the low 22's combined.
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.
Please. The Rogue is simply thoughtful and considerate. It has two rear cargo trays, for example. I needed to test one of them and this seemed like an appropriate and vaguely scientific method. All CUV/SUVs should offer these, especially as flat rear floors become more common and that happy byproduct of the transmission/exhaust tunnel — the two- or three-grocery bag cradle — disappears.
The contents here slid around a bit en route to the task at hand, but arrived at destination unbroken, unshaken and still cold. Success.
The bird's eye view parking camera is starting to become mainstream now and for good reason. Of all the parking aids that have been added to modern cars, it's one of the most useful.
There's no doubt that the backup camera is a big help when easing into a space. No more "feeling" around for that bumper behind you.
But the bird's eye view camera adds the element of overall positioning to the mix, an upgrade that goes a long way toward helping to determine if you're really going to be able to squeeze into that tight parking spot. Granted, drivers should be able to accomplish this on their own without the need of visual aids, but in the real world that is rarely the case. And even if you can parallel park with the best of them, it never hurts to have a second set of eyes.
On the 2014 Nissan Rogue, this feature comes standard on the SL. It's optional on the SV, but not available on the base S model.
I'm often shuttling my children (ages three and six) to school and various events. So I was curious to see how easy it would be to install child safety seats into our 2014 Nissan Rogue.
I have two seats currently, a Recaro booster seat and a Britax Marathon reversible seat.
I didn't encounter any issues installing the Marathon seat in its front-facing position. The Rogue's rear head restraints can be easily removed, allowing a tighter fit against the seatback. The seatbacks can be reclined as well. These positive qualities also apply to installing a booster seat.
The Rogue's seat cushions are pretty flat. For installing safety seats, at least, that's a good thing. The LATCH anchors are also easy to locate and use.
In its rear-facing position, the Marathon seat obviously takes up more space. In the photo, the front seats were adjusted for me (I'm 5-feet, 10-inches tall) and the rear seats were slid as far back as they could go. (Note that the safety seat wasn't fully cinched down in the photo; I was just looking to demonstrate fitment.) There wasn't much space left between the safety seat and the passenger-side head restraint. But I think the Rogue has enough rear legroom that adult front passengers shouldn't commonly need to move their seats up.
Overall, the Rogue fared well in this install. Obviously, other child safety seats could be different, and I only checked the outboard positions, and not the center. But if you've got small children and are considering purchasing a Rogue, I suspect you'll be pretty happy with this aspect of Nissan's small crossover.
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.
Unlike some of my trips in the past with long-term vehicles where I had expedition-levels worth of stuff to bring (here's one example from Edmunds' long-term 2011 Toyota Sienna) this trip was pleasingly normal. I had two big suitcases, two duffel bags and a few other bags and items, but nothing excessive.
The Rogue handled our luggage with ease. I slid the second-row seats up a few inches to better fit the suitcases. I didn't have a need to utilize the cargo area's underfloor storage areas, but it was nice to know they were there. The power liftgate also came in handy.
I've got a near three-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl. I wrote about installing their safety seats earlier, but, in short, the safety seat installation was trouble-free. The other nice aspect about the sliding second-row seat is that it placed our kids closer to my wife sitting up front. Snack distribution would just be an arm's length away. The Rogue's cupholders, door bins and center console storage areas also worked well for holding our water bottles and personal effects.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the Rogue's amount of room and cargo customization possibilities. Next up, how it drove.
This is the second update about a recent family road trip I took in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. In the first I covered the Rogue's cargo-carrying abilities. Following are opinions on how the Rouge fared for comfort and performance on the road.
Typically, on trips like this I'll hear complaints from my family about being uncomfortable, too hot, too cold or just too close to each other. But at least on this trip everybody seemed fine. The front seats are comfortable for long durations and the rear seat vents, while not overly powerful, did at least help out with getting airflow back to my kids sitting in back. Occasionally my two-year-old would kick the back of my seat. I had slid the rear seats up to increase the amount of available cargo space. That got annoying. But overall the Rogue's got a nice amount of interior space.
I like the way the Rogue drove on the highway as well. It tracked straight, requiring little steering correction, and the ride quality was pretty smooth. Wind and road noise were subdued, and the Rouge did seem pretty quiet when we were cruising along. Headlight performance, thanks to the LEDs, was crisp and bright.
Then there's the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. Sigh. Honestly, I've got mixed feelings about the whole thing. We've already tallied a fair number of updates on this subject. Most recently, Dan Frio called it a deal breaker. Here's my take: For normal acceleration and cruising, the CVT is fine. I rarely notice its inherent CVT qualities. It keeps the engine quiet and gets the job done. It's nice to have on hilly terrain, too.
But when I needed to quickly get on the gas for some power, say to pass or deal with quickly changing traffic, the Rogue's powertrain became a liability. In situations like this, it felt slow and sounded distractingly noisy. There was little I could do to manage the engine as there's just the overdrive-off button, which is only useful at higher speeds, or the Low gear mode, which zings the engine unnecessarily right up near redline.
Overall, though, the Rogue was nice to have on this trip. For a family of four, it was the right size, and it did well on the important stuff. As of this writing, I hadn't yet officially calculated fuel mileage, but based on the in-car gauge I'm guessing I got right around the EPA average of 28 mpg.
Among the many changes to the redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue is the addition of new safety features. Specifically, our loaded-up Rogue SL comes with 360-degree parking cameras, frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, rear cross-path detection and blind-spot monitoring.
Other popular small crossovers (CR-V, CX-5, Equinox, Escape, Forester and RAV4, for instance) offer some combination of these features but only the Rogue offers all of them. If you want maximized vehicle-based assistance for not crashing into things from your small crossover, the Rogue is at the ready.
I've driven our Rogue extensively the past two weeks and think many drivers will find these systems useful. As we've commented previously, the parking camera system is very handy and appreciated on an almost daily basis. The frontal collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems also work as advertised. During that two-week stretch, the frontal collision warning system beeped at me only once. I didn't feel like I was in any particular danger in that situation (I did get suddenly close to another car ahead of me), but it made sense for the system to beep at me. The lane departure warning system also warned me on the times I purposely wandered over a lane divider or a double-yellow line without using the turn signal.
With these systems all on, I will admit that the potential for the various beeps to become annoying is fairly high, even in normal driving. But the nice thing is that Nissan gives you the option of disabling them individually in the car's settings if you so desire.
In the past, I've been critical about a car having small sun visors (the Tesla Model S comes to mind), but our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue marks the first time I've complained about one being too big. I was driving the Rogue this weekend and grabbed for the sun visor. I pulled it down to a 90 degree angle from the roof, and it just about blocked my entire field of vision.
I took the photo above (parked on the side of the road), with the camera roughly at my eye level. I should point out that I'm not tall, just an average 5'8", so my height wasn't the issue. The Rogue's sun visor is about 8 inches high, twice the size of a Model S visor. The only way I could use the visor was pushed back against the windshield and even still, it sagged slightly and blocked my view by about a half inch. This means that the visor essentially has two modes: off and on.
If the Model S and the Rogue represent two extremes, I'd say that a good sun visor would be something that falls in between, perhaps 5 or 6 inches top to bottom when it's fully open.
How are the sun visors in your car?
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.
Divide-N-Hide consists of two removable shelves that cover a lower cargo area that's a few inches deep. Normally you'd just have the shelves placed flat, creating a flat load floor. In an earlier update by Dan Frio, though, you can see in his picture where he lifted up the rearward shelf and then secured his groceries in the lower cargo area.
Here's the main "Divide" option. In the top photo of my update here, I've lifted up the front shelf and placed it on its upper tier. This allows you to put items both below it and on top of it.
You can also "Hide" personal items like backpacks or purses by then taking the rear shelf and locking it into a perpendicular position.
I like how these configurable shelves add some extra versatility compared to what's available in the typical small crossover SUV. But you only get them if you opt for the five-passenger Rogue. Otherwise this space is taken up by the optional third-row seat.
We've written a few updates already about the LED headlights on our long-term Acura MDX. But going largely unnoticed so far is that our 2014 Nissan Rogue has them, too.
The LED headlights are an optional feature that comes as part of the SL trim level's Premium package. This is the only way to get them, and it's the only headlight upgrade offered on the Rogue. (Other features of the Premium package include the panoramic sunroof and a bunch of safety features: forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and moving object detection.)
That package has an MSRP of $1,990. Is it worth it? Well, I do like these LED headlights. They project a bright and crisp pattern and should be a big step up from the regular halogen lights. Plus, some competitors, like the Honda CR-V, don't offer an optional light upgrade at all.
I will note, however, that there doesn't seem to be a very noticeable performance difference between these and what you typically get from xenon headlights.
Yes, this one falls into the no-brainer category. You would expect there to be a handy storage tray in the center console of a modern crossover like the 2014 Nissan Rogue, but that's not always the case.
Sometimes, the enclosed section of the center console takes up all the space, while other times this area in and around the shifter is used purely for cupholders or control buttons.
In this case, Nissan kept it simple. Nothing fancy, just an easily accessible tray that can hold a cellphone and some keys. It's rubber lined so stuff doesn't slide around and there are handy power points nearby.
Again, nothing huge here, but something that I use nearly every time I get into Rogue.
After two months of driving the 2014 Nissan Rogue, the crossover finally hit its 28 mpg combined EPA rating. Brent Romans' recent road trip showed that the Rogue will reach the combined number, but the highway estimation is a lofty 32 MPG. On this trip, the Rogue was loaded with luggage and a family. Perhaps a solo journey is necessary to reach that top-end number.
For the month of April, the Nissan Rogue earned an average fuel economy of 26.4 mpg, compared to 22.0 in March. This month's superior numbers have bumped up the overall average to 23.9 mpg.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9
Best Fill MPG: 28.3
Average Lifetime MPG: 23.9
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 338.8 miles
Current Odometer: 4,600 miles
I spent the last few days tooling around in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue running errands, driving kids to school, and driving grown-ups to a fancy Mother's Day dinner.
The Rogue is one of those right-size vehicles, with a great mix of features and utility. It comfortably carries real adults in the backseat, is easy to step out of at the valet stand, and offers a power hatch for extra jackets and bags.
All said, a nice package for $30,000.
On my drive into the office, the Rogue's odometer passed 5,000 miles. I'm sure I'm not alone in looking forward to the next 5K.
Let it be known immediately that I am no fan of sunroofs. I'll spare you the rant.
Our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue has a sunroof. A big panoramic job. And what do you know, it can tilt. However, there's a caveat to its tilting function.
The tilting of a sunroof provides one of the vanishingly few functions of such contraptions, that of ventilating a hot cabin of, erm, fouls smells and stiflingly hot air. Hot air is caused by (among other things, some will argue) the sun. The sun, it turns out, is a giant firewall of nuclear fusion looming large over our heads.
In the pursuit of ridding an automobile cabin of hot air whether parked or in motion, it would behoove a sunroof to tilt (and thereby vent) while simultaneously blocking the radiation spewing from said nearby star. Many sunroofs/moonroofs allow this. They tilt while the sunshade can remain closed, as it moves independently of the glass portion. Thus, they ventilate while preventing the 4-billion-year-old sphere of horrific plasma from further heating up the cabin (and/or your skull). Genius!
Not so with the Rogue. You want to tilt its sunroof? No problem, it'll tilt. However, the catch is that its powered sunshade must necessarily be retracted halfway, exposing half of the glass area overhead and putting your pate in direct line of sight of the screaming nuclear inferno. And since the Rogue has a gigantor panoramic sunroof, half of something the size of Africa is still pretty danged huge.
So, yeah, it'll tilt, but only on its own terms.
Midsize crossovers often offer rear seat entertainment systems, rear seat heaters and even rear window shades, but rear air conditioning vents aren't always an option. No idea why as it seems like anyone stuck in the back seat would at least want to be comfortable if not entertained.
As you can see, our 2014 Nissan Rogue has dedicated vents for the rear passengers. There's nothing fancy about them like actual temperature controls or fan speed dials, but they're better than nothing. As simple as they are they go a long way toward making the Rogue a far more comfortable place to be when you have extra passengers on board.
This quick shot of the center display in our 2014 Nissan Rogue test vehicle doesn't really do justice to the system's fantastic graphics.
I'm always impressed to see such a clear visual of what looks to be our actual Rogue, all painted-up pretty in Cayenne Red. Sure, lots of cars offer great graphics these days, but it's still cool to see this quality on our $32K crossover.
The interior in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue has a strong "new-car" smell and it's a bit funkier than it is fresh. In most cars I enjoy the new-car smell but not in the Rogue, and here's why.
Number one: The smell is too strong. If I put the A/C on or open the windows for a minute, the smell will temporarily go away. But if I spend any significant time parked with the windows up, the interior fills up with the smell again.
Number two: It smells cheap. Without a modern breakthrough in smell-o-vision I can't relay exactly how the interior smells but it's a synthetic odor that I'd describe as a mild stench rather than a strong scent.
If you were picking up a first date in the Rogue without airing it out first, she won't say, "Oh it smells nice and new in here." She'd probably just avoid mentioning the smell and stop returning your calls. Yeah, it was totally the car's fault.
The extended periods of time our long-term cars spend parked underground in cool garages and driving around with the windows up probably contributes to the smell lasting longer, but next time I drive the Rogue, I'll be investing in some overbearing, flower-scented air freshener to cover it up.
Rear seats tend to be afterthoughts in most crossovers. Other than the ability to fold, second row seats don't often have much in the way of features.
That's why I've been pleasantly surprised by the rear seats in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. They not only have a decent amount of room for knees and toes, there's a solid amount of headroom, too. The seatbacks also recline which goes a long way toward making it feel like there's more room.
As you can see, the center armrest also has two good size cupholders, and as I mentioned in a previous post, there are two air conditioning vents as well. Finally, our Rogue has the optional Panoramic sunroof, so even if you're in the back seat, it still feels quite airy. All in all, it's a well-designed setup that takes some of the sting out of not calling shotgun.
Our 2014 Nissan Rogue did normal mixed driving duty this month. There were no big road trips, just commuting, school runs, weekend errands, etc.
We added a little more than 700 miles this month, averaging 22.8 miles per gallon. This brought our lifetime average down .2 to 23.7 mpg.
But we haven't had the Rogue very long yet. Now that the weather is getting warmer, expect this five-seater to go on a few road trips, and hopefully improve our fuel economy numbers.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 23.7 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 338.8 miles
Current Odometer: 5,558 miles
There's a "Pure Drive" badge on our 2014 Nissan Rogue.
Does that mean it's a hybrid? No.
A hydrogen-powered Rogue? Nope, not that either.
Those would be reasonable guesses, but they give that little badge too much credit. Turns out "Pure Drive" is simply a name for what Nissan says is "our action to improve fuel economy of engine-powered vehicles."
By that, Nissan means squeezing out every last piece of efficiency on conventionally-powered vehicles. In the case of our Rogue, it involves the use of a CVT in place of a traditional automatic transmission. As far as I can tell, there isn't much more to it than that, although there are no doubt dozens of small changes made throughout the vehicle to improve its efficiency.
Nissan isn't the only car builder that has decided to attach a name to fuel efficiency. Mazda does it with Skyactiv which sounds even more bizarre and hard to explain than Pure Drive. Mercedes has Bluetec, but it mainly applies to its clean diesel technology.
So although our 2014 Rogue isn't a hybrid and it doesn't emit water, it's more efficient than the last Rogue. Does that deserve a badge? Nissan thinks so.
The above photo is a glimpse into a usual day in the life of an Edmunds editor. That's my afternoon commute. Our 2014 Nissan Rogue displays real-time traffic on its map. Unfortunately, it's always red in my direction.
The irony of our jobs is that we get many cars to drive and test, but we're usually stuck in L.A. traffic.
On my way to work in the morning, I spotted a sign on the freeway in a certain construction zone: 55 Speed Limit, Strictly Enforced.
I think the city displays signs like this to mock us. My top speed at the time on the 405 freeway was about 27 mph. And that's a good day.
What are traffic conditions on your commute?
If there's an area Nissan continues to get spot-on these days, it's the seats in its cars and SUVs. Particularly the front ones. And it's no different with this 2014 Nissan Rogue.
I was suffering from a sore and tired lower back when I got into the Rogue to drive to work this morning (I'm blaming it on a hard mountain bike hill workout, not old age), yet almost instantly the seat's support, in all the right places, made me feel better.
Nissan calls these seats "zero gravity," and says they were inspired by NASA.
Apparently, that's not just a bunch of marketing hype, because dangit if they aren't super comfortable. They are so supportive that I didn't even need to turn the power lumbar up from its lowest setting.
At 5,000 miles our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue was due for its first oil change. I had already signed up to drive the Rogue for a few days this week, so test-fleet task master Mike Schmidt asked if I could take the Rogue to a local Nissan dealer.
Cerritos Nissan is approximately 10 miles from my house, so I dropped it off early one morning. The service writer called an hour later to say the Rogue was ready to go.
The first visit was a deal at just $35.36.
If you're not familiar with the ratings section of Edmunds.com, it's a great way to find out our test teams' collective feeling about each new model.
Our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue earned some high praise in areas like fuel economy and ergonomics, but took a few hits in areas like acceleration and visibility. Ultimately, the newly redesigned Nissan crossover drove away with just an overall "B" grade.
Click here to read the detailed comments about the Rogue's rating.
I haven't spent a lot of time in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue, but one thing popped out to me immediately. Recessed knobs. Yes, I'll admit I get obsessed with the weirdest things.
Seriously, though, recessed knobs. Why? What's the point?
All it does is make it incrementally harder to turn a knob. I don't see how it makes any aesthetic sense, either. So my open letter to Nissan design is short and sweet: "Dear Nissan, it's not the end of the world, but please stop doing this. Thanks."
The problem was traced to an assembly process error that occurred between March 7, 2014 and March 10, 2014, so it was pretty easy for us to determine our Rogue was not involved since our long-term test began February 19.
But if there's a chance your Rogue is affected, owners can call Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.
The 2014 Nissan Rogue may be categorized as a compact crossover, but this latest building-wrap billboard along the 405 freeway near the Los Angeles airport is anything but small.
Redesigned for 2014, Nissan's Rogue is the automaker's second-best-selling vehicle. And Southern California freeway travelers are bound to take notice.
We drove our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue 1,517 miles during the month of June, but we still haven't matched the EPA's estimates for fuel economy. The lifetime MPG for the Rogue dropped slightly again this month (from 23.9 to 23.8 mpg overall) but on the bright side, we set a new best for most miles travelled on one tank of fuel.
And just how far did the Rogue go on one tank of gas? Glad you asked.
Using 13.6 gallons of fuel, it went 353.4 miles between fill ups (or 26.0 mpg). Our best recorded mileage was 28.3 mpg back in April, but even that is still about 4 mpg shy of the EPA's highway estimate of 32 mpg.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 23.8 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 353.4 miles
Current Odometer: 7,075 miles
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.
We made good time, but the ride wasn't all that pleasant on the admittedly coarse two-lane back roads of our self-imposed desert detour.
The Rogue did a good job of dealing with the rise and fall of the road without floating or bottoming, but it wasn't that adept at filtering out the texture of the asphalt. The ride was busy much of the time, and it was loud. Tire noise was our constant companion on anything less than new pavement, of which there was none.
And then there's that massive sunroof, which popped and creaked on a particular 20-mile stretch. I could stop the noise by putting pressure on the joint between the two large glass panels, but it would return as soon as I removed my hand.
As prevalent as the noise was on Friday's outbound leg in the cool nighttime air, I couldn't replicate it during the heat of our Sunday afternoon return trip on the same road.
The four of us had plenty of space, and the generous luggage compartment held all of our stuff with room to spare. I didn't strictly need to set the multi-level cargo floor to the lowest "basement" setting before we loaded, but doing so kept the luggage-tops out of my line of sight whenever I glanced in the rear-view mirror.
From a driver's perspective, the steering tracked straight and true. The Rogue responded obediently when the odd corner came at us and the chassis remained stable and composed through a couple of sharper-than-expected turns that appeared out of the darkness.
But I was in a near constant state of annoyance when it came to the throttle pedal, which is uncomfortably stiff. It takes more than the usual amount of effort to prod the engine into any kind of acceleration, which has the effect of making the engine feel weaker than it really is. And I'm not talking about attempts at leadfooted hooliganism. It's apparent during routine tasks like freeway merging and passing — even cruising, if there's a little headwind or a slight grade to climb.
Once you realize there's more power on tap, the whole thing comes across as a cheap parlor trick intended to improve fuel economy by discouraging the use of the available horsepower and encouraging the use of cruise control.
The tactic doesn't work very well.
Our trip consisted of over 600 miles of nearly pure highway driving, during which the Rogue averaged 26 mpg. That's a full 6 mpg and nearly 20 percent off its 32-mpg highway rating. It's even 2 mpg below its EPA combined rating.
Say what you will about the Rogue's CVT automatic transmission. I happen to think that Nissan has done a good job of tuning away the weirdest and most disjointed traits the worst CVTs are known for.
That said, I also think that CVT transmissions in general are one of those self-serving fuel economy strategies that engineers choose primarily because they do well when subjected to the reserved pace and tempo of the official EPA test pattern. I haven't seen one yet that can live up to those government-sanctioned promises in real life. I've developed a strong suspicion that CVTs miss the mark when driven "normally" by a wider margin than other types of automatic transmissions.
Steering-wheel-mounted cruise control buttons are a nice convenience feature to have if they're designed well. Some designers try too hard to make them look interesting while others don't try very hard at all. In either instance you're left with buttons that require far too much attention to use on a regular basis.
The cruise control setup in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue does not fall into those categories. It's straightforward, easy-to-learn and usable without looking. Just hit the main "on/off" button and then set the speed with the rocker switch. You even get a readout on the instrument panel to confirm your set speed. From there you flick up and down to change speeds and hit either the on/off switch or the "cancel" button to turn the whole thing off.
It could be even cleaner by eliminating the on/off switch or the cancel button. They pretty much do the same thing, not to mention there's always that big cancel button below your feet known as the brake pedal. Still, it's hard to complain when it remains easier than most to use.
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).
In addition to their bulk, all those bottles added almost 350 pounds of weight to our load, which was already boosted a bit by the added poundage we packed on from a few good meals and accompanying beverages.
You can see from the photos that the rear was completely filled. The load included four weekend suitcases, two briefcases, a medium-sized cooler, several jackets, two pairs of hiking boots, a large ceramic vase and those eight cases of wine.
I used the Rogue's multi-level storage system to lower the cargo area floor a few inches for the wine (making a nice well that kept it from rattling around) and installed the moveable floor pieces to provide a flat, sturdy cargo floor above the wine cases for the rest of the stuff.
We had to get all the cargo into the official cargo space because our traveling companions were in the back seat for the trip from the wine country down to the San Francisco area, where they caught a plane home while my wife and I took a few extra days for a leisurely 600-mile jaunt down the Pacific Coast
The Rogue returned what I consider acceptable fuel economy for a heavily loaded crossover. We averaged 24.4 MPG over the first leg of the trip, a bit more than 975 miles from home to and around Napa and Sonoma counties and then back down to San Francisco, much of it traveled at highway speeds. On the return along California's rugged coast, with the wine but with two fewer people and suitcases on board, the Rogue averaged a respectable 26.7 MPG over nearly 600 miles.
Overall it was a pleasure to drive. We were in pure cruising mode, not pushing things, so the CVT was hardly noticeable, performing well even on the twisty portions of Highway 1.
The ride was comfortable. Even our passengers — he's 6'-5" and she's 5'-8" — said they didn't feel cramped, although he did spend the trip in the front passenger seat due to insufficient headroom for such a tall person in the back.
Especially noteworthy is we experienced little body roll or bounce on the rough coastal route, even with the cargo area jammed to the top. And visibility was decent even when backing up, thanks to a lot of help from Nissan's excellent rear camera system.
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...
I put a call into our contact at Nissan, and this is what he told us:
"The intention with the switch is to give ultimate levels of flexibility to our customers. The driver can now choose to always operate the liftgate with power or to operate it manually. Imagine a scenario where a young child is playing around with the liftgate: The driver can eliminate the distraction very quickly."
Not sure how much we'll use this button here at Edmunds, other than to mess with unsuspecting editors who aren't aware of the button (and why aren't they reading my updates?!). It's not all that unlike how Mark Takahashi loves to turn on the seat heaters in a car right before I take it out on the test track on a 100-degree day. Real nice, buddy!
We have a good time here.
We put 2,645 miles on our 2014 Nissan Rogue during the month of July. We averaged 24.2 mpg during that time, using 109.3 gallons of 87-octane fuel. Our best fill-up for the month was 27.7 mpg, our worst tank was 19.5.
This brings our lifetime average fuel mileage from 23.8 up to 23.9 mpg. We're still considerably below the EPA ratings of 28 mpg combined (25 City/32 Highway).
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 23.9 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 353.4 miles
Current Odometer: 9,663 miles
Blame it on Road Test Assistant Cameron Rogers. He's the one who initially thought the door was broken, not knowing some power function had been eliminated because someone had turned the main power switch to "off." I'm into blamestorming.
The reason Nissan gave us for the purpose of this main power button had to do with the "distraction" of the exterior power hatch button related to kids. Put in non-politically-correct speak, this feature means you can eliminate the annoyance of your kids constantly hitting the power button.
But that got us to thinking, is that really the whole reason? Just to turn off the exterior power button? I mean, it also turns off the functionality of the power hatch close button, too, but that is situated so high, how would your kids get to it? Or did it also serve so that, on models equipped with a third row, a kid couldn't open the hatch from the inside when the tailgate door is closed?
Now even though our Rogue is a two-row model, I still wanted to find out. So last weekend I took one for the team, climbed in the back and hit the hatch's interior power button, closing the door on myself. I then realized that once the hatch is closed, the power button is located in a position that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to hit the button anyway. Which totally makes sense.
Through much effort I was in fact able to squeeze my long, lady-like slender fingers far enough between the floor and the hatch to push the button, but it turns out Nissan built in a safety feature so that the button is only functional when the hatch is open. Meaning this button is strictly for closing, not opening. I know this because when I pressed the button, nothing happened. Even with the main power switch "On."
You don't need to say it, I'll say it for ya. I need to get a life. But it's all Cameron's fault anyway (see, more of the "blaming").
Here it is: our celebratory 10,000-mile photo of the 2014 Nissan Rogue brought to you 92 miles late. The pic is late because the odo clicked to five digits while I was southbound on the 405 freeway, headed to San Diego.
In Southern California, if you get an opening in traffic that allows you to run at-speed for 100 miles, you don't stop to take photos.
The Rouge was the perfect accomplice for this last-minute 200-mile round-trip drive. Good seats, great nav and plenty of room in the back for the birthday gift I hauled back.
As Executive Editor Ed Hellwig pointed out earlier this year, our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue's climate control system offers rear vents for backseat passengers. However, we've found that the vents do little to increase the comfort of the rear seat riders during the hot summer months.
Complaints were spewing forth nearly nonstop during the last few warm days, with whiny kids lamenting they were, "Too hot!" and had "No air!" while strapped into the second row.
Was it that hot? Probably not. But they weren't exactly getting a powerful breeze, either.
I don't know if I have particularly bony elbows or what my problem is (don't answer that last question) but I pay special attention to armrests, both door and center, and how well-padded they are.
I absolutely can't stand it when I get into a car and there's either near-zero padding or your elbow falls readily onto a piece of plastic trim.
So: how are the armrests in the 2014 Nissan Rogue?
The answer: Excellent, and only okay.
The door armrests have plenty of thick padding, so much that it seems no matter how hard you press on it you never find the bottom. Perfect.
The center armrest is nice and wide, but is only marginally padded. It doesn't take much elbow pressure to hit hard plastic. Not sure why Nissan did such a great job on one, but fell short on the other.
Normally I'm not a big fan of stuffing multiple features onto one part, but the visor clip in our 2014 Nissan Rogue isn't a problem. In fact, it's actually quite handy.
Clips like this have been used on various cars for years, but they always seem to be jammed into random places. Volvo liked to put them on the A-pillar while one long-term car that I can't remember actually had a credit card-like slot in the dash to hold access cards.
Putting a clip right there on the visor is a better, and probably cheaper, solution that works well. It's right in front of you when you need it and it doesn't take up any extra space on the dash. That's good design in my book.
Maybe you can see the problem here. The 2014 Nissan Rogue is a nice enough crossover even with a lousy transmission, but you really can't see squat behind and outside of it. Now, this may be a biased photo, taken from around the center of the dash for demonstration and not wholly representative of the driver's perspective.
But as you can see: There's a lot of dead view here. From the narrow, possibly Kia-inspired tiger nose rear glass, to the large swath of plastic at the D-pillar and the headrests, there's not much for a driver to do except take a quick scan, study the mirrors and, when in reverse, fly by the rearview camera.
With 10,000 miles on the odometer, our 2014 Nissan Rogue was due for its scheduled service. This visit was about as easy as they come. It might have been even easier if the dealership had its online scheduling system dialed-in...
We went to the Surf City Nissan website to schedule an appointment. It was one of the most logical designs we've seen so far. According to the manual our car needed fresh oil, a new filter and a tire rotation. So we added each item a la carte and our estimated total came to $110. The appointment was set for 7:30 the next morning.
When we arrived the service advisor had no prior warning. I told him my appointment was for 7:30, gave him my name, my contact info, and the list of items on our Rogue needing attention. It was annoying since I'd already input this information on their Web site. "The online reservation system is still new," our advisor said after I suggested he try inputting the confirmation code I printed. He typed it and, there I was, along with all of my info.
Aside from the extra effort, albeit minimal, our experience was unremarkable. No upsells. No hassle. Unremarkable in a good way. It was even better once we saw the new, $30 estimate. The difference between this and the online quote had to do with an available coupon rate. That's a serious coupon.
Ninety minutes later we were driving home. The work requested was performed and the outside of the car washed. We would use this dealership again in the future. Its staff was polite and we received more friendly "hellos" and "good mornings" than we could count. I'd be interested in trying the online scheduling again to see how the kinks work out.
Total Cost: $29.95
Total Days out of Service: None
I like the simplicity of the climate controls in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. Nothing fancy, just large buttons and dials that can be used at a glance.
Fellow editor Mark Takahashi can't stand the recessed temperature knobs, but I find them easy to find without looking, a definite plus compared to systems with too many lookalike controls.
There's a grand total of ten buttons for the whole setup. Not bad for an automatic system with dual temperature controls. There are a couple buttons that could have been consolidated into one, but the final layout looks clean.
As nice as it is to have options, I find setups like this preferable for family vehicles like the Rogue and other such midsize crossovers.
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?
Our former long-term Honda CR-V had them, and I believe they exceeded even 77 degrees. Offhand, I can't recall any notable others. Although the width between the B-pillar and the widest point of rear entry is almost 33 inches, the actual useful aperture is really about 28.5 inches, taking into account the space consumed by the rear door panel.
That may not sound like a lot, but it's enough for loading and stacking a few rows of 18-inch boxes or larger, more awkward sizes. It looks wide enough to shimmy a dog carrier suited to your average terrier. I'm pretty sure it's enough to load a whole bin of TransAm parts destined for the junkyard.
Added utility comes from the sliding and reclining second row, its 40/20/40-split folding configuration and, ultimately, the 70 cubic-foot cargo space more fully accessed from an open lift-gate.
Anyone who's even gone camping and fully loaded the rear access before remembering they still need to load coolers full of bacon, brats and beer will appreciate the Rogue's wide open door angles.
While our 2014 Nissan Rogue didn't venture on any long road trips this month, our crossover still racked up a respectable 1,830 miles during the month of August.
Thank the Rogue's spacious storage area and trick 360-degree camera for its popularity among our staffers.
The Rogue's average lifetime mpg hasn't changed much since April. It's fluctuated by 0.1 mpg on a month-by-month basis, but the overall figure is still 23.9.
That's shy of the EPA's city rating, and far away from the combined estimate.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 23.9 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 357.8 miles
Current Odometer: 11,496 miles
While other parts of the country are getting hit with major thunderstorms, drought-struck Southern California finally scored itself a substantial sprinkle.
Months often go by here without the need for windshield wipers.
Yep, our 2014 Nissan Rogue's wipers still work.
Nothing about the specs sheet on the 2014 Nissan Rogue screams "track." Sure, all-wheel drive helps with the going fast sometimes, but the application here is geared for bad-weather safety and not lap times. Our Rogue's also got a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine pumping out 170 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission with a bent towards, you guessed it, fuel economy.
So we weren't expecting to tear up the pavement when we took our 2014 Rogue to the track. But what kind of numbers does this four-cylinder, 3,641-pound crossover do when the pedal hits the metal?
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Drive Type: Transverse Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Continuously variable
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected, inline-4, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,488 / 152
Redline (rpm): 6,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 170 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 175 @ 4,400
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch one-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.7-inch one-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 225/60R18 100H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/60R18 100H M+S
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: ST30 Grandtrek
Tire Type: Regular
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,641
0-30 (sec): 3.4 (w/ TC on 3.7)
0-45 (sec): 5.9 (w/ TC on 6.2)
0-60 (sec): 9.3 (w/TC on 9.6)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 9.0 (w/TC on 9.6)
0-75 (sec): 14.1 (w/TC on 14.3)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.9 @ 81.7 (w/TC on 17.1 @ 81.8)
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 124
Slalom (mph): 63.5 w/TC on
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.81 (0.79 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,950
Acceleration comments: The Rogue is soft off the line and acts like a typical CVT-equipped car during hard acceleration. Though it has simulated shifts as it progresses down the quarter mile, engine speed only drops about 1,000 rpm each time so engine noise is always present. Sport mode increases response in normal driving but does nothing to improve performance here. Best launch technique is a simple pedal transition without overlap.
Braking comments: The Rogue's brake pedal is long travel, but braking performance is consistent during this test. There's ample dive but the Rogue remains straight and stable at full ABS.
Slalom: The Rogue is soft and exhibits ample body roll during rapid transitions. ESC is quite conservative and staying below its aggressive limits means sacrificing a lot of speed. Trigger the ESC and it will crush any hope of a good run by backing out the throttle.
Skid pad: Body roll dominates the Rogue's cornering character on the skidpad. Though its steering effort is fairly high, feedback could be better. Understeer is aggressive and once it begins the only way to eliminate it is to slow down enough to regain front grip. This is a family car and it handles like one.
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.
For starters, the Rogue felt bogged down any time I tried to accelerate. With four passengers and some light gear, getting up to freeway speed was nerve racking and even the most basic passing maneuvers required violently mashing the throttle.
After leaving the event, the air conditioning in the Rogue took a phenomenally long time to cool the cabin. Even at freeway speeds, we drove for 20 miles before we could run the A/C at anything less than its maximum setting.
We also had trouble selecting the music. To and from the race, I tried to play a few lively songs, but no matter which track I selected from various playlists, the Rogue's system simply decided to play the first song on the list. I would scroll down to a playlist, pick a song, press enter (or select it using the touchscreen) and the system would revert to the first track in the playlist. It did this over and over again despite the playlist or song I selected. When I tried to shuffle through songs, it played the same dozen or so songs over and over rather than select from hundreds of available choices.
On the bright side, the Nissan Rogue was an easy place to store our gear, and I didn't worry about damaging the material on the inside. The mud and dirt washed off without much elbow grease and the durable interior surfaces held up to some pretty significant abuse. The ride was comfortable too, with no complaints from my passengers about bumpy road surfaces which were largely soaked up by the Rogue's suspension. In the end, though, I wished I had taken just about any other four-door vehicle in our long-term fleet. In 2014, no vehicle should be as adversely affected by heat, nor should it feel so uninspiring to drive.
Too many car companies do seat heaters wrong. Not Nissan. The bun warmers in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue are the template for others to follow.
The Rogue's seats heat up quickly and get nice and toasty. But not too hot. Even on their highest setting, the Rogue's seats never get too intense.
They also distribute their warmth evenly with no hot or cold spots. And unlike some seat heaters that concentrate only on the tush, Nissan's seats perfectly warm the small of your back along with your glutes and upper thighs.
Even the control button is well thought out. It's not only conveniently placed on the console, but it can be left on either the "LO" or "HI" setting. That way the seat is always active and warming you up as soon as you fire up the car. In most vehicles, you need to manually activate the seat heater each time.
This feature, along with the Rogue's well shaped seats, make this a very comfortable crossover.
We added more than 1,100 miles of mixed driving to our 2014 Nissan Rogue in September. The car was passed between various staff members with no one person dominating September's miles.
We averaged 24.1 mpg in that time and our lifetime average improved by one-tenth of a point to 24.0 MPG. Our best and worst fill-ups remain unchanged.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 24.0 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 357.8 miles
Current Odometer: 12,662 miles
I noticed this week that our 2014 Nissan Rogue is designed to accommodate three child seats across its second row. Though it lacks three sets of LATCH attachment points in the second row, there is a third top tether mounted to the roof just inside the hatch. Using the middle seat belt it is possible to install three child seats across the second row and have the safety of three top tethers.
This photo shows the middle top tether's position.
The Rogue isn't the first vehicle to locate a subwoofer in the space-saver spare, but it does it just as effectively. Valuable cargo space is preserved for, well, cargo.
For whatever reason, maybe because it uses a CVT, our 2014 Nissan Rogue lacks a gated shifter. Because of this, and because I give it little attention, I often find myself in Low when I intend to be in Drive.
Every time I get behind the Rogue's wheel, I grab the shifter, slap it into gear, and drive away only to discover significant engine braking. I'm in Low. It's a minor thing, but this is a case where I'd prefer a gated shifter. A stop that requires another pull of the shifter release to engage Drive would also do the trick. Finding "D" without looking is handy.
At first glance, the cargo area of our 2014 Nissan Rogue looks poorly designed. I mean, whose bright idea was it to stick those dividers right in the middle of the load floor?
Turns out it's a perfectly useful space.
For one, that load floor is reconfigurable, so if you need those dividers out of the way it can be done. Other editors have noted just how many different ways you can stuff cargo in using the different setups.
The big surprise for me was the fact that having those dividers in the floor is actually pretty useful as long as you're not hauling something that's so big it needs the entire floor to sit flat. During day-to-day errands, those dividers do a good job of keeping smaller stuff from sliding around. If I were more patient I might have reconfigured the whole space to hold all of the things I managed to pick up on the weekend, but the Rogue is still useful even if you don't take advantage of its highly adaptable cargo area.
It's not like I wasn't aware that our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue test vehicle had a supersized sunroof, it's just that I've never had the occasion to open it.
And even now, I only powered open the Rogue's giant sunshade at the request of my rear seat passengers, who were curious if they would be able to feel the sun's warmth from their rear position.
They could, test over.
Like Engineering Editor Jay Kavanagh, I'm not a fan of sunroofs, so I promptly closed the lid on the panoramic view.
I'm not sure when someone fooled around with the door-lock settings on our 2014 Nissan Rogue, but it only took me one carpool trip to school to realize they were no longer automatically unlocking when the SUV was put in "Park."
Flipping through the owner's manual, I easily found the page I needed to efficiently kick kids out of the car when the crossing guard gave the green light.
Good news is that the 2015 Rogue crossover won't cost any more than our 2014 tester.
The 2015 Rogue is a carryover model with minimal changes. A fuel-saving Eco mode is added to the Xtronic transmission and heated cloth seats are now part of the SV Premium package.
We added just over 1,500 miles to our 2014 Nissan Rogue in October, during which time we improved on a few of our previous "bests."
With Deputy Managing Editor Caroline Pardilla at the wheel, the Rogue recorded a new "Best Fill" of 30.6 mpg (from 28.3), bumping the Nissan crossover's lifetime average by one-tenth to 24.1 mpg.
That same tank of gas resulted in a new range record with an increase of 3.3 miles to 361.1 miles.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9
Best Fill MPG: 30.6
Average Lifetime MPG: 24.1
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 361.1 miles
Current Odometer: 14,201 miles
The call came in during the Veterans Day weekend. Someone had seen our 2014 Nissan Rogue parked in the Edmunds underground garage with a flat tire.
It wasn't that way when it was parked a few days earlier, but there it sat all cockeyed with the rim nearly touching the ground. It didn't take long to find the screw that was to blame.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) will warn a driver that the pressure has dropped 25 percent below the set pressure. We can't say enough good things about the concept. The drivers of our long-term fleet vehicles have avoided the inconvenience of flat tires and roadside strandings dozens of times due to the early warning it provides.
If the nail is tightly seated the leak-down interval that triggers a warning can stretch out to several days, sometimes more. This screw was obviously there when the last driver parked it, but he had no idea because the warning light hadn't yet come on. The tire hadn't lost much pressure at that point, and it wouldn't have been noticeable to the naked eye.
So TPMS is great, but it can't issue a warning if the car isn't being driven as the air slowly oozes out. You could still return from a week's vacation to the unwelcome surprise of a flat tire in the airport parking lot.
But it didn't take long to sort it all out. We installed the temporary spare in the relative calm of the garage and drove the flat over to Stokes, our trusty local tire shop, to see if it was patchable.
I had my doubts. But once the tire was separated from the rim they found the screw was angled in towards the center of the tire and had emerged farther away from the sidewall than it looked from outside.
And so they deemed it safe for patching and quickly had us on our way. The Rogue is back up and running.
Pretty much every new vehicle these days has a USB/iPod interface either standard or optional. Some of these interfaces are better than others, though. And what you get with the 2014 Nissan Rogue is one of the better ones.
Redundancy is one aspect I really like about the Rogue's iPod interface. You can make inputs using either the touchscreen or the controller knob and button on the right-hand side of the head unit. Using the touchscreen is typically quicker to get what you want, but the knob gives you greater precision.
Searching for music and audio in lists is also very easy. If you're going through your alphabetized list of artists, for instance, you don't have to scroll through the whole thing to get to "S." Instead, you can jump straight to "S" either by inputting it directly (using a special letter selection button) or at least get in the general area by pressing perhaps two-thirds of the way down on the index scroll bar. Another bonus: when you're coming back to menu screens, the Rogue remembers where you last left off, so you don't have to start the search all over again.
I also didn't realize this until recently, but our Nissan Rogue has full voice command functionality for audio selection. You can use the voice prompts to select what you want, such as "Play artist: The Who." At least for me, the voice commands have worked well so far.
If you go back and look at some of our previous updates, you'll see the continuously variable transmission (CVT) in our 2014 Nissan Rogue hasn't received the most welcoming feedback from my coworkers. And, truth be told, what they've written is quite valid. But I feel like I owe the Rogue at least a little bit of help as I'm one of the few drivers who perhaps doesn't view the CVT as such a deal-breaker.
A lot of the CVT issues we've pointed out so far come down to situations involving highway passing and full-whack acceleration. But if you're the sort of driver that's more commonly just going with the flow of traffic and not in a hurry, then these aspects won't really be an issue for you. In typical city traffic, the CVT is just fine. Its gearing changes are unobtrusive, acceleration is entirely suitable and the engine stays reasonably quiet. You could drive for weeks at a time and be quite happy with the way the Rogue performs.
The CVT also holds at least one advantage: It's helpful when you're driving along on rolling hills. Unlike a conventional automatic that can get caught flat-footed before it finally downshifts as you head up a hill, the Rogue's CVT just seems to get the right engine rpm almost immediately. If the region in which you live has a lot of hills, this could be a beneficial aspect to you.
I'm not trying to be Will Gardner here and get the Rogue's CVT off scot-free. It's certainly a drawback you'll want to consider during your shopping process. But with so much else that's positive about the Rogue, it might be a hurdle worth jumping over.
A few days ago I was talking with my coworker Travis Langness. He had signed up to take the long-term Jaguar F-Type for a long weekend and was rather incredulous that nobody else had snagged it on the car signup board yet.
Well, I can only speak for myself, but when your weekends are full of errands, kid schlepping and generally all things that are boring and related to domestic life, sometimes something like our 2014 Nissan Rogue just works out better.
Our Rogue pleasingly gets the job done. It's comfortable. It's roomy for both passengers and cargo. It's very safe. Should you need all-wheel drive — I'm thinking of you, East Coast, as we here in Southern California are enjoying 80-degree temperatures — it's got you covered there, too.
It all sounds very appliance-like, and I suppose it is. But that's what the vast majority of the small crossover SUV segment is all about, anyway. And with pricing that gets you a pretty nice Rogue SV for around $25,000, Nissan should be right in the mix for shoppers looking for a capable small crossover SUV.
We've cleared the 15,000-mile mark in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. Considering we started the year-long test of our Rogue back in early March, we seem to be on track to hit our goal of amassing at least 20,000 miles.
The 15,000 miles we've put on so far have been pretty trouble-free.
We've taken our Rogue to the dealer for two scheduled maintenance appointments: one at 5,000 miles and one at 10,000 miles. We also brought it in for a recall to take care of loose lug nuts. Discounting the flat tire we had recently, that's it for the Rogue's list of maintenance issues.
We'll be taking our Rogue in for a 15,000-mile service soon. It will be interesting to see how the Rogue closes out its last three months with us.
November was an average month for our 2014 Nissan Rogue as we added about 1,500 miles to the odometer and didn't do much to change our overall fuel economy. Those miles were spent commuting around Southern California as well as some long-distance driving.
For the month, we averaged 24.6 mpg.
Our 24.6 mpg for the month was a just a tad better than our lifetime average of 24.2 mpg. We're still below the EPA's estimate for combined driving, however, which stands at 28 mpg. The Rogue might have one of the best EPA ratings in its class, but so far our Rogue hasn't really backed up those numbers.
Worst Fill MPG: 18.9
Best Fill MPG: 30.6
Average Lifetime MPG: 24.2
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway Combined)
Best Range: 361.1 miles
Current Odometer: 15,377 miles
We've been steadily adding miles to our 2014 Nissan Rogue. And since we recently cleared 15,000 miles, it was time for our next scheduled service.
I booked an appointment at my local Nissan dealer, Lithia Nissan.
I set our Rogue up for an oil change and tire rotation. Belatedly, I realized I should have also done a cabin filter change as that is what the manual calls for. But my service advisor, Mike, later pointed out that we can just get it done at the next service.
Mike was friendly and had me in and out of the dealership in less than an hour, which was quite nice. Lithia Nissan also has a large lounge area stocked with plenty of places to sit or do work, free Wi-Fi, and, at least when I was there, free donuts and coffee. Overall, it was a quick and painless service.
Total cost came to $52.95.
Some of us have been lukewarm on the latest Nissan Rogue. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) has a lot to do with it, but the fact that it's also a mainstream crossover makes it easy to dismiss as boring.
Call it what you will, but the Rogue is a sales hit for Nissan. It's the second best-selling vehicle in Nissan's lineup after the Altima and has almost doubled its yearly total from just 5 years ago.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise to me. Sure, I don't love the CVT, but it doesn't bother me that much and the rest of the package is nearly perfect for a small family.
It's easy to maneuver and park, fits four easily with plenty of room for cargo and has great features with an easy-to-use interface. The latest exterior styling is also quite sharp, certainly an upgrade over the previous generation.
Maybe it's the public's general migration to crossovers that's driving the Rogue's popularity, but I would guess it has more to do with how well it fits the wants and needs of the average American family.
I've got a few more thoughts to add based on my most recent trip.
I did go back and re-read my previous April update. Everything I wrote back then still seemed accurate.
I like the amount of cargo space the Rogue offers and I believe that's one of this Nissan's greatest strengths. The sliding rear seats allow you to fine-tune the available space for either passengers or cargo. On a family road trip with little kids, sliding up the rear seats really comes in handy to pack in an extra amount of stuff behind the second row as you can take advantage of rear legroom space that would have otherwise been largely wasted.
The Rogue is still a solid long-distance companion, too. The front seats are comfortable for sure, and our test car's tech features come in handy. It didn't seem as quiet on the highway as I had remembered, but the Rogue certainly isn't loud.
I was pleased that I was able to accurately calculate my total trip fuel economy this time. Well, I was pleased that I got the numbers, but not the result. For those 800 miles (mostly on the highway), the Rogue posted 26.0 mpg. The Rogue AWD's EPA numbers are 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. Granted, there was some heavy traffic at times, the air conditioning was on most of the time, and my typical cruising speeds were California typical 70-plus mph. But just one mpg better than EPA city? That's pretty disappointing.
My current personal vehicle is a 2014 Mazda 5. It's a Grand Touring, and my husband and I make the payment on it every month. I mention that here because we chose our small Mazda minivan after much deliberation, and based on its available third-row seat (although not on the SL trim level), the 2014 Nissan Rogue is another vehicle we could have considered.
As you see here, the Rogue was able to accommodate my daughter's gigantic rear-facing car seat, the First Years C680 SI. I did have to use a pool noodle to achieve the correct angle, but we also have to use one in our Mazda 5. The only real hassle during the installation process was finding the lower anchors. They're simply buried in the Rogue's rear seats, and hooking the connectors onto them (whilst compressing the car seat) was a blind exercise that I found frustrating and tiring. Welcome to parenthood, though, where almost every endeavor is tiring. No doubt, I'll get better at installing a car seat with the LATCH system with practice.
Although the car seat fit, the 2014 Rogue would not be a great option for our family.
See, once the car seat is installed with the Rogue's rear seat in the rearmost position on its fore/aft-adjustable track, there is almost no room left for a front passenger of my height (5 feet, 10 inches) to sit comfortably or even safely. In the Mazda, I'm not exactly luxuriating in the front-passenger seat, but riding there for 30 minutes or even an hour is no problem.
Obviously, if I already owned a Rogue, the easy solution here is just to get a different convertible car seat. This particular First Years seat has a high seat-back to enable taller children (like mine) to stay rear-facing longer, but that also makes the seat a tighter fit in some cars. The large side wings on this seat give it plenty of lateral bulk as well and are to me desirable side-impact protection, particularly given the Mazda 5's "Marginal" IIHS side-impact crash test rating. That rating came out after we already had the van.
As I mentioned in a previous update, I can't help but compare our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue SL to the similarly sized 2014 Mazda 5 Grand Touring minivan I now own. Really, though, if tech features are what you're after, there is no legitimate comparison here. You can't get a factory navigation system or a rearview camera (much less a 360-degree camera array with rear moving object detection) in the Mazda. If features are what you want, the Nissan is for you.
I'm old-fashioned, though, so I'm happy enough in the Mazda 5's outdated interior. However, after commuting to work in both vehicles, there's no doubt the Rogue offers more comfort.
These two vehicles couldn't be more different in personality. Even with 18-inch wheels and tires (versus 17s on my Mazda), the Rogue has a lot of compliance and an easygoing demeanor, as we noted in our rating. It's also quieter on smooth sections of freeway, whereas the 5 and its noisy OEM Toyo Proxes give you a bit of a pounding all the time.
So why don't I prefer the Rogue? I have two main reasons. One, I'm smitten with the Mazda's handling. This thing goes around turns like no minivan ever. In normal driving, it feels more buttoned down than our Macan. Not surprisingly, it earned A in the handling category when we rated it.
Two, while both of these vehicles are slow (9.3 seconds to 60 mph for the Rogue, 9.5 seconds to 60 for an automatic-equipped 5), the throttle response is almost night and day. Even in Sport mode, the Rogue doesn't get going with the haste I'd like, whereas the Mazda responds and gives me hope that I won't lose out on that opening in traffic. Predictably though, I don't get very good fuel economy in my Mazda. My high so far is 26 mpg. In the Rogue, we've already seen 30 mpg.
I like the 2014 Nissan Rogue. I like the way it drives, the way it looks and I have no major complaints about its interior features, either.
But, I'm not so sure the Rogue likes me.
Twice over the past few days, the red seatbelt release button has bitten my finger when I've pressed it to release the buckle. It's like the mechanism sticks for a split-second, pinching my finger between the button and the casing.
Once, I would absolutely assume user error. Twice, I'm willing to accept it could still somehow be my fault. But if it happens a third time, me n' the Rogue are breaking up for good.
Recently, I spent some serious time at the dentist, one day having a root canal, and the next having two wisdom teeth removed. I still can't eat much, and my whole head hurts. Let's just say I wasn't my normal jovial self this weekend.
Because of my surly disposition, I wasn't in the mood for music. Not even while on the road.
Stewing in misery and not listening to my normal jukebox, I noticed something while driving our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue.
The Rogue is kinda loud.
I know CVTs like to be heard. Having recently owned a vehicle equipped with a CVT myself, I'm used to the way they sound and that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about a squeaky brake pedal, and the cargo area.
The brake feels fine, and does a great job of stopping the Rogue, so no complaints there. But when coming to a slow gradual stop, I'd hear the brake pedal squeak, and squeak again when released.
As Ed Hellwig mentioned a few weeks back, the rear cargo area can be rearranged to carry different items. To make these arrangements possible, the back of the Rogue has a few moveable dividers that remain flat on the floor when not in use. I like the dividers. Anything that gives me more options is a win in my book. But the dividers shifted a bit while driving over speed bumps, and I heard them, too.
Obviously, these aren't deal breakers. However, I was surprised by them because I hadn't noticed them before.
The things you notice when the radio is off.
On the way in to work this morning, my mood had lightened, and so I put the 9-speaker Bose system back into use. I didn't hear a peep from the dividers or the brake pedal.
Our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue set a few new fuel economy records this month. It got a new longest range, which is great, but it also got a new worst mileage from a tank of gas. We were still unable to crack that elusive highway EPA estimate of 32 mpg, too.
I took the Rogue on a road trip to Seattle (more on that soon), which accounted for the new longest range of 413.1 miles. Prior to that trip though, some heavy-footed city miles (also with yours truly behind the wheel) gave it a new low for mileage at 15.9 mpg. The lifetime mpg went up slightly from 24.2 mpg last month to 24.4 mpg at the end of December, which is still pretty far off from the EPA's combined estimate. Here's the full break down.
Worst Fill MPG: 15.9
Best Fill MPG: 30.6
Average Lifetime MPG: 24.4
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 413.1 miles
Current Odometer: 17,793 miles
I've been critical of our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue but I needed something with all-wheel drive for a lengthy road trip, so over the holiday break, I gave it another shot. The trip went from Los Angeles to Portland with a day trip to Seattle and several stops along the way, so the Rogue had plenty of chances to change my mind.
I was travelling solo, so there was no need to travel light. As you can see, I packed everything: duffel bags with eight days' worth of cold-weather clothing, holiday gifts for friends, a bed roll, sleeping bag, a pillow, my laptop, a few bags of food and a backpack for running gear. With the seats in place, the Rogue has more cargo space (39.3 cubes) than the Honda CR-V (35.2), the Mazda CX-5 (34.1) and the Jeep Cherokee (24.8). Since I obviously overdid it, this extra space would do wonders if I had any passengers.
Problematically though, the power rear liftgate takes a long time to open. You have to hold the key for a few seconds before it responds, then the tailgate lifts which takes about 12 seconds all together. It may not seem like a long time but it feels like an eternity when it's snowing. I'd definitely prefer a manual tailgate. And at 5-feet-9-inches tall, I was grazing my head on the lifted liftgate every time I got something out of the trunk.
Day one's route took me up Interstate 5 and highway 99 through central California, which are both pretty flat. I've set some milestones along these roads in a few other long-term cars and I planned on doing it again. After nine months in our fleet the Rogue still hadn't cracked its EPA-estimated 32 mpg highway so I hoped a light foot on my part would help it get there. I checked the tire pressure, filled up at a gas station 20 feet from the freeway onramp and set out.
Twenty minutes in, I hit gridlock. Holiday traffic had me in stop-and-go traffic for an hour on my way out of L.A. I wasn't earning any hypermiling records in this stuff.
Once I cleared the jam, I resumed my cruise-controlled speed of 68 miles per hour and settled down in the slow lane. After seven hours of podcast-regulated-boredom I stopped for gas with 413.1 miles on the trip computer. This was a new range record for the Rogue (up from 361 miles) but it still didn't meet its highway EPA estimate. The long highway miles combined with the traffic jam meant I got 30.0 mpg. So, close, but no cigar.
The last few miles to my father's house were along the dark mountain roads of Nevada City, CA. The Rogue's optional LED headlights performed well there. They're aimed high enough for clear vision down the road but not so high that they blind the drivers in front of me. They have a clear cutoff line and they spread wide across the road.
Before I settled in for the night, a warning popped up on the Rogue's instrument panel: Alarm, Low Temperature Outside. It kicked on at 37 degrees and reminded me of the next day's white-weather forecast. Next up: snow on the Suskiyou Summit and the road to Portland.
With a thick layer of frost on our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue I started it up and went right back in to the house to pack my bags. I spent the night at my father's house in Nevada City, where the temperature had dropped to 26 degrees overnight, so I let the Rogue idle while I gathered my things and plotted my route to Portland, Oregon, 563 miles away. This was the second day of my 2,500-mile holiday road trip in the Rogue and while things went relatively well on day one of the trip I was about to discover a few more of the crossover's flaws.
I arrived in Nevada City the night before well after nightfall, so I had taken things slowly. With a smaller chance of running in to a deer around a blind corner in the daylight, I drove with a bit more confidence. This was pretty underwhelming in the Rogue.
My sentiments quickly echoed Josh Jacquot's comments from when he tested this car at the track. "Body roll dominates the Rogue's cornering character"..."steering effort is fairly high, feedback could be better." Around these curvy mountain roads, the Rogue just isn't entertaining. Our long-term CX-5 was much better at that.
Near the Oregon border, I went over Interstate 5's highest elevation (4,130 feet) and at the lowest temperatures of the trip along with it a small snow flurry. Traffic slowed to about 40 miles per hour and the plows came out to clear the road at least once. I engaged the all-wheel-drive lock in the Rogue and the descent down Siskiyou Summit was without incident.
During these conditions though, I decided to turn off the stereo entirely, and it was then that I noticed all the Rogue's creaks and moans. As Matt Jones noted, the car has some squeaks that come from the configurable rear-cargo area, (which get louder when it's weighed down), as well as some creaks over bumps and around corners from various other areas of the car.
There's some wind noise over the windshield and around the big rearview mirrors, but the panoramic sunroof is the worst offender, especially if the shade is retracted. Even if I wanted sunlight, I had a hard time justifying it because the thing squeaked so much. Out of curiosity I looked up our track-test numbers for decibel ratings at 70 mph and compared the Rogue to some of its top rivals.
2014 Nissan Rouge SL AWD: 64.5 dB
2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD: 64.2 dB
2014 Mazda CX-5 AWD Grand Touring: 63.4 dB
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4: 61.7 dB
With a comfy interior and a decent sound system, the Rogue had tricked me into believing it was quiet. The numbers (and some music-free time along the highway), proved me wrong.
Despite this revelation, the Nissan Rogue was very comfortable. After 10 hours on the road I arrived in Portland without any back pain, which is saying a lot for me. The front seats in this thing are fantastic and the suspension is pretty ideal for these kinds of long highway journeys. Up next: a day-trip to Seattle to check out a P85D and my first infotainment glitches in the Rogue.
Seattle, Washington is about a four-hour drive from Portland, Oregon. I had just arrived in Portland the day before but on day three of my holiday road trip in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue I decided to make the four-hour trek and meet my friend Russell for lunch. He had just taken delivery on his new Tesla Model S P85D and that was worth the extra 200 miles on its own, but there was some Thai food thrown in to sweeten the deal, so I couldn't resist.
Since this was my third full day in the Rogue, the smaller quirks were starting to reveal themselves. Along this leg of the journey, what stuck out in particular was the glitchy infotainment system. Repeatedly, the system wouldn't recognize when my iPhone was plugged in, so I had to connect and disconnect several times if I wanted to listen to Podcasts. Why not connect via Bluetooth instead you ask? The Rogue couldn't handle that task either.
See how the screen says my iPhone is connected? See my iPhone, not connected? I was confused too. Even the cable below was unplugged. I got things working eventually, but only through luck and persistence. I couldn't figure out what went wrong nor did I have a fix if it happened again. At another point during the drive to Seattle, the entire audio system went down (mid-song) and rebooted. First, the screen went black, then a big Nissan logo popped up and the system defaulted to playing satellite radio instead of my iTunes library.
The Rogue's 360-degree camera had some issues too. Along the highway it warned me the cameras were blocked and I'd lost blind-spot monitoring. I would have to clean the cameras before the system worked again. So, at the next gas station, I filled up the tank, and cleaned the cameras with glass-cleaner and a towel.
Cleaning the cameras didn't help. As you can see, two of the four cameras seem blurry, but they're clean as a whistle. The system still warned me that the blind-spot monitoring system was unavailable. My theory was that the cold weather was getting to the Rogue. As the day warmed up from 30 to 40 degrees, the warning went away and the blind-spot monitors worked for the rest of the trip. Admittedly, that theory is a bit weak since I had been in a 26-degree snow flurry the previous day, but it was all I had.
Aside from the difficulties with the tech stuff, I had some issues with the Rogue's interior as well. There are several surfaces in the car that reflect quite a bit of sunlight and really affect your vision. The shiny plastic Nissan logo on the steering wheel and the black plastic on the dash make it really hard to see when you're driving away from the morning sun.
Once in Seattle, Russell took me for a ride in the P85D with the "Insane" drive mode engaged (more on that later) and I let the Rogue rest for a bit.
Basically, this was a simple trip to Seattle for lunch and back to Portland afterwards. 400 additional miles on the odometer and I was back in Portland for New Year's Eve. With three solid days of highway driving, I still hadn't hit the Rogue's EPA highway estimate of 32 miles per gallon. I was hatching a plan for my journey home that would hopefully solve that problem, but for the moment, the Rogue was coming up short on more than one front.
Next up: Portland to Sacramento and Sacramento to Los Angeles, all with a mission for efficiency.
After driving 1,500 miles in our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue I turned around and headed home. The trip had taken me from Los Angeles to Nevada City, then to Portland and Seattle and back to Portland again. With about 1,000 miles left in front of me, I split up the remaining distance into two legs: Portland to Sacramento and Sacramento to Los Angeles.
The 600 miles from Portland to Sacramento had several elevation changes and I stopped multiple times for food, so I wasn't setting any records. From Sacramento to Los Angeles, though, was a different story. I was on a self-imposed mission to hit the EPA's highway fuel economy estimate of 32 mpg in the Rogue and I pulled out all the stops, literally.
Portland to Sacramento was a breeze. Light traffic, smooth highways and lots of great scenery.
I arrived in Sacramento after about ten hours on the road, no worse for wear. Even after a long freeway slog, I was comfortable in the Rogue's seat. After a short night in Sacramento, I got up early and headed for the nearest gas station. This is where the hypermiling began.
There's a Shell station in Sacramento that's 1,056 feet from the onramp of Highway 99, close enough to say that this leg of the journey was all highway miles. I filled up the Rogue, double-checked the tire pressure and went south. With the air conditioning off and the tires set to 33 psi, I merged on to the six-lane highway and set cruise control at 62 miles per hour. This was about the slowest I could go without holding up traffic. I settled down in the far-right lane, mentally prepared for the boredom-march back to L.A.
Some elevation gain over the Grapevine brought me down to where traffic slowed to about 55 mph but only for a few minutes. Down the other side, I let the Rogue's speed naturally climb back to 62 mph. After six hours on the road, I pulled up at a Mobil station a block from home and filled the tank.
The trip odometer read 379 miles and the Rogue used 11.558 gallons of fuel. For you non-mathletes, that works out to 32.8 mpg. I'd done it. Huzzah! The on-board computer was a bit more optimistic.
To be clear, this is not the way I like to drive. I was constantly worried about the speed of traffic and I was relentlessly monitoring the road for passing vehicles so I wouldn't get in anyone's way. It was stressful, frustrating and tense. If I had carried any additional passengers, gone one or two miles per hour faster, hit any traffic, or even stopped for lunch, I might've missed my mark. It finally got us past the 32 mpg milestone after nine months with the Rogue, but it just wasn't worth the effort it required.
Over the entire 2,500-mile trip, the Rogue consumed 102 gallons of fuel, averaging 28 mpg, which meets its combined EPA rating. Notably though, 95 percent those miles were on the highway.
A solid week of travel in the Rogue gave me plenty of time to get acquainted with the crossover, but I didn't like what I'd seen. This was my second road trip in the Rogue and while it wasn't a glaring failure in any particular department, there were several foibles along the way that left me disappointed.
Back when I used Meguiar's Whole Car Air Re-Fresher in our long-term Kia Cadenza, it was met with mostly positive reactions. I recently decided to give the same treatment to our Nissan Rogue, but the reactions were anything but positive. Ooops.
The Rogue had a much more offensive smell than the Cadenza when we took delivery of it. It was a very thick synthetic odor that gave me that throat-scratch discomfort. When I informally polled my colleagues, the Nissan was the clear "winner" of the worst smelling car in our fleet.
Buoyed by the last time I used the Re-Fresher, I performed the same treatment. Windows up, air on full and recirculation. Unfortunately, the scent of the Re-Fresher ended up being far too strong.
Jay Kavanagh was the next person to drive it and he had some rather strong complaints. And for good reason, it was pretty awful. So bad, in fact, that he was calling into question my dating choices. Yes, the chemical reaction smelled like really cheap perfume.
The complaints kept rolling in for a few days. It was unpleasant.
Fast forward a few weeks and I decided to sign out the Rogue. The scent of the Re-Fresher is still rather strong, but nowhere near as bad as it was. At least from my point of view, it's an improvement over the throat-scratchy chemical cocktail that once overpowered my senses.
So for all you Rogue owners looking to de-stinkify your car, I'd suggest shortening the treatment time.
I just took our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue for what may be one of its final visits to our trusty neighborhood car wash.
Not because we've decided to go dirty all of a sudden. Our Nissan Rouge has simply eclipsed the 20,000-mile mark, and that means it's time with us is coming to an end.
While waiting for the car to be cleaned, I thought of the usage the Rogue has seen since arriving in March last year. In addition to run-of-the-mill commuting, the Rogue has been stuffed to the gills with gear, seen a few long road trips, and even participated in a Tough Mudder. (Kinda)
These things, in my mind at least, are a pretty good mash-up of what a car buyer expects to do when considering the purchase of a crossover SUV.
The Rogue had no problem hitting 20,000 miles within a year. I think that suggests the Editorial staff here at Edmunds.com likes the SUV, especially for road trips.
Heading into the last four weeks of our 2014 Nissan Rogue year-long test, our best fill has crept up to 32.8 mpg, while our worst has fallen to 15.6 mpg.
The result is a very slight increase in the Rogue's lifetime fuel economy average which now sits at 24.5, almost reaching the EPA estimate for city driving.
Worst Fill MPG: 15.6
Best Fill MPG: 32.8
Average Lifetime MPG: 24.5
EPA MPG Rating: 28 Combined (25 City/32 Highway)
Best Range: 413.1 miles
Current Odometer: 20,605 miles
Unlike some other modern safety features, I'm a fan of blind-spot monitors. This is especially true as cars get thicker and thicker roof pillars in order to meet roof strength tests. I'd like to think of myself as an attentive driver, but every now and then a blind-spot monitor will give me a beep just as I tap the turn signal. Yes, I use my signals, and so should you.
The problem is when a blind-spot monitor or any other safety system it triggered when no danger exists. Crying wolf gets old quick. Unfortunately, that's the case with our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue's blind spot monitor.
Before I go further, let me quickly describe highway lane designations. The number one lane is traditionally thought of as the fast lane, the leftmost lane on a highway. To the right of that is the number two lane, and so on.
I was traveling in the number three lane as I was merging onto a highway, signaling as I made my way left. Keeping a keen eye on my mirrors, the blind-spot monitor started beeping and flashing. I made a slight swerve back into the number three lane thinking that perhaps a fast moving car or motorcycle was trying to beat me out of that lane.
The Rogue's blind-spot monitor was picking up a car that was in the number one lane (not the adjacent lane). False alarm. Just in case it was an anomaly, I tried to replicate the same conditions on the way home. Sure enough, it kept beeping as it picked up a vehicle that was two lanes over.
Unlike lane departure warning systems that I usually disable, I'll probably keep the blind-spot monitor on in the Rogue, keeping in mind that it will send up false alarms occasionally. In traffic-ridden L.A., I think the rewards outweigh the risks.
With the 2014 Nissan Rogue completing its Edmunds tour of duty, one last service remained. As per the car's official maintenance schedule, the 20,000-mile service called for an oil change and filter, a tire rotation and brake fluid replacement.
We made an appointment and took the car to AutoNation Nissan South Bay. Although they said over the phone that it would take about an hour, it actually took closer to two. But I cut them some slack for a few reasons: In fairness they stated that the time for completing the service was an estimate, and they washed the car afterwards. Furthermore, the dealership's waiting area had a huge TV, WIFI and free cookies, making the wait easier.
The total was $132.94, which seemed pretty good given that it included flushing and refilling the brake system. Overall, we were happy with the service experience at South Bay.
What We Got
The Nissan Rogue was fully redesigned in 2014. It was larger, offered an optional third row of seats and promised better mileage thanks to a more efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). As the second-best-selling vehicle in its lineup, Nissan was hoping for even bigger things from its compact crossover.
Since the category is one of the hottest in the industry right now, the decision to test a new Rogue for a year was an easy one. We had to think a little harder about whether we wanted to get one with a third-row seat and in what trim. We ended up with a loaded 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD with no third row. It had plenty of features to test, including an interesting reconfigurable cargo area.
Like all Rogues, ours was powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a standard CVT. The engine generated 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, and promised an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.
Standard equipment on the $28,070 SL included a rearview camera, 18-inch wheels, leather seats, a power liftgate and navigation, to name the most notable. We added all-wheel drive ($1,350), floor mats ($125) and the tech-heavy Premium package ($1,990). The Premium package translated to LED headlights, a panoramic moonroof, moving object detection and blind spot, lane departure and collision warning systems. Destination fees brought the total for our Rogue to $32,395.
"[The Rogue] feels adequately powered on the highway, and although it can be caught out on occasion in town, it's pretty rare. Much of it has to do with the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). Because it's able to adjust the gearing to fit the situation, the engine is often running in the heart of its power band. It's only when the CVT is 'thinking' about it that the Rogue gets a little sluggish." — Ed Hellwig
"But the CVT is not one of the Rogue's flattering features. In traffic and around town, it delivers the classic rubber band sensation that requires delicate throttle inputs and out-thinking the transmission logic simply to sustain a smooth ride." — Dan Frio
"Our trip consisted of over 600 miles of nearly pure highway driving, during which the Rogue averaged 26 mpg. That's a full 6 mpg and nearly 20 percent off its 32-mpg highway rating. It's even 2 mpg below its EPA combined rating." — Dan Edmunds
"After nine months in our fleet, the Rogue still hadn't cracked its EPA-estimated 32 mpg.... After seven hours of podcast-regulated-boredom I stopped for gas with 413.1 miles on the trip computer. This was a new range record for the Rogue but it still didn't meet its highway EPA estimate.... I got 30.0 mpg." — Travis Langness
"I was suffering from a sore and tired lower back when I got into the Rogue to drive to work this morning, yet almost instantly the seat's support, in all the right places, made me feel better.... Dang it if they aren't super comfortable. They are so supportive that I didn't even need to turn the power lumbar up from its lowest setting." — Mike Monticello
"I've been pleasantly surprised by the rear seats in our Rogue. They not only have a decent amount of room for knees and toes, there's a solid amount of headroom, too. The seatbacks also recline, which goes a long way toward making it feel like there's more room." — Ed Hellwig
"Our Rogue comes with configurable cargo area shelves.... I like how these configurable shelves add some extra versatility compared to what's available in the typical small crossover SUV. But you only get them if you opt for the five-passenger Rogue. Otherwise this space is taken up by the optional third-row seat." — Brent Romans
"I used the Rogue's multilevel storage system to lower the cargo area floor a few inches for the wine (making a nice well that kept it from rattling around) and installed the movable floor pieces to provide a flat, sturdy cargo floor above the wine cases for the rest of the stuff." — John O'Dell
"As Executive Editor Ed Hellwig pointed out earlier this year, our long-term Rogue's climate control system offers rear vents for backseat passengers. However, we've found that the vents do little to increase the comfort of the rear seat riders during the hot summer months." — Kelly Hellwig
"Passengers and cargo are the Rogue's forte, and rear doors that open to 77 degrees emphasize the point. Anyone who's ever gone camping and fully loaded the rear access before remembering they still need to load coolers full of bacon, brats and beer will appreciate the Rogue's wide-open door angles." — Dan Frio
Audio and Technology
"Along this leg of the journey, what stuck out in particular was the glitchy infotainment system. Repeatedly, the system wouldn't recognize when my iPhone was plugged in, so I had to connect and disconnect several times if I wanted to listen to podcasts. Why not connect via Bluetooth instead, you ask? The Rogue couldn't handle that task either." — Travis Langness
"Our loaded-up Rogue SL comes with 360-degree parking cameras, frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, rear cross-path detection and blind-spot monitoring.... With these systems all on, I will admit that the potential for the various beeps to become annoying is fairly high, even in normal driving. But the nice thing is that Nissan gives you the option of disabling them individually in the car's settings if you so desire." — Brent Romans
"We installed the temporary spare in the relative calm of the garage and drove the flat over to Stokes, our trusty local tire shop, to see if it was patchable. I had my doubts. But once the tire was separated from the rim, they found the screw was angled in toward the center of the tire and had emerged farther away from the sidewall than it looked from outside. And so they deemed it safe for patching and quickly had us on our way." — Dan Edmunds
"The [10,000-mile service] was performed and the outside of the car washed. We would use this dealership again in the future. Its staff was polite and we received more friendly 'hellos' and 'good mornings' than we could count." — Mike Schmidt
"I noticed this week that our 2014 Nissan Rogue is designed to accommodate three child seats across its second row. Though it lacks three sets of LATCH attachment points in the second row, there is a third top tether mounted to the roof just inside the hatch. Using the middle seatbelt, it is possible to install three child seats across the second row and have the safety of three top tethers." — Josh Jacquot
"There are several surfaces in the car that reflect quite a bit of sunlight and really affect your vision. The shiny plastic Nissan logo on the steering wheel and the black plastic on the dash make it really hard to see when you're driving away from the morning sun." — Travis Langness
Maintenance & Repairs
The Rogue requested routine service at 5,000-mile intervals. That made four stops during our 20,000-mile test with an average of $63 per visit.
A lone recall was issued during our test for loose lug nuts but did not apply to our Rogue.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
EPA fuel economy for the Rogue was estimated at 28 mpg combined (25 city/32 highway). We averaged just 25 mpg. Despite considerable effort, we achieved just two tanks at 30 mpg or above: one at exactly 30 mpg and another at 32.8 mpg. Our best single fill-up had a range of 413.1 miles.
Resale and Depreciation:
Our Rogue had an MSRP of $32,395. After one year and 20,605 miles, Edmunds' TMV® Calculator valued the crossover at $23,014, based on a private-party sale. This equates to 29 percent depreciation. For reference, our recent long-term Honda CR-V and long-term Mazda CX-5 depreciated 18 and 15 percent, respectively.
Pros: Roomy interior for all passengers, great front seats for long drives, reconfigurable cargo bay is genuinely useful, optional 360-degree camera makes parking easy, capable of 400-plus miles on one tank, no unscheduled maintenance or repairs during our test.
Cons: Behavior of the CVT still less refined than expected, overall mileage numbers never met projections, suffered higher than normal depreciation.
Bottom Line: This is a versatile, comfortable and well-designed crossover that offers all the latest technology along with solid dependability. The only thing keeping it from top-tier status is a thirsty four-cylinder engine and a less-than-refined transmission.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||$251.20 (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||None|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||4|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||None|
|Days Out of Service:||None|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||32.8 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||15.6 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||24.5 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$23,014 (private-party sale)|
|Depreciation:||$9,381 (29% of original MSRP)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||20,605 miles|
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.