2014 Nissan Rogue: Disappointing Road Trip
September 29, 2014
When I took our long-term Chevy Silverado to a Tough Mudder event a few months ago, it proved to be the perfect transport for a group of dirty, sweaty and sore adults. Last weekend, I signed myself up for a 12.5-mile obstacle course called the Spartan Beast that promised similar levels of mud and pain. The forecast was for 105 degrees, and a few of my friends were joining me, so we needed seating for four, good air conditioning and a place for our muddy gear when the race was over.
For space and mud-friendliness, the obvious choice was our Ram 1500, but it was spoken for, so I went with our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue. It has enough space for four, and plenty of cargo capacity, but it turned out to be the wrong vehicle for the job.
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.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 11,900 miles