2014 Nissan Rogue: Hauls More Than You'd Think
July 22, 2014
Just back from our annual wine country road trip in the 2014 Nissan Rogue. Several of my colleagues have commented on the compact crossover's roomy cargo hold, so we decided to really put it to the test.
On the way up from Southern California to the Napa and Sonoma regions there were four adults and luggage for a long weekend, not a terribly challenging load.
On the way back we lost our two passengers, who flew home. But we kept some of their luggage and augmented that with eight cases of wine (not all for my cellar; we buy for a small group of enthusiasts).
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.
John O'Dell, Senior Editor for Green Cars and Fuel Efficiency @ 8,595 miles