2014 Nissan Rogue: Portland Road Trip Part 2
January 21, 2015
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.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 17,430 miles