2014 Nissan Rogue: Portland Road Trip Part 3
January 22, 2015
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.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 17,803 miles