2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test: Introduction

March 06, 2014

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.

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