The objective with this new Rogue was to be noticed and provide a level of refinement and creature comforts that the competition isn’t providing…

2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue
2014 Nissan Rogue

 

 

Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

The 2014 Nissan Rogue is the newest entry to the fastest growing segment in Canadian auto market – the compact SUV.

The sales leaders are the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RV4 and many, many others. There is no mistaking why these products have become so popular. They offer room for a family of four, with a high seating position that drivers and passengers like, plus plenty of room for cargo and a price that’s not too outlandish.

The fact that these station wagon replacements have become so popular is also the dramatic improvement in fuel economy these companies have been able to achieve. No longer does a family have to give up huge dollars on fuel to drive a small SUV.

And what makes this new Nissan Rogue so interesting is the level of refinement and capability for up to seven passengers over three rows of seats.

(The Mitsubishi Outlander is the only other small SUV to offer three rows of seats.)

To test this new entry, Nissan held its launch event in and around Mont Tremblant, Quebec, getting a real taste of sub-zero Canadian driving.

Looks                                       

Last year, Nissan introduced the bigger mid-sized Pathfinder SUV and this smaller Rogue shares many styling cues from its bigger brother. This, in my opinion is a good idea, it has a sense of purpose, sophistication and commonality that helps define Nissan’s brand.

Nissan wants to portray “everyday premium” with this new Rogue, including such nice touches as LED daytime running lights, wheel arch extensions, integrated mirror turn signals, plus available power lift gate and optional panoramic moon roof. The dimensions of this new Rogue are a bit of an optical allusion, as it looks much bigger than the outgoing model but, in fact, is 25mm shorter. Yes, the width and height have increased but this small SUV looks longer because the wheelbase has been stretched to make rom for an optional third row of seats.

Starting at $23,495 for the front wheel drive (FWD) S trim, then moving up to $26,748 for the most popular SV model is a price drop from the outgoing 2013 model. The all wheel drive (AWD) S and SV are $2000 more. The Top SL models are only sold with AWD and range from $30,495 to $33,098, which is a perfect price spread for most Canadian families.

Inside

It is easy to throw around slogans like “everyday premium”; it’s another thing to back it up.

In this case, Nissan has the goods. Most compact SUVs have a rather simplistic interior, sometimes fitted with soft-touch materials but rarely do they look upscale.

Nissan has done a good job of delivering a pleasant looking dash with the features people really want. Just because this isn’t a mid-sized SUV, doesn’t mean that Canadians don’t want the finer things.

The middle SV trim will be the most popular due to 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated seats, power driver’s seat and a huge panoramic moon roof for $26,748 in FWD and $2000 more in AWD. To get the three-row version the SV needs to be equipped with the $2050 Family Tech Package that might be worth the stretch because it really does amp up the goodies. They include the third row of seats that makes this a seven-passenger SUV.

Granted, the third row is tight but perfect for those occasional times when extra family members are in town. In addition, this package includes navigation, a 7-inch touch screen monitor, power lift gate, blind-spot detection system and lane departure warning system. These really are premium features found only in luxury SUVs just a few short years ago. Unfortunately, the top SL trim is only available in a two-row 5-seat configuration because it was felt the price would be too high for compact SUV buyers

Drive

As hard as it might be to believe, this new, larger and slightly heavier (49kg) Rogue is actually more fuel-efficient than the last model. They were able to improve the economy by 18 percent through the introduction of a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), aerodynamic tricks and letting the carried-over engine breath a bit better. Still rated at 170hp, the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine does a good job in city driving, thanks to the gearing of the new CVT but can seam a bit underpowered for higher, passing manouevre on the highway.

Overall, the person filling the new Rogue up with fuel will welcome this balance of efficiency and everyday drivability.

As part of the winter driving experience, I drove on an ice course in Macaglisse, Quebec, to highlight the vehicle’s stability system and the Active Trace Control feature. On the first run, through the twisty, sheer ice roads the entire system was shut off. As I crested a hill, then made a hard right turn, the Rogue slid all the way out to the edges of the corner, almost hitting the opposing snow bank. On the second run, with the advanced systems on, the same road was almost uneventful.

The stability and traction control kept the wheels from spinning but the Trace Control System provides just a slight amount of brake force to the inside wheels to help the Rogue navigate the sheet ice with confidence.

These systems are so subtle the driver can hardly tell they are at play.

Verdict

The objective with this new Rogue was to be noticed and provide a level of refinement and creature comforts that the competition isn’t providing. The pricing is fantastic, especially the middle SV models. The larger interior dimensions will always be welcome, as buyers like to get more for their money, but it is still small and efficient enough for city buyers.

Contact: zack [dot] spencer [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

The Lowdown

Power: 2.5L 4-cylinder with 170hp

Fill-up: 8.2L/6.2L/100km (city/highway AWD)

Sticker price: $23,498-$33,098

One thought on “The New Nissan: Roguish Luxury at an Economy Price

    Randy Kelbert says:

    I bought the SV model of the Rogue and put on 8000 km on a trip to the states. I drove in all weather conditions, such as snow and ice, heavy rain, extreme high winds and sand storms and traveled 85 miles per hour after the new car was broken in. The strong winds and speed did hamper my gas mileage at first but later on I averaged 37miles per gallon, mostly highway and at 70 miles per hour. Before I bought this car I test drove all the other SUVs in this class and found I got Chilliwack dealership. There are more options on this model for a better price than other options, for example, I needed a car easy to get into and comfortable to drive and when I tried to get into a Rav4 it was very difficult and they wanted over $3,000 more for the same options with my trade. The Mazda C5 was a little more powerful, but the finish and comfort level was not equal to the 2014 Rogue. This is the first vehicle off the lot that I have not had any glitches that had to be taken back for repair in the first couple of months. We loved the drive up and down hills, everywhere, since the CVT transmission was so smooth and quiet and never found a problem with it. One review I read complained about the power going up hills and highway exceleration. I have driven over 10,000 kilometres now at speeds of 85 mph, bucking the wind and had lots of power. This car maintained good road stability. I am an SUV man and I do have a Ford Escape and enjoy it also, but in my opinion the 2014 Rogue beats every other car in the class this year. I agree that the Ford Escape has more power but it is a V6 and the Rogue is only a 2.5 litre so it is really not a fair comparison. And because of the size of the engine in the Rogue it got over 40 mpg many a time on the highway on my states trip, whereas I have done a states trip with the Escape and I averaged 28-30 mpg. Zack, I enjoy your reviews on vehicles and mine is a true assessment of full time driver. Please test drive the 2014 Rogue before making a decision on an SUV.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

COMMENTS
POPULAR
TAGS
  • Recent Comments

    • Andrew Ross { Enjoyed your Forest of Bowland in the BMW X5M, particularly the photo of the BMW in front of the main part of Stonyhurst College where... }
    • Davd Randall { Bantam designed the Jeep, not Willy's or Ford. The American military gave the original Bantam prototype to Willys and Ford to copy. There is plenty... }
    • Elliott Parodi { All Escalades come with a 6.2-lilter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and drives the rear wheels.... }
    • Ev { Alexandra is an excellent journalist. }