With stalwarts such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4, Nissan had its work cut out for it to remain competitive. Luckily the new Rogue has shed its rental car image and is now a formidable contender.
The Nissan Rogue was all new for 2014. Entering it’s second generation the Rogue has grown in size and styling just in time, as the small SUV segment is currently the most hotly contested. With stalwarts such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4, Nissan had its work cut out for it to remain competitive. Luckily the new Rogue has shed its rental car image and is now a formidable contender.
One gaze upon Nissan’s new Rogue quickly lets you know it’s really grown up. Nissan’s currently corporate styling looks great and lends itself well to a small SUV. In fact it could be argued that the Rogue is now the best looking in its class. Surprisingly the new sheet metal gives the impression the Rogue has grown larger, and it has, but only fractionally. Height is up over 2 inches to 67.5″ lending to the impression of being larger, but length is actually down 1/10 of an inch to 182.8″. Meanwhile the interior has also been thoroughly reworked with a contemporary design and better quality materials.
The new digs afford Nissan’s small SUV with light-on-it’s-feet road manners that make the Rogue feel almost tossable. Aiding that feeling is Nissan’s linear electric power steering with decent feedback and a ride that is a bit firmer than the competition, but not to harsh to be unbearable. Occasionally some of the course payment sound makes it’s way into the cabin so Nissan has definitely chosen to give the Rogue a sporty vibe.
The 2.5L 4-cylinder continues to power the Rogue with 170-hp and 175 lb. of torque mated to Nissan’s legendary continuously variable transmission. The big news is fuel economy though where the ratings are up 4MPG in the city and 5MPG on the highway resulting final ratings of 26MPG city and 33MPG highway. Impressive numbers for this class, but what was even more impressive was averaging 29MPG over the course of a week in mixed driving with my Rogue test vehicle.
Making the new Rogue stand out even more a features not found on most of it’s competitors. Nissan has made many upscale features available such as it’s great Around View camera system which provides a 360-degree view of your surroundings, a panoramic sunroof, and a third-row of seats allowing seating for 7 passengers. Other available features include navigation with mobile apps, power liftgate, and a full suite a safety technologies including blind spot, forward collision, and lane departure warnings.
Nissan’s Rogue also continues to be competitive in an area that matters most, and that’s price. The SL version I tested starts at $28,280 with 4-wheel drive and loaded with options it tops out in the low $30’s, but the S trim starts at much more reasonable $23,040. Considering the fair amount of standard equipment. handsome good looks, great road manners, and amazing the fuel economy, the Rogue has quickly climbed from an also-ran to a top competitor in the small SUV class.