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2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Test Drive

This is the new 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD. It’s got stellar good looks, an interior that punches well above its weight class, and a CVT transmission. When first introduced back in 2008 the Rogue was nothing more than a compact SUV that offered “okay” looks and decent economy. For 2014 though it not only went through a full redesign, but its dimensions have grown. It’s been widened by 1.5-inches, has had a growth spurt of 1.2-inches and now rides on a 0.6-inch-longer wheelbase. In short, this baby of an SUV is growing up into a well-rounded young adult.

2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Specifications

Style:Compact Crossover.
Seating Capacity:5-Passengers.
Price As Tested:$32,480.00
Engine:2.5-liter Inline-4 Cylinder - 170-hp / 175 lb-ft of Torque.
Transmission/Drive:CVT (Continuously Variable Automatic)/All-wheel Drive
0 to 60 mph: 8.9-seconds
Curb Weight:3,668 lbs.
Fuel Economy:25 city / 32 hwy / 22 combined

2014 Nissan Rogue Test Drive


Where the first generation Nissan Rogue (2008-2013) looked somewhat like a short stubby Murano, this new one is carving out a path all its’ own. Designers have done a wonderful job of giving the new Rogue an upscale look a¬nd feel, making it one of the best looking offerings in the segment. The front end incorporates a new, larger chrome V-shape emblem housing, a blacked-out lower front air-damn and rugged looking black trim over the wheel arches. While a rear-mounted spoiler, chrome trim and large 18” x 7” aluminum-alloy wheels add a touch of elegance.

Compared to others in the segment, the Rogue stands out as it gives the appearance of appearing much larger than it actually is. This is partially due to the upward sloping window line and high-mounted rear taillights. No longer does the Rogue look like a budget-minded mini-ute, but instead, a well-rounded SUV that I think will age quite gracefully.


2014 Nissan Rogue Test DriveThankfully Nissan designers continued to go full-bore when it came to the Rogues’ interior. Open the doors and the cabin greets you with comfortable leather appointed seats, a double-length sunroof, navigation, push button start, and dual climate controls. It feels of high quality and to be honest, rivals the interior of the Lexus IS350C I tested just a few weeks ago. What’s even better is the fact that the interior of the Rogue is simply a pleasant place to be for both driver and passenger alike.

Nissan has clearly aimed the Rogue SL at budding families, as there is quite a bit of cargo space (39.3 cu ft with rear seats up and a whopping 70.0 cu ft with seats folded flat). There’s also a power lift gate and a functional, albeit somewhat strange, rear shelving system.


If there’s one place where the Rogue seems lackluster, it’s under the hood. The 2.5-liter inline-4 produces 170-hp and 175 lb-ft of torque through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Plant your foot and the transmission revs to the moon while providing you with acceleration that’s anything but exciting. It’s better than the previous generation CVT, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

Even though there’s an AWD badge on the rear lift gate it’s doubtful that people will confuse the Rogue as a true off-road machine. This is a vehicle that’s more suited to soccer fields, mall parking lots and the occasional trip to your favorite ski resort. Remember, this is an AWD system, not 4WD – there’s a big difference. Normal driving sees power heading to the front wheels with the rears engaging only under the slipperiest of road conditions. There is also a “LOCK” button located to the lower left of the steering wheel. It will give you max traction by engaging the rear wheels, but it only works up to 25 mph, so keep that in mind.

Unfortunately steering and braking were a bit on the underwhelming side. Overall, the steering felt numb and provided very little in the way of road feel or feedback, while hard braking was simply adequate. It’s a shame that Nissan didn’t spend the same amount of energy on the Rogue’s overall performance as they did on the exterior and interior, as a better driveline would catapult the Rogue by leaps and bounds over its’ competition.

2014 Nissan Rogue Test Drive


CVT transmission aside, this 2014 Nissan Rogue is a great little SUV that delivers on all fronts. It puts up decent EPA numbers for an AWD vehicle (25 city / 32 hwy), has a class-leading interior, storage, and is, in my opinion, a great looking SUV.

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