2014 Nissan Rogue SL Review Video
– by James Hamel
While it doesn’t really break a whole lot of new ground in any particular category, the 2014 Nissan Rogue SL sure is a sweet compact family SUV from Smyrna, Tennessee where it is now built. It’s handsome with muscular exterior lines, has a pleasingly upscale interior with all of the latest gadgets, is affordably priced and is nothing like the previous version which was more like the sweet transvestite from Transylvania of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” fame. It was ugly, the interior felt cheap and the optional leather looked like it was engineered by none other than Dr. Frankenfurter in his lab.
Now, however, the only carryover piece in the 2014 Rogue is the 2.5 liter 170 horsepower/175 lb. feet of torque 4-cylinder and updated CVT automatic transmission, both of which seem much more refined in this application simply due to increased body rigidity and sound deadening enhancements. This compact family SUV may not be the fastest but it rides smoothly, handles decently and has lots of that feel good factor which counts for so much in the showroom. The biggest improvement is in interior materials quality which now boasts soft touch plastic everywhere and handsome chrome effect design touches around the air vents as well as easy to understand controls on the dash.
Prices start at just $22,790 for a decently well-equipped base S model but ours was a pretty much loaded SL variant that only lacked all-wheel drive as an option. It started out at a little over $29,000 with standard leather seating, 18-inch aluminum alloys, Nissan’s ingenious around-view back-up camera, in-dash navigation, dual zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, USB/i-Pod integration, a 9-speaker Bose audio system with subwoofer, power rear tailgate and more. We added the $1,990 Premium Package which added a nice full length panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps as well as safety features like Blind Spot warning, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and an object detection system that keeps you from running things (or people) over.
Fuel economy according to the EPA is 26 city/33 highway on regular which were a little optimistic given the fact that you have to push the Rogue’s motor hard to keep up with fast moving LA traffic. We averaged 23 miles per gallon but that was mainly around town. Cargo space is excellent with 39.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats growing to 70 cubic feet seats folded down. Midlevel SV models can be ordered with a third row of seats but we question the usability of a seat with no legroom. Unless you have legless children. Apologies for that remark if you really do.
But overall, the 2014 Nissan Rogue proved itself perfectly capable of taking on the CR-V’s, RAV-4’s and Kia Sportage’s of the world. We might still prefer the Mazda CX-5 for its sporty, fun to drive nature and the Ford Escape for its all-around awesomeness but the Rogue should definitely now be on your test drive short list.
Why This Ride?
– The 2014 Nissan Rogue SL’s muscular and masculine exterior stands out in the bland family SUV crowd
– The interior is truly one of the best in class
– The safety features in the SL’s Premium Package proved quite helpful
– It’s affordable and covers lots of price points
– It’s not last year’s Rogue