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Thread: 2014 Nissan Rogue review thread

  1. #1

    2014 Nissan Rogue review thread

    Here's a glowing one from TFL Car. I love these guys' reviews; ones like this have replaced magazine reviews for information gathering regarding real-world performance.

    Car and Driver:

    While you weren’t paying attention, that sapling you planted matured into a mighty oak, your kids slipped out of diapers into graduation gowns almost overnight. The same thing happens to SUVs: Take your eyes off them, and they grow. Case in point, the Nissan with the swashbuckling name. Six years ago, the Rogue was born a Sentradressed in big kids’ clothes, and it quickly became the second-bestselling badge in Nissan’s lineup. Sent back to finishing school, given a fresh body and chassis, and relocated to Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, the Rogue is back to honor that golden American idiom—bigger is better.

    Bulking Up

    The dimensional gains are actually modest—1.5 inches of width, 1.2 inches of height, a 0.6-inch-longer wheelbase—but the result is a new Rogue that’s as large as the mid-size Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, and Jeep Grand Cherokee were a decade ago. Inflating the cabin stretches rear legroom by a whopping 2.6 inches and rear shoulder room by nearly as much, as well as allowing Nissan to squeeze in an optional third row of kid perches. The 32-cubic-foot cargo hold is 10 percent larger; with the rear seats folded, a nearly level load floor offers an awesome 70 cubic feet for Home Depot booty. To coddle soccer teams and growing families on road trips, the second-row seats recline and slide fore-and-aft nine inches, and every nook and cranny is equipped with a bottle holder, media connector, or some gadget to play with. Small gripes: Thick rear roof pillars restrict outward visibility, and the stowed side curtain airbags crowd lateral headroom for outboard second-row passengers.
    The well-equipped Rogue SL we tested was armed with all-wheel drive, a double-length sunroof, and a vast arsenal of lane-keeping, blind-spot, and incoming-missile technologies, boosting the price to an ambitious $32,395. The weight gain over the first-gen Rogue we tested six years ago is a modest 160 pounds, thanks in part to a new aluminum hood and plastic hatch. That’s important because the 2.5-liter four-cylinder sitting transversely under the hood is for the most part carried over from the previous model. The acceleration we measured—0 to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, the quarter-mile in 17.0 seconds at 83 mph—is a touch slower and reflects the new model’s less-favorable power-to-weight ratio.

    No Shift, Sherlock

    You can have any transmission you like in a Rogue as long as it’s a CVT. The new and improved version here belies our well-documented loathing of belt-and-pulley transmissions. Supplier JATCO, which is partly owned by Nissan, has implemented comprehensive improvements over the outgoing Rogue’s CVT.

    Major reductions in friction and hydraulic losses contribute to gains in EPA gas-mileage estimates. The thirstiest AWD version tested here scored 25 mpg city, 32 highway, and 28 combined, gains of 3 to 5 mpg. Offsetting the 2014 Rogue’s significantly larger frontal area is a wealth of aerodynamic improvements that drop the drag coefficient 10 percent to a claimed 0.33.

    The beauty of any CVT is its ability to sweep through wide-ranging drive ratios with no hint of shift shock. During light throttle applications, moving to a numerically low ratio drops the engine below 2000 rpm, reducing noise and fuel consumption. Below 40 mph, there’s no obvious ratio changing at all. Leg it above that speed, and there’s a gradual climb to 6000 rpm followed by as many as seven ratio “shifts,” each of which notches the revs back to 5300 rpm. Moving the shift lever to the L position reverts to more-classic CVT action with rpm ranging between 4000 and 6200 rpm (depending on throttle position) and the engine delivering all it’s got.

    This is the mode we used to crack the nine-second 0-to-60-mph barrier. Half-a-dozen Helmholtz resonators fitted to the engine’s intake tract do an excellent job of muting the drone of the engine revving between its power peak and redline. The third alternative is to tap the Sport button left of the steering column. This reprograms the CVT to select more-aggressive ratios. The silly paddle shifters fitted to first-gen Rogues have thankfully been ditched. The only anomaly we observed was the CVT’s inability to shift out of high gear following each of our 70-to-0-mph braking tests, resulting in a moment’s hesitation immediately after each panic stop. Bottom line: Although we’d take any manual over any automatic, the new Rogue’s CVT exorcises the truly serious annoyances of the previous one.

    Driving Roguishly
    The upgrades invested in this edition aren’t restricted to the transmission. The AWD system powers the front wheels all the time, with the rears kicking in only when necessary. Tapping the lock button gives you maximum traction for departing slippery intersections or digging through fresh snow, but this mode is restricted to speeds below 25 mph, so don’t plan on entering the Rogue in the Baja 1000. And although the electrically assisted power steering provides a satisfying effort build off-center, feedback from the road is never part of the deal. The suspension tuning traipses that narrow line between just enough control to keep the tall body from teetering and not so much that you dread every expansion joint in your path. The brakes stop this soft-roader in a relatively short 170 feet from 70 mph to 0, but we wish the pedal felt firmer underfoot and had less travel.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a sporting bone in the Rogue’s body. The front bucket seats are thrones worthy of those in any German import, the SL leather interior trim rivals that of any Infiniti, and the entire cabin is designed with maximum utility as a priority. However, Nissan engineers had their hands so full perfecting the optional seven-inch touch screen, programming the hands-free text-messaging system, and wiring the array of impending-doom warning systems—blind-spot, lane-departure, forward-collision, moving-object detection; and a bird’s-eye view of the outside world—that they never got around to instilling the Rogue with driving enjoyment. Fret not: Before you know it, there’ll be another redesign, possibly with that lapse addressed and ready for a varsity skirmish.
    I really love the BMW-esque interiors that are starting to proliferate across the Nissan lineup. This Rogue interior looks very similar to the 5th-gen Altima's, which was awesome and boasted class-leading fit and finish in my rental. It looks like the Murnao and upcoming Maxima (to be teased at Detroit next week) will continue the trend. Of course, the new Infiniti interiors are better than any sub-$80,000 BMW interior. Nissan/Infiniti have that part down. It's nice that everything else about the car seems to match the quality of its styling and finish.
    Last edited by JayG35; 01-06-2014 at 10:28 AM.

  2. #2
    I believe tflcar gave it a buy it rating. Before even if they liked the a cvt car they would give it a lease it just because it was a cvt (altima 2013). Seems this behaves like my 2014 altima with the new shifting program in d mode...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rennie4 View Post
    I believe tflcar gave it a buy it rating. Before even if they liked the a cvt car they would give it a lease it just because it was a cvt (altima 2013). Seems this behaves like my 2014 altima with the new shifting program in d mode...
    That's a good point. TFL was not as negative as some regarding the CVT, but they were skiddish to recommend buying. That's all gone now.

    It looks like Nissan did make some very positive small changes to the CVT for 2014. That's very good news.

    This new shifting in d mode will enable them to use the transmission in the redesigned Maxima without misinformed people screaming that it's not a "4DSC" anymore. If they give it AWD, it could surprise a lot of people.

    Here's one by the LA Times, as an example of the laziness and misinformation in reporting (WARNING: they rail against the CVT the entire time):

    2014 Nissan Rogue's CVT transmission is big letdown

    The 2014 Nissan Rogue's continuously variable transmission, meant primarily to boost fuel economy, handles acceleration poorly.

    By David UndercofflerJanuary 4, 2014, 8:00 a.m.

    Walk blindfolded into a Nissan dealership and you'll soon bump into a vehicle with a CVT.

    Twelve models come with this new type of transmission. No other brand has so thoroughly embraced the technology. Honda sells four vehicles with such a setup; Toyota has one.

    So it's with a bit of irony that, after a week of testing the all-new Rogue crossover, our biggest headache came from — yes, the CVT. For all the development Nissan has put into the gearbox, it apparently still can't figure out how to build one that drives well. It's a big weakness in an otherwise well-done sport-utility, starting at $23,359.

    CVT stands for continuously variable transmission, meant primarily to boost fuel economy. It's a type of automatic gearbox that uses essentially one gear to always keep the engine at its most efficient speed.

    Nissan has led the charge into these transmissions, deciding in about 2000 to go whole hog into this setup, said Carla Bailo, senior vice president for research and development of Nissan Americas. It was then that the automaker was working on the original 2003 Murano crossover, the first Nissan sold in the U.S. with a CVT.

    "The main impetus is CVTs really allow us to hit our fuel economy targets," Bailo said. "We determined that this is the right technology for us."

    Our main complaint with the Rogue's CVT was how it handled accelerating (on-ramps, stop signs, car chases). The transmission forced the engine to rev louder and longer than you'd expect from a traditional automatic with fixed gears. The intrusion into the cabin was enough to drown out the stereo or conversation with fellow passengers.

    It didn't help that the Rogue felt underpowered in these situations. On paper, it's not.

    The 2014 model uses the same engine as its predecessor, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit that makes 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are on par with the rest of the compact crossover segment, which includes the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV-4, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Cherokee, Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox.

    But stomp on the Roque's gas pedal and it all but ignores you and continues to drone on at its current pace. And despite strong EPA ratings — 25 miles per gallon city, 32 highway for our loaded all-wheel-drive tester — we found the engine-transmission combo to be no more efficient than the Rogue's peers. We averaged 24.4 mpg in mostly highway miles.

    The Rogue's CVT also has an unfortunate habit that brought criticism to early CVTs: the rubber-band effect. This gives the vehicle the feeling that it's constantly fighting against a rubber band, whether you're accelerating or coasting. The motor drones on, leaving you yearning for an old-fashioned shift.

    This was despite Nissan taking steps to minimize this effect, based on customer feedback from earlier CVT models. The Rogue's transmission is the first the automaker has built with updated software to mimic the shifts in a conventional automatic.

    Whether these annoyances scare off potential Rogue buyers remains to be seen. The type of transmission and its driving dynamics mean much less to many buyers than efficiency, style and comfort, said David Petrovski, a principal powertrain analyst at IHS Automotive.

    "This day and age, if you want fuel economy, you're going to have to accept some new sorts of feelings inside the car," Petrovski said. "People fall in love with how a vehicle looks, how it's laid out in the cabin and the features the car has."

    This means that the Rogue could continue to be one of Nissan's most popular vehicles, because the rest of this crossover is thoughtfully executed.

    Sitting slightly wider and higher than the outgoing model, the 2014 iteration rests in the Goldilocks "just-right" area of size. It's small enough to squeeze into tidy parking spaces on the street. But with no hump in the middle of the back-seat floor, and an extra 11.4 cubic feet of interior space, this Rogue is plenty big inside for five tall adults and all their gear.

    You can even order it with compact third-row seating on the base S and mid-level SV model. It's a $940 option, although this feature wasn't available on our loaded $32,395 SL AWD tester.

    But our Rogue did have nearly every other available option. This includes a panoramic moon roof, LED headlights, forward-collision and lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, touch-screen navigation system, bird's-eye camera for parking and leather seats.

    What's more, the Rogue's insides were a nice place to spend some time when the engine wasn't yelling at you. The panels are commendably bolted together, the seats are comfortable and, overall, this Nissan feels refined.

    The quality of the interior is matched by the design of the exterior. Tasteful bits of chrome and the LED headlights highlight a handsomely sculpted body that looks more upscale than many competitors. The Rogue manages to look assertive without being overtly masculine, which should serve Nissan well since many buyers in this segment are female.

    But the Rogue's many niceties may not be enough to overcome the failures of the transmission. Honda's CR-V, Ford's Escape and Mazda's CX-5 are all at the top of their game right now. With a robust fleet of competitors, all lacking such an Achilles' heel, Nissan can't afford such a fundamental weakness.
    Twitter: @latimes_driven
    2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD

    Times' take: A potential segment leader — if not for the transmission

    Highs: Handsome styling, perfect size, useful space

    Lows: Transmission, transmission, transmission

    Vehicle type: 4-door compact crossover SUV

    Base price: $23,350

    Price as tested: $32,395

    Powertrain: 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder, all-wheel drive

    Transmission: Continuously variable transmission

    Horsepower: 170

    Torque: 175 pound-feet

    0-60: 8.9 seconds, according to Car and Driver magazine

    EPA fuel economy rating: 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway

    At least they save space to mention what a huge improvement this is over the prior model, but come on! This CVT McCarthyism is so 2008.
    Last edited by JayG35; 01-07-2014 at 12:27 PM.

  4. #4

    The Qashqai (= Rouge) receives top grade from all over

    The Qashqai has been tested by various UK-magazines and it is a warm welcome it receives. Good styling, good quality interior, decent drive and fuel economy are highlights for the Qashqai. Even the CVT is pleasing to the eye of the testers

    I'm looking forward to see the car in flesh soon.
    Last edited by trondhla; 01-09-2014 at 01:34 PM.

  5. #5
    See! The Brits can, when they try really hard, avoid being ay-holes in their Nissan reviews.

    Some more:


    Metronews Canada


    All are glowing except for the lukewarm Autoblog one.

    With this interior, how can this thing lose? It has the look of a BMW CUV, while the materials aren't as dramatic a downgrade as you'd think.

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