The Truth About Cars » Rogue The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:01:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Rogue Capsule Review: 2014 Nissan Rogue Tue, 03 Jun 2014 12:00:10 +0000 2014-nissan-rogue-14

We’re surrounded by contradiction. Multitasking isn’t and modern conveniences aren’t. The 2014 Nissan Rogue is is the second generation of Nissan’s utterly conventional compact crossover. The Rogue is not what its name says it is, but that’s working better than ever.


Nissan gave the Rogue a complete makeover for 2014 with styling that aligns with the Altima and Pathfinder. The 2014 Rogue is also larger, with enough interior room for an optional third row. It’s not getting on any bedroom walls with a carried-over 2.5 liter four cylinder engine and new CVT as its only powertrain. As banal as the Rogue may be, buyers are excited. The new  Rogue is outdoing last year’s model, now called the Rogue Select, by more than 25%. That’s 20,000 vehicles.

The 2014 Rogue is gaining on the leaders, climbing the sales charts faster than the rest of the top five crossover classmates. It’s the fifth best-selling car in the class, just ahead of the also-new Jeep Cherokee. Derek and I have a running bet over Rogue and Cherokee sales, and he’s probably going to win. While the Cherokee made a big splash when introduced, the quieter Rogue has the lead by about 15,000 units. The cheeky Jeep has gained lately, and it’s a neck and neck battle for monthly numbers. I may win yet, but it’d take a disastrous month or two of Rogue sales for that to happen. While personality will get you a lot of press, conformity will get you customers.


Sometimes you don’t need to cause a revolution. The 2014 Rogue is a solid execution all-around, and it does offer some unique, useful features to keep driving sales after the new wears off. There’s three rows of seats, a folding front passenger seat, the slick Around-View Monitor system, though not all the good stuff is standard. The engine is torquey, if not exactly refined. When you make it work hard, a lot of sound booms through the firewall. Some more noise insulation would go a long way to refining the impression, because there’s nothing wrong with the way the powertrain works. Even the CVT is pretty well sorted. The strangest behavior I noted is how the transmission ratchets its variable ratios up during hard acceleration, and most people never, ever floor it.

The most noticeable thing about the CVT is its stepless nature, and that’s a positive. The second most noticeable thing is its contribution to fuel efficiency. The engine loafs on the highway and the window sticker of the AWD model I drove says you can expect 32 mpg, with city economy coming in at 25 mpg. Credit the computing power behind the XTronic, which adapts to driving style and calls on other sensors within the vehicle to determine whether the car is climbing a hill, zipping down the highway or on a windy secondary road. The transmission control unit chooses from an array of available patterns, and that’s how the XTronic CVT manages to please most drivers without totally offending the discerning tastes of automotive journalists. Yes, that’s a joke. One nice touch is the smooth way the transmission will automatically select a lower gear ratio for engine braking when you back off the accelerator. Internal upgrades to the transmission reduce friction and with the new software to tell the hardware what to do, only Honda can match Nissan’s CVTs.


The optional all-wheel drive system is an occasional-use affair. Rogues with AWD remain a front-wheeling proposition until things get slippery. It’s perfect for the way most people want AWD: seamless, unobtrusive, and automatic. Let’s face it, any Rogue that goes off road is probably doing it accidentally. There’s a locking function to the AWD system, good for situations where you can’t wait for the power to transfer from front to back, such as getting un-stuck.

The impression from behind the wheel is much improved over the first generation. The earlier car was fine, but only fine. The 2014 Rogue feels much more solid structurally, with grown-up suspension tuning that won’t give you internal bleeding. Weight gain has been kept in check by the use of lightweight materials for the hood and liftgate, among other measures, and that contributes to the lack of bobbing around. It’s not interested in any of the antisocial behavior you might call fun, but at least they got the steering weight right. There’s no feedback, though. The interior materials are on par with what you’ll find inside the Jeep Cherokee. That means it’s better than the RAV4 and CR-V. The SL is pretty loaded, feeling like it has more in common with an Infiniti than it does a Versa.


The $32,395 bottom line of the Rogue SL AWD I spent a week is also closer to Infiniti territory. That’s not inexpensive, so what do you get for your money?

The 2.5 liter and CVT are de rigeur, and there were 18” alloy wheels, LED running lights, foglamps, automatic headlamps, heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signal repeaters, privacy glass, rear wiper, and a very slow power liftgate among the highlights of the Cayenne Red test car. The tester also had the SL Premium Package, a $1,900 basket of excellent LED headlights, overly-sensitive Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Moving Object Detection.

Other SL-trim highlights include leather seating, power-adjustable driver’s seat and NissanConnect system with 7” touchscreen, Navigation, and voice recognition. Bose Audio is also part of the SL’s deal. For under $33K, you’re getting a lot of equipment, and there’s just as much cargo space in the Rogue as there is in the segment-leader CR-V. More, in fact, with the second row seats still in use (39.3 cubic feet in the Rogue vs. 37.2 in the CR-V.) Fold the seats and Honda has almost one cubic foot more, but the flip side of that is the 126 cubic feet of passenger volume when you get the three-row Family Package, which my test car was not equipped with. A two-row Rogue has 105.8 cubic feet of space for people, also just edging the CR-V.


With the 2014 Rogue, Nissan studiously took a tape measure to the competition. That’s not what you’d expect a rogue (small “r”) to do. They could have made the bodyshell from Plutonium and called it the Pillage, buyers would still like it. It’s hard not to like something that’s so full of cupholders, cubbie holes and cushy touches, and it’s got more personality than the RAV4 or CR-V. The driver’s choice in this class is still the Mazda CX-5, which loses pretty hard to the Rogue on paper.

The Rogue is a traditional SUV gone rational. Those hoary old truck-based things were truly contradictory. Four-bys being used as family cars. At least the Rogue is comfortable in its skin, which keeps everyone else equally comfortable within that skin.

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Rogue SUV Production To Be Domesticated Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:09:11 +0000

Did you know that there is rogue SUV production? Not to worry, it will be brought under control: Nissan will move production of its Rogue crossover from Kyushu, Japan, where it is built now, to Smyrna, Tennessee in 2013, Nissan’s America chief Carlos Tavares told The Nikkei [sub] today.

The move will bring more than 100,000 units to the U.S., and probably more jobs to Tennessee. “One of the biggest challenge is the strength of the Japanese yen and the impact it has on our profitability,” Tavares said. The yen is stands at 83 to the dollar, and it makes no moves of getting cheaper. At these rates, exporting from Japan is a money losing proposition.

Tavares figures that total global auto sales in 2010 by all makers were 72 million, up from 62 million in 2009. For this year Tavares expect “no less than 73 million.”

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Juke’s On You Edition Thu, 07 Jan 2010 17:09:21 +0000 Nissan Juke, Nissan's sub-Rogue crossover

Nissan stumbles into Scion territory with this teaser image of its new compact crossover, the Juke, to be built in Britain starting this year. The Juke is supposed to bridge the gap between the Qashqai (Rogue) soft-roader and the Note compact MPV. Because someone, somewhere wants a compact crossover with less capability than a Rogue and less rear visibility than a Note. The hunt for that confused consumer is now officially on.

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Quote Of The Day: Rogue Or Rouge Edition Mon, 30 Nov 2009 22:51:03 +0000 Going Rogue?

“The Krom Rogue will look a little more masculine,” [Patrick Steiner, director of sales and marketing for Nissan North America's Specialty Vehicles and Accessories unit] said while standing alongside a prototype black Krom model at Nissan’s North American headquarters here. “We think it will attract a higher percentage of male buyers.”

Manly men can expect to pay $2,000-$4,000 over base for the Krom Edition Rogue’s masculinity defining “entirely new front end with a mesh grille, fog lights, rear spoiler, tinted glass, center exhaust pipes and 17-inch alloy wheels.” [Autoweek, via MSN]

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