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Is Bigger Really Better? 2014 Nissan Rogue

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On: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 5:03PM | By: Teddy Field

Is Bigger Really Better? 2014 Nissan Rogue

Like people, cars tend to get bigger with age. Case in point, the newly redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue. This once-petite crossover has gained a third row of seats and a bit of 'heft' in its second generation. It hasn't migrated into midsize territory just yet, but there's a lot more Rogue than there used to be. Now sporting a slightly bigger waist, the Rogue has been thoroughly reworked by NIssan to keep its compact CUV competitive in this growing segment. Their second best-selling model now comes with a host of new technologies, and passenger room has obviously increased too. But is the Rogue just becoming a fat villain, or is there now 'more to love'? Let's find out...

The Tennessee-built 2014 Nissan Rogue greets the new model year with 0.6 inches of added room between the axles, and 1.2 inches of extra height. The front overhang has actually been reduced, but the new Rogue still has a much more substantial presence than before. This added bulk translates into a roomier cabin, which is where you're going to spend all your time anyway. The beautifully finished interior has less intrusive elements than before. The door trim is lower, the center console sits further down, and the new Zero-Gravity (see: Memory Foam) seats occupy less real estate. All of this combines to give the second generation Rogue a larger-feeling cabin, which it actually is.

Compared to the outgoing model, cargo volume has swelled 11 cubes to 70 cu-ft. Fold the front passenger seat down, and Nissan claims that you can fit an 8-ft ladder (that'll matter to a soccer mom). Both the second and (optional) third row seats fold flat into the floor, and the middle bench can slide 9 inches fore and aft—presumably to torture the poor souls in the third row. The rear and rear ¾ viability is so bad it's almost funny. But Nissan has counteracted that problem with a standard backup camera. The Around-View Camera system with moving-object detection, Lane-Departure, Blind-spot, and Forward-Collision warning(s) are also available.

And while we're on the subject of technology, the 2014 Nissan Rogue can also be outfitted with a suite of new brake-based driver assistant features. Active Trace Control can help you corner better by applying individual wheel brakes as necessary, or retarding throttle response. Active Engine Braking allows the standard CVT to start slowing the vehicle down when you lift off of the accelerator. And finally, Active Ride Control monkeys with the brakes and throttle when you hit a bump, to reduce the severity of the rebound from said bump. Can you say “frequent brake jobs”?

With a starting price of around $22k, the 2014 Nissan Rogue will likely continue as one of Nissan's best-selling people-pods. Fuel economy figures haven't been released yet, but low-30's are expected on the highway. And in case you were wondering, AWD is available, and motivation comes from a 170-hp 2.5L 4-pot. Yawn.

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