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#5

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $22,490 - $29,420
Invoice: $21,132 - $27,628
MPG: 26 City / 33 Hwy
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Nissan Rogue Performance

Some test drivers say that the 2014 Nissan Rogue has adequate acceleration, but others note that the Rogue could use a more powerful engine to carry its weight. Still, the redesigned Rogue shines when it comes to fuel economy numbers, earning some of the best estimates in the class.

  • "… Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission, which, as we've said before, is perhaps the best CVT on the market. It's happy to hold revs higher in the range when power is needed, but drivers will be punished for their speedy tendencies with a horrible engine sound." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2014 Rogue drives well. Despite the troubling power-to-weight ratio, the machine never seems to have any trouble getting out of its own way." -- Road and Track
  • "Point the heftily weighted electric steering toward the open road, peg the right pedal and you're suddenly reminded it has a CVT. At half throttle and above the transmission winds the four-cylinder out incessantly, which only serves to highlight that the engine can get slightly thrashy at high revs. Of course, the benefit to this high-rpm running is that the Rogue is no slouch in acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "Unfortunately, a better engine room racket doesn't translate to more power and torque. At around 3,500 lbs., the Rogue isn't especially plump, but it could use another pony or two under the hood. Still, we were easily able to achieve combined city/highway mileage of 28.9 mpg, which slightly betters the EPA estimates." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

There is only one engine available with the 2014 Nissan Rogue: a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower, which is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Rogue gets up to 26/33 mpg city/highway, according to Nissan, which is excellent for the class.

Reviewers say that the Rogue's excellent fuel economy estimates are due in part to the CVT, which they also say is a leading factor in the Rogue's lackluster performance. Critics say the CVT is clamorous and vibrates at lower speeds. While most reviewers agree that the Rogue’s engine provides satisfactory acceleration, some say the 2014 Rogue would benefit from a more powerful engine option.

  • "In an effort to achieve class-leading gas mileage, Nissan has dulled its performance a little too much for our tastes. We think the Rogue would be well-served with a more muscular engine option, similarly to the Ford Escape and Kia Sportage." -- AutoTrader
  • "While the engine provides adequate acceleration, it doesn't exactly feel thrilled about its lot in life. Neither smooth nor quiet, the big four-cylinder is one of the few reminders of Rogue's low cost of entry." -- Road and Track
  • "But the CVT's preferred modus operandi is to bring the revs as low as possible for fuel economy purposes. It lugs the engine so much at lower speeds that some bad vibrations make their way into the cabin. Pressing the Sport button raises the revs slightly, but you'll forsake the mileage benefits." -- Edmunds
  • "Unfortunately, the unrefined powertrain lets down the polished chassis. Nissan's extensive experience with CVTs means that this transmission is well-calibrated to make the most of the engine's 170 horsepower, but the coarse 2.5-liter four-cylinder still produces an unpleasant racket under hard acceleration." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Nissan Rogue comes equipped with front-wheel drive and Active Trace Control, which is a system that applies the inner or outer brakes to improve handling. All-wheel drive is optional. Reviewers agree that the Active Trace Control system instills confidence, and that the Rogue’s brakes are strong. They also agree that the Rogue's steering feels properly weighted, but vague. One auto critic says the Rogue's handling falls close to the middle of the class; there are both better and worse handling compact SUVs on the market.

  • "The electric power-steering system doesn't provide much in the way of feedback but is well-weighted and doesn't suffer from over assistance. The brakes are confident, and there's plenty of visibility front and rear." -- Road and Track
  • "The steering is nicely weighted, with decent on-center feel, albeit not quite as direct and precise as the steering in the Mazda CX-5, the segment's undisputed dynamic champ. In terms of overall driving enjoyment, the Rogue falls somewhere in the middle-high range of the segment - not as engaging as the aforementioned CX-5 or even a Subaru Forester, but it's a more entertaining steer than other competitors like the Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V." -- Autoblog
  • "Handling is safe and secure but not well defined and certainly not inspiring, including the placid, numb electrically boosted steering." -- Car and Driver
Review Last Updated: 4/16/14

Next Steps: Nissan Rogue