First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives
First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives
First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives
2014 Nissan Rogue. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Tom Sedens

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec – On January 26, 2014, I flew into Montreal and spent the night. In the morning, I met up with Nissan representatives at the airport and was paired up with a driving partner. We made our way out of the city and headed toward Mont-Tremblant.

We found our way to the setting for dinner – a hidden gem in the form of a rustic back-country lodge catering to paintball heroes in the summer and ski-doo expeditions and dog-sledding trips in the winter. A spectacular dinner beside a huge wood-burning fireplace was a nice way to take a load off for the evening. But the real treat was our accommodation – Nissan put us up at the incredibly scenic Hotel Quintessence in Mont-Tremblant. Put it on your bucket list. It is a setting and an experience unto itself.

We were here to check out the all-new 2014 Rogue. The Rogue is Nissan’s top seller, but they have their eye on moving up in the highly competitive compact crossover segment.

To compete better with the sales leaders in the class, Nissan has given the Rogue a new platform (co-developed with Renault) and blessed it with a more upscale exterior, an interior that definitely takes it up a notch, a full suite of driving and safety technology and hey, they’ve even thrown in an optional third row.

The vehicle is available in Nissan’s familiar S, SV and SL (the top of the heap) trim levels. The S and SV models are available in front- or all-wheel drive, whereas the SL only comes with all-wheel drive.

Even the base S trim gets equipped nicely with standard features like a rear-view camera, Bluetooth and USB input. Some of the available options – like third-row seating, AroundView Monitor with cameras all around, blind-spot and lane departure monitoring systems, navigation and a power liftgate – are surprising in this class and certainly take the Rogue up a rung on the premium ladder.

Nissan uses the term “everyday premium” to describe the new styling and I buy into that. It’s certainly nice to look at, and looks expensive while taking a bolder approach in terms of its lines.

Though nothing is groundbreaking when it comes to the styling, I felt it looked confident, upscale and fairly timeless. I think this new Rogue will age very gracefully.

LED running lights, available LED “Boomerang” headlights and Nissan’s corporate “V-Motion” grille elements give the front end a distinctive look, while the wraparound taillights get a unique signature as well.

Although the outside dimensions haven’t changed drastically (it’s slightly taller and wider, but has actually become 25 mm shorter), the new Rogue has an extended wheelbase and this allowed the engineers to build a bigger, roomier cabin.

First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue nissan first drives
2014 Nissan Rogue. Click image to enlarge

I really liked the dash and cabin design – it came across as upscale and highly functional. Nissan uses soft-touch plastics, high-end textures and some metallic trim accents, which give the Rogue a truly premium feeling throughout, especially when compared to some of the rivals like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Fit and finish was truly exemplary as well.

Nissan brought their acclaimed Zero-Gravity seat concept over from the Altima, and I found them to be highly comfortable. They were power-adjustable, heated and upholstered in leather in my tester. Even the seat heaters got some attention – they’ve incorporated Quick Comfort technology that heats your thighs first and very quickly, and then the heat radiates up to your lower back and so on. A small but effective change putting heat where our bodies feel it first.

The sharp, high-contrast gauges were easy to read as was the big five-inch driver information screen between them.

I enjoyed the centre stack design – it is easy to use, ergonomically sound and well organized. The star is the seven-inch touchscreen display – it’s surrounded by a few hard buttons and handles media, phone and navigation. Of course it acts as the camera monitor too. There’s a dual-zone automatic climate control system and a vast panoramic sunroof overhead. The Bose stereo sounded fantastic.




About Tom Sedens

Tom Sedens is an Edmonton-based automobile journalist, husband, dad and driving enthusiast, as well as an accredited member of AJAC.