And the winner of the ‘All Around Best New Vehicle If You Need One Car To Do it All Award’ goes to, wait for it, the 2014 Nissan Rogue! Yes, I made that up, but if you are interested in using it for your own marketing purposes, I will consider selling it to you for a small fee.
I purchased a red, 2014 Rogue SL this year, and can whole-heartedly recommend it for anyone needing a moderately-priced, crossover utility (CUV) with enough features to stand out in the ever-growing crowd.
I hadn’t considered purchasing a Nissan since I got caught up in the mini-truck craze while in high school back in ’86. They called the company Datsun then, and the little two-wheel-drive pickup with the chrome rims was really appealing to my 17-year-old wallet.
Nissan got real interesting for me again this year, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Every vehicle I owned, including my sporty Mini Cooper and our Volkswagen CC Luxury edition, caused me excruciating pain after 15 minutes of road time.
Enter the 2014 Nissan Rogue. I bought this vehicle for one reason only: the ‘Zero-gravity, NASA-inspired seats’. The seats are even better than advertised (more on that later), but then again, so is the Rogue.
The 2014 Rogue is an all-new version of the vehicle that was launched by Nissan for the 2008 model year. The old Rogue is still being sold as the Rogue Select, but don’t bother with that one unless you need a CUV in the low $20,000 range. The 2014 Rogue is hands-down a better-looking and more capable CUV.
If you are looking for a CUV that has sports car performance, the Rogue isn’t for you. However, if you are willing to settle for modest power; a smooth-‘shifting’, continuously-variable transmission; all-wheel drive; and above-average fuel economy, the Rogue’s utility and comfort features will make you forget all about becoming the next Mario Andretti (that was so 1986; who is the hot driver these days?).
In the 11,000 miles I have put on the car since purchase, I have an average fuel economy of 26.5 mpg combined. I know this because the Rogue’s LCD display tells me every time I push the start button. If I don’t drive like a madman, I achieve a high of 31.4 mpg on my morning freeway commute.
The new Rogue looks masculine compared to the Rogue Select, and the sharper lines are a big improvement over its predecessor. The body won’t win any styling awards, but it is a good-looking vehicle, comparable to other CUVs in the field.
Where the 2014 Rogue stands out, is the comfort and convenience category, where it earns an A+. While the base S model is ‘nicely-equipped’ as they say in dealer jargon, spring for the SL model if you can afford it (MSRP starting at $28,000). The SL package features leather seating surfaces; heated seats and mirrors; a 9-speaker Bose sound system with sub-woofer; navigation with a 7” color screen; 360-degree camera; lane-departure warning; blind-spot warning; and moving object detection.
The interior features a number of surfaces, ranging from hard plastics to soft-touch materials. It has an up-scale feel that somehow feels sporty as well. The vehicle seats five comfortably for short and medium-distance trips, but the fifth passenger would find a long-distance excursion to be too cramped for comfort.
The rear seatback is adjustable, and features a drop-down armrest when the center seat is unused. Third-row seating is available, but it really isn’t suitable for anything more than a small child and a Chihuahua in a dog-carrier. Purchase the third seat at your own risk, as it eats up the majority of the Rogue’s top of class cargo area.
The cargo area is one of the largest in its class, and is easily accessed via a power liftgate. The cargo area has multiple configurations due to what Nissan calls its Divide-N-Hide cargo system. Call it whatever you want, but it’s an ingenious way to conceal cargo in the floor, or partition areas so your groceries don’t slide around.
If you aren’t sold on the 2014 Rogue yet, just slide into the driver’s cockpit, where your backside is greeted by the most-exquisite seats you have experienced in a motor vehicle costing less than a Bentley. How much NASA had to do with these ‘zero-gravity seats’ isn’t entirely clear, but they are a small slice of heaven. The seats are constructed of memory foam and supple leather, offering a moderate level of support. The adjustable lumbar support offers significant relief for those of us with lower-back pain.
I stumbled on the 2014 Rogue while researching vehicles with seats that would relieve my fibromyalgia pain, and found a vehicle that does so much more. Whether you need pain relief or just an all-around great CUV, give the 2014 Rogue a test drive. Your back and wallet will thank you.
Amazon Price: $24.99 $14.59 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 3, 2015)