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Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWDPolished up, smoothed over and more sophisticated sums up Nissan's new Rogue SL AWD. Brian Cooley drives it and checks the tech.
The dictionary defines a rogue as a dishonest unprincipled man, a scoundrel, cheat or ne-er do well. Well the 2014 Nissan Rogue is about as Roguish as them all. Polished up, smoothed over, and more sophisticated. Not sure what they can do about the name. In. Let's drive the SL All Wheel Drive version, and check the tank. Now it's easy to spot this new generation Rogue. It doesn't look at all like the outgoing generation. You've got this more. Sophisticated presence to its styling and its details. They tell me [NOISE] it's also a three row optional vehicle. I actually find that hard to believe looking at this one, which only seems to have two rows. [MUSIC] You can easily put the second row seats down to create a flat load floor. And they have this divide and hide stowage system in the back too. All of which are nods to keeping it practical and not just better looking. Now inside the new Rogue they've really redone the interior and the quality of the materials. They've really brought the Rogue up the minute you sit in here. I've been griping about Nissan hemulates for some time. This one is a substantial step forward. First of all it's nice. Smoothly rendered, beautiful dot pitch on the screen, nice and bright. It's actually got a bit of an Infinity quality to it. As you run through your media choices you see you've got a whole new layout on the screen. If you've been paying attention to Infinity, it does a pretty good job with meta tags. For example, there's room for the full spell out, and they let it do that. A one note, while you do have satellite and AM and FM radio, of course. CD, aux, bluetooth plugin and bluetooth streaming. You're interestingly missing HD radio, which on a car like this which is the highest trim of its family, that's kind of an odd omission. As you get to your navigation screen, this is also nice big buttons and the thing I love, quick response to the touchscreen. You just get on it and as soon you hit that button you get a response. That's the way it should be. Let's see how the voice command works. 235 Second Street San Fransisco, California. [MUSIC] Please Wait. Street address, showing matching location. One. One. Set as destination, show on map, or enter add-. Set as destination. So, on the upside it took an entire phrase address without me having to use any particularly tortured language. That's great. On the downside you saw a long [UNKNOWN]. Assessing delay between each step. And, like so many cars, it still does dumb stuff like, okay we found your address. Do you want to go there, or do something else with it? I want to go there. Tesla's the only car maker that really gets you right to that. Most others give you a bunch of additional choices that take my mind off driving. But they've made big improvements. Now the APPS is a very interesting area. Hit this other button in the upper right and frustratingly you get some media apps. To me, iHeartRadio and Pandora are forms of radio. Yet they're not even remotely related in the interface, to radio, which is over. right here under satellite and broadcast. That's the hodgepodge but so be it. Once you get there just hit the Pandora button. It will invoke the Pandora app automatically on your phone. Believe it or not some cars make you start it in both places. This one blessedly doesn't. Again, I find slow response time as it makes the handshake between the two. But once it comes up, again, we're seeing the nice meta tag display. Album art looks good in this case, and your usual Pandora functions are available as well. [MUSIC] And of course, notice, here, we have Google online search. Which lets you either search via a keyboard for entry, or use voice search. But notice this, it's a different button. Not the one on the wheel, and it's a different platform. It goes out to nuance, as opposed to the Nissan on board, which is only for phone calls and navigation. So again we're seeing kind of a confusing mess of expectations and interfaces here. And because we're doing Google search I've got fairly familiar ways to sort, by category, by distance or by ratings. Put this guy in reverse and that screen of course becomes a backup camera. But notice you've got a split screen here. Your traditional back up on the left, this is the around view monitor on the right. A big Nissan Infinity thing using front, rear and under mirror side cameras. And when you're underway at very low speeds, you can invoke the camera on demand, like so with this button, and pushing it again gives you a side view on the right, for things like curbs, cyclists approaching, or someone stepping off the sidewalk towards your car. Notice these little flags right here, MOD, that's moving object detection. This will also alert you to things moving within your camera view, in case you miss them. In terms of your in cabin driving controls, very straightforward on this car. Because we have a CVT, we have a very traditional looking shifter from park down to low in the classic PRNDL layout. No paddles on this car even though it's at the top trim. Over here is a tiny. A very little sport button that ostensibly improves response a little bit, gives you a tiny little icon over here. Clearly the sport mode is not a big headline in this car. You can enable and disable most of your driving assistance technologies with either this button on the left. Or you go into a menu here in your center screen. Your forward collision warning, which works above ten miles per hour and warns only, does not stop you, lane departure warning, again that's passive, and blind spot warning, also passive. [MUSIC] Under the hood of a modern, US spec Rogue you'll find a rather modern but unremarkable engine. It's a two and a half liter in-line core. So big as cores go, but small as engines go. Standard configuration is sitting sideways like this, driving the front wheels or you can also get all wheel drive as an option. The numbers on this guy are a 170 horse, 175 pounds of torque. You know, fine. There's nothing tricky going on here. No direct injection, super charging, turbo charging. It's got variable valve timing, lawnmowers have that now. You're gonna see about a 3500 pound curb weight on this vehicle, it gets up to 60 in nine seconds which is just fine. Your MPG. You're gonna have 2633 front wheel drive. Lose one or all wheel drive, 2532. Where the whole rogue rubric really falls down is in the driving. Nothing devilish here. THe throttle response is tepid and laggy. Partly because the power is barely adequate, and partly because having a CBT between the engine and the wheels isn't helping matters. These can be good gear boxes in Nissan's hands. But not in this case. As it surges and dives and hunts for the right RPMs. Putting it in sport mode here, I am not sure what it's doing. I cannot detect anything. Active trace control is interesting, that's where it uses the brakes automatically. Pin point to yaw you through a corner. And I swear I actually feel it when I'm going around the big sweeping corner here, and I turn into it at some speed. I'm actually feeling the car kind of rotate a little bit, more than I think it's actually capable of. [LAUGH] So, that must be that trace control. Then there's active engine braking. That's basically the transmission being told to downshift and use compression braking. More than just letting the car rely on its service breaks. And finally, there's an active ride control that uses the gearing as well as some braking to counteract that sort of body bounce you get when you go over a big undulation in the pavement or a speed bump. I dont really get as much. Bounce and porpoising as I would expect. Finally the forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot warning technologies while passive seem well calibrated reacting neither too sensitively nor too numbly. However the small indicator light or generic sounding beeps they issue to alert you don't mean a lot. Cars beep and flash indicators for everything from low tire pressure to low fuel to, to radio preset confirmation. Okay, pricing the Road you're looking at about $29,000 or so base for an Esta, that's a high trim car, before you add all wheel drive. That's $1350 more. Now to get it CNet style just one thing you have to do, get the SL Premium package. That's going to bring you that big panoramic roof