We've always liked the previous Nissan Rogue, but it was never quite versatile enough for growing families. That's why the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue is such a big deal. There's a strong family focus this time around, and that's unusual for a compact crossover. But it makes a lot of sense, because why would you drive a huge SUV if you could fit everyone and everything into a smaller package? Here are five reasons why the Rogue might be your family's best bet.

Grown-Up Ride

Small crossovers are often aimed at young urban types, which can mean a firm, even jarring ride, but the new Rogue is tuned for comfort. When you've got kids sleeping in the back, the Rogue makes sure they stay that way, no matter the surface. Even at highway speeds, there's minimal road or wind noise by segment standards. It's rare to find such a smooth, quiet ride in a compact crossover.

Premium Interior

The Rogue has also matured in terms of amenities. The front seats are inspired by NASA research, and they're amazingly comfortable on long trips. The attractive displays and rich, supple materials wouldn't be out of place in a luxury vehicle. Glancing around the cabin, we're distinctly reminded of the Nissan Pathfinder, a larger, pricier crossover. It's hard not to be impressed by this affordable crossover's upscale vibe.

Available Third-Row Seat

The Toyota RAV4 offered a third-row seat for years. With its latest redesign, however, the RAV is now limited to two rows. Looks like Toyota's loss may be Nissan's gain. Although the new Rogue is basically the same size as the old one, you can get a third-row seat that raises the seating capacity to seven. That's a great option if you don't want a bigger, more expensive midsize crossover. And by the way, if you can live with two rows, Nissan offers a nifty adjustable storage system for the rear cargo bay.

Fantastic Fuel Economy

Thanks to its advanced continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Rogue gets an astounding 28 miles per gallon overall, including 33 mpg on the highway. If you're worried that adding all-wheel drive will ruin things, don't be: The Rogue AWD gets 25 mpg city/32 mpg hwy, so there's barely any penalty. That's unheard of for a 3-row all-wheel-drive crossover. Plus, the CVT technically doesn't have any gears, so you'll never even feel it shift.

Modern Safety

All Rogues come with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and stability control, but that's just the beginning. The Premium package features a 360-degree camera system that alerts you to road hazards from every possible angle. The Rogue is one of the only vehicles to offer this technology, regardless of price.

AutoTrader Says

What's not to like? We're still trying to figure that out. The redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue is almost a no-brainer if you're looking for a family vehicle that's the right size and won't break the bank.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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