After the Altima midsize sedan, the Rogue compact crossover SUV is the most popular Nissan model in America. Redesigned this year, highlights of the 2014 Nissan Rogue include new styling, a larger interior, a more fuel-efficient powertrain, and new infotainment and safety technologies that the previous Rogue didn't offer.

Don't care about that stuff? You'll be pleased to learn that Nissan still sells the old version of the Rogue as the 2014 Rogue Select model, complete with a $2,450 discount off the price of the new 2014 Rogue. The Rogue Select is essentially the same thing as the 2013 Rogue, except that it comes in a single level of trim and can't be optioned with many extras because the whole point of continuing the old model is to offer a lower-priced alternative in the small SUV marketplace.

Confused? Let's break it down.

    

Exterior

Compared to the old Rogue, now renamed the Rogue Select, the redesigned 2014 Rogue represents a clear departure in terms of styling, adopting bold, exaggerated forms from the larger Pathfinder. Shorter in length, taller in height and wider by 1.5 inches, the new 2014 Rogue also features a wheelbase stretched by more than half an inch. At the same time, the new Rogue provides almost an inch less of ground clearance than the Rogue Select, combined with shallower approach and breakover angles. Then again, if you were planning to go off-roading, you wouldn't be buying a Rogue in the first place.

Where the new Rogue delivers a clear advantage over the previous model is in terms of aerodynamics. Nissan claims that the 2014 Rogue boasts a 10 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag through exterior styling treatments and underbody covers, panels and air deflectors. This, in combination with mechanical improvements, makes the new Rogue more fuel efficient.

Every 2014 Rogue is equipped with standard LED running lights and LED turn signal indicators embedded into the side mirror housings, features not offered for the Rogue Select. New options include smart automatic headlights, LED headlights, a power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof and run-flat tires. The 2014 Rogue can also be painted in new Midnight Jade and Saharan Sun colors. Whether or not you like the styling to which those colors are applied is up to you.

    

Interior

If the 2014 Nissan Rogue looks different on the outside, the interior represents a dramatic departure from the old Rogue. Much roomier inside, the new Rogue carries up to seven passengers if the optional third-row seat is installed, making this Nissan and the Mitsubishi Outlander the only vehicles in their class with this capability. Cargo volume grows, too, from 57.9 cu ft of space in the old Rogue to 70 cu ft in the new one.

Additional interior upgrades include NASA-inspired, zero-gravity front seat designs aimed at improving comfort, with optional Quick Comfort heating available. The second-row seat slides fore and aft with 9 inches of total travel in order to expand cargo room or third-row legroom as is necessary. The front passenger's seat folds flat so that the Rogue can carry long items with the tailgate closed, though it should be noted that it now reclines into a flat position, exposing the standard fabric or optional leather to damage if you're not careful.

    

Mechanicals

Carried over from the old Rogue, the new 2014 Rogue features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. While the 2014 model gains 117 pounds, it also receives a new Xtronic continuously variable transmission boasting a 40 percent improvement in friction losses, contributing to what Nissan claims is a 10 percent gain in fuel efficiency.

Based on the Environmental Protection Agency's numbers, the improvement is even greater than that. In combined driving, the Rogue Select is rated to get 25 miles per gallon with front-wheel drive and 24 mpg with all-wheel drive. The new 2014 Nissan Rogue is rated to return 28 mpg regardless of drivetrain selection. Drive 12,000 miles per year and you'll save at least $180 annually at an average of $3.50 per gallon. Unfortunately, you're going to stop at the gas station just as often with the redesigned Rogue because it has a smaller 14.5-gallon fuel tank, whereas the Rogue Select holds 15.9 gallons of gas.

The new 2014 Rogue is also equipped with three new technologies designed to make the Rogue safer and more enjoyable to drive: Active Trace Control, Active Engine Braking and Active Ride Control. Active Trace Control helps you to tighten a cornering line by selectively applying the brakes in order to keep the Rogue traveling in the intended direction. Active Engine Braking engages when the driver applies the brakes, using engine torque to help slow the Rogue. Active Ride Control helps to smooth the ride on bumpy roads.

    

Features

As is expected whenever a vehicle is redesigned, new features make it more appealing than the version it replaces. In the 2014 Rogue's case, those upgrades include an Advanced Driver Assist Display with a 5-in screen and a standard tire-pressure monitoring system with an Easy Fill Tire Alert system. The latter feature automatically chirps the horn when the owner is inflating the tires, making it unnecessary to check pressure using a handheld gauge.

Additionally, the new 2014 Nissan Rogue can be optioned with an intuitive AWD system that gains Hill Descent Control technology this year. A Divide-N-Hide cargo management system is also new, helping the new Rogue's owner to configure the cargo area in multiple ways.

    

Technology

As part of the overall feature improvements for the new Nissan Rogue, Bluetooth connectivity with music-streaming capability, a hands-free text-messaging assistant, a USB port with an iPod connection and Nissan Intelligent Key passive entry with push-button starting all come standard in the redesigned version of the SUV. New options include NissanConnect Apps and a navigation system with a larger 7-in touchscreen display and real-time traffic and weather reports.

    

Safety

Continuing the lengthy list of improvements to the 2014 Nissan Rogue, safety is clearly improved over the old model. A reversing camera is standard rather than optional, and the Around View Monitor system returns coupled with Moving Object Detection technology that warns the driver when vehicles are approaching from the side as he or she reverses from a blind parking space. Additionally, the new 2014 Rogue can be optioned with Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning systems.

To its credit, the carryover Rogue Select model provides decent crash protection, based on results published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Areas of concern include the NHTSA's 3-star frontal-impact rating for the front-seat passenger and the IIHS' Marginal small overlap frontal-impact rating. Since the redesigned Rogue has not been tested by either organization, no evidence exists demonstrating improvements in these areas.

Conclusions

Bigger inside, bolder outside, more fuel efficient, more refined and available with more modern infotainment and safety tech, the redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue represents an overall improvement over the less expensive Rogue Select model. With that in mind, though, the Rogue Select remains appealing in many respects, not the least of which is its lower price tag.

author photo

Christian Wardlaw is passionate about the cars, trucks, and SUVs people actually buy, not the models about which they fantasize. An industry veteran and former editor-in-chief of Edmunds.com, this father of 4 loves to inform and entertain everyday car buyers.

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