The 2014 Nissan Rogue Select is basically last year's Rogue carried over alongside the all-new Rogue for 2014. Nissan's thinking is to keep a popular and profitable model alive for another year while simultaneously giving consumers a very basic and well-regarded model at a very low price.

Nissan will offer the Rogue Select in just one trim and with a single Convenience Package option that features some of Nissan's more popular equipment. Also carrying over from the previous model year are the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and CVT automatic transmission, plus a choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). With a starting price of around $21,000, the 2014 Nissan Rogue Select is one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the market, and given the vehicle's good reliability and resale figures from the past, it should prove a wise investment.

What's New for 2014?

What was last year's Rogue becomes this year's Rogue Select. The Rogue Select offers only a few options but a rather attractive price tag.

What We Like

Decent fuel economy; AWD option; affordable base price

What We Don't

Cheap interior; unusual acceleration curve; some of last year's nicer options have been deleted to keep cost down

How Much?

$20,850-$23,890

Fuel Economy

The Rogue Select's only available engine, a 2.5-liter inline-4, produces 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Mated to it is Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT tailors its shift characteristics based on driver input and operation, as well as on-road conditions. Nissan includes a performance-improving Sport button that lets the CVT hold higher engine speeds before shifting.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the FWD Rogue Select at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The AWD model gets 22 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Nissan Rogue Select is offered in just one trim with one option package and few dealer-installed options. AWD is the only other significant option.

The Rogue Select S ($20,850) includes power functions for the locks, mirrors and windows. Also standard is air conditioning, keyless entry, a 60/40 split rear seat, variable wipers, AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers and auxiliary input, 16-inch steel wheels with covers and trip computer.

The Convenience Package ($870) adds a 4.3-in display audio screen, USB/iPod interface, rearview monitor, steering wheel audio controls, two additional speakers, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, roof rails, cruise control and satellite radio. AWD adds another $1,350 to the bottom line. Some advisable dealer-installed options include front fog lights, a rear cargo cover, roof rail cross bars and carpeted floor mats.

Safety

Every Rogue Select is built on Nissan's C platform. Thanks to extensive use of high-strength steel, it provides excellent body stiffness and also helps reduce body weight. Safety is bolstered by dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags and roof-mounted curtain-side-impact supplemental airbags with rollover sensors.

In government crash tests, the Rogue Select performs well, earning a total four out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash test, five in the side-impact and four in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Rogue Select Good marks in the moderate overlap front, side-impact and head-restraint test, but only Marginal marks for the small overlap front-crash test.

Behind the Wheel

Many automakers have been phasing out conventional automatic transmissions, replacing them with CVTs. Some CVTs -- like the one in the 2014 Nissan Rogue Select -- work better than others, offering driving and shifting characteristics that are above-average. Others, like the CVT in the new Ford Focus, essentially ruin the driving experience. The transmission in the Rogue Select feels quite smooth, and although it's a bit slow off the line, the Rogue Select feels lively as it accelerates past 20 mph.

In spite of the Rogue Select's subpar, outdated interior, it is a comfortable vehicle. The seats are nicely cushioned and supportive, outward visibility is adequate and the optional Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones is easily set up and activated.

Other Cars to Consider

Ford Escape -- The 2014 Ford Escape is priced very closely to the Rogue Select, and it even uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder just like the Nissan. But the Escape is more economical with the base engine, rated at 31 mpg highway. And for those who want more power, the Escape is available with a choice of optional engines, including a 240-hp turbocharged motor.

Mazda CX-5 -- Starting at $22,225 for the base front-wheel-drive Sport model with the manual transmission, the Mazda CX-5 features the automaker's distinctive Kodo design language. With its new SKYACTIV engine technology, the CX-5 is rated at up to 35 mpg highway.

Kia Sportage -- Where the styling of the Rogue Select is more crowd-pleasing, the Sportage is more daring and, well, sporty. Both the base 2.4-liter and optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engines offer a balance of performance and fuel economy and are covered by Kia's outstanding 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

AutoTrader's Advice

Not much choice in this matter. We would definitely select the Convenience Package for all the extra goodies it brings (like the rearview camera and cruise control).

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