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In effort to attract more male buyers, Nissan reportedly decided to alter the exterior look of the Rogue in its 2014 redesign. Not a bad move. Most men don’t enjoy driving what they feel is a “chick” car.

The Rogue features a new platform and the compact crossover SUV now looks a little like the Nissan Pathfinder, possessing a more truck-like, aggressive appearance. The Rogue wheelbase has increased more than a half inch, while the width and height have grown as well.

⤹ THIS WEEKEND In ROSEVILLE! ⤸

⤹ THIS WEEKEND In ROSEVILLE! ⤸

⤹ THIS WEEKEND In ROSEVILLE! ⤸

⤹ THIS WEEKEND In ROSEVILLE! ⤸

The added size allows the Rogue, which is offered in three trim levels (S, SV and SL), to add an optional third row of seating. But note that it’s a very snug back row and definitely not suitable for an average-size teen or an adult.

Other improvements for the 2014 Rogue include better fuel economy, increased technology, and second-row seating that now both reclines and slides. What Nissan didn’t do was give the Rogue more performance; it’s still lacking a bit in this area.

2014 Nissan Rogue

  • Performance: 2.5-liter, four cylinder, 170 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 26-33 mpg
  • Estimated price: $22,790-$29,630
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

The front-wheel drive Rogue has one engine – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. A revised continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.

The complaint here with performance is the Rogue lacks adequate power on any sizable grade and labors on hills. It’s not too hot from a starting point either, clocking an unimpressive 0-60 time of 9.3 seconds. What will please Rogue owners is getting 26-33 mpg.

Power might be lacking, but the Rogue does offer some other fine qualities. It has a quiet engine that elicits little road noise. This is an SUV that handles like a sedan, providing a smooth ride. The Rogue offers an overall feel of refinement and its braking is strong and firm, giving the driver a confident demeanor.

Nissan didn’t neglect the interior, and now has an attractive, comfortable cabin that has quality materials, soft-touch surfaces, and lots of infotainment and connectivity features. The dashboard layout is smart and learning its nuances is fairly intuitive.

Nissan introduced the Rogue in 2008, so it’s remains a relative newcomer to the compact SUV class. Nissan is hoping the improvements pay dividends, because selling a car in this class isn’t easy. The heavy hitters include the Kia Sorento (which also offers third-row seating), the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Ford Escape, plus the longtime class leaders, the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

A well-done redesign certainly adds to the appeal of the Rogue. And so does the price, which at an estimated $22,790 for the base model, can beat many of its rivals. The Rogue is good on gas and gets high marks in a number of other key areas.

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