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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.

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.