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BEST BEHAVIOR: Nissan redesigns Rogue compact sport-ute for 2014 with value in mind

2014 Nissan Rogue
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Nissan Rogue has little in common with the smugglers, thieves and general scalawags that share its name – except in its 2014 redesign, which is something of a steal.

Starting at $23,350, Nissan’s second-best-selling vehicle has been entirely overhauled to offer even more for the money in the increasingly crowded, and competitive, compact SUV space.

It’s a feat of accounting trickery for a five-seat crossover to include Bluetooth, streaming audio, a rearview camera, a color audio display and a multitude of behind-the-scenes technologies as standard equipment on a vehicle of this size at this price.

The “more” in the Rogue is spread throughout the vehicle, but it’s most apparent in its physicality. The 2014 is noticeably larger from the outside, its interior even more so.

While an optional third row is available in the Rogue to enable the seating of seven, my test vehicle was outfitted with the usual five, all of which were comfortable. The rear seats offer exceptional leg room; manual levers can slide the rear seats forward as much as 9 inches.

All the seats in the Rogue, except for the driver’s, fold like contortionists, including that of the front passenger. Combined, when collapsed, they open an incredible 70 cubic feet of storage.

Rogue 2014 de NissanThe cargo space is radically configurable, thanks to a rear seat that folds in three pieces, instead of the usual two, and a Drive-N-Hide Cargo system that lets owners slice and dice the interior 18 different ways using a system of removable floor pieces.

Powered with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a more efficient version of Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission, the Rogue’s performance will only impress drivers who value fuel economy at the expense of driving enjoyment. The engine’s wimpy character can, be improved ever so slightly with the press of a “sport mode” button to the left of the steering wheel.

While the Rogue’s ride quality is adequate for its price, the road still makes itself apparent.

The Rogue comes with a baseline of safety features, such as a blind spot warning and lane departure and forward collision warnings.

Even fully loaded, the Rogue still offers an excellent value proposition for drivers whose lifestyles are more robust than their bank accounts.

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