I just purchased a 2014 Rogue SL (super black/charcoal int). I absolutely love my car though I am having pangs of regret for not waiting for one with the Premium package. It was going to be another 30-40 days before I could find a Rogue with my color preferences and the premium package. Oh well. I am still very pleased with this purchase and I have a great warranty and got an incredible year-end deal. My previous car was a 2009 Honda Fit. Below I included my post to the Nissan Rogue Facebook page from Nov. 20. Glad to be in the Nico family.
"I test drove one today in Gadsden, AL. Most dealerships in North AL seem to be getting at least one unit over the next few days. A dealer in a much smaller city about 45 minutes away is getting 5 units by Monday.
I currently have a 2009 Honda Fit which has met my needs well. However, it is getting long in the tooth and I've been searching hard for a replacement. My preference is a compact SUV with great fuel economy. I have test driven virtually every vehicle in the class including: Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Mazda CX5, Chevy Equinox, Hyundai Tucson & Sante Fe Sport, 2013 Rogue, Subaru Forester, and the Jeep Cherokee.
After coming from a Honda product, my first test drive was a CRV. I drive about 25-30k miles a year (mostly highway) and wanted a quiet, squishy ride. The things I must have: leather, heated seats, touch-screen infotainment system, and push-button start with keyless entry. The things I would like: navigation, panoramic moonroof, remote start, led or hid headlights, LED DRL's, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning.
I liked the ride quality of the CRV but the cabin tech felt like it had been plucked from a 2007 model. Also being a 27 year old male, I was concerned that the most common drivers of CRV's seem to be 55 year old females. 55 year old females are fine people, I'm just not one of them.
The Ford Escape had the most horrendous looking dashboard I've ever seen in a car and the cabin felt extremely cramped. The glossy gray plastic cheapened the whole interior. The sunroof cover was very flimsy and wrinkled upon touching it. Ford's MyFordTouch system is absolutely a pain to use. Overall I was very disappointed in this vehicle.
The Toyota Rav4 Limited also disappointed me. The ride quality was poor and the cabin felt cheap and flimsy. Also both fog lights (on a brand new model) had moisture in them. It didn't help that I had a know-it-all, redneck salesman that just wanted to make fun of my Honda. I wasn't bothered. I like my matchbox car Fit.
The Mazda CX5 was fun to drive but seemed a bit small. I am 6'1 and couldn't "sit behind myself" in the back seat with the front seat at a comfortable position. I also wasn't crazy about the "bubbly" and rounded off styling. The cabin tech was well done however.
The Chevy Equinox was about as exciting as white loaf bread. The dash was cluttered with a sea of buttons in what I felt was an attempt to make it look techy and expensive. I wasn't impressed. The tail lights look rental car cheap. Time for a refresh. It did have a very quiet cabin however.
The Hyundai Tucson was about as bad as the 2013 Rogue (which I really didn't care for). The interior was noisy and cheap feeling. The Sante Fe Sport's driving dynamics and cabin impressed me. Its fuel economy did not.
I drove the 2013 Rogue just to compare to others in the class. It looks like a pregnant rollerskate outside and has a miserable interior. It was way overdue for a redesign. If you like it, fine. To each his/her own.
The Subaru Forester was nice enough. It became expensive quickly with the level of tech I wanted. The styling also seems to be the most dated (even though it was recently refreshed). The ride quality did not impress on bumpy roads.
I was SHOCKED at how much I liked the new Jeep Cherokee. I've never even been remotely interested in Chrysler products, but the Cherokee threw me for a loop. The cabin surfaces felt very high quality and the infotainment system is leaps and bounds above anything else I have previously encountered. The 8.4 inch screen is a joy to use and works exceptionally well. The ride quality is probably in the top three of the vehicles I tested. While I like the exterior styling well enough, several friends I showed the car to simply loathed the styling. The Limited version I drove also had remote start standard which I liked. To get to the level with Lane Departure warning would take me to $35K easily, which is about $5k more than I want to spend. The Jeep's fuel economy was also less than desirable at 22/31.
Now to the 2014 Rogue. Based on the specs, I am interested in a Rogue SL with the premium package in Gun Metallic with Charcoal leather interior. I was able to test drive a silver SV with black cloth interior and a panoramic sunroof today. Fortunately the salesman did not ride with me and I was able to put the vehicle through its paces. Accelerating in the 20-50mph range seemed great. Accelerating in the 70-80 range (at interstate speeds) was a bit anemic, but acceptable with my driving style and needs. The panoramic sunroof was wonderful and worked quite well. The stereo head unit (the base model) was adequate though Nissan should have included a touchscreen in any vehicle over $20k. The sound quality was decent but a bit tinny. The screen (helper display) between the gauges is a easy to use and provides useful information (the Jeep system is actually a bit better). I found the seating very comfortable (perhaps the best of my test drives) and it was very easy to find a supportive setting. The interior was quiet but was not the quietest (that award goes to the Chevy or the Jeep). Still it was much quieter than my tiny Fit. The ride quality was excellent and was probably best in class. Cornering at decent speeds felt great with very little body roll or lean. Stopping felt safe and adequate at various speeds. The dash layout is simple and sleek which I LOVED. The cup holders are the only cheap looking part of the cabin that I could find. They will get dirty quickly and be impossible to keep clean (especially with the black interior model). Nissan, please throw in a removable rubber insert for the cup holders. The Divide and Hide system in the cargo area is unique if not a bit gimmicky. The cargo area did seem larger than most other vehicles in the segment (Edmunds seems to back me up) and I can see the various shelf configurations being useful in the future. The LED daytime running lights are gorgeous. They make the vehicle look like a $60k luxury vehicle until you realize it is a Nissan behind you. Well done to the design folks on that addition. The air conditioning controls were easily among the best (with the Honda CRV also being a contender) for being easy to use and effective. The doors closed with a solid "thwump" and the vehicle as a whole felt very well made. The back seat provided me with about 4 inches of extra room in front of my knees with the drivers seat fully back (IMPRESSED)! This may have been the best in terms of leg room. Headroom was also very good (much better than the Cherokee where my head touched the ceiling in the back seat). Overall I really like the exterior styling. It has a commanding presence and felt at least a couple of inches taller than the outgoing Rogue or even the Cherokee. The fuel economy nearly matches that of my Honda Fit which is a much smaller, cheaper car. I hope the car actually achieves this level of FE. The CVT didn't bother me at all. Sport mode cleverly mimics real gears, but I'm not a car nut anyway. If you hate CVT's, try the CRV.
Unless something happens, I'll be picking up a 2014 Rogue in the future. I feel I have undertaken an exhaustive search for the right car to meet my rather specific needs and wants. I do agree that Nissan has done a miserable job of informing dealers as to model availability. My local dealer (apparently) had no idea they would even get one in today. All that said, I'm in no real hurry to purchase so time isn't of the essence. I'm looking to buy in December or January. Best of luck to anyone trying to find one. They seem to be elusive.
Based on my test drive today, my rating (which probably doesn't mean much many people) is very high. After driving nearly all of the vehicles in this segment, the 2014 Rogue is at or near the top in most of the metrics that I am concerned with. Well done Nissan, just build them quicker and let folks know they when they are coming!"