Clever design features make the Rogue a smart SUV


2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD
• Small SUV, AWD
• 2.5L DOHC I-4 Engine
• Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission with Sport Mode
• Bose AM/FM/CD Audio with 9 Speakers
• NissanConnect Apps
• Dual-Zone Climate Control
• Divide-N-Hide Cargo System
• Nissan Intelligent Key
• Arround View Camera System
• 18” Alloy Wheels
• 5 Year/60k Powertrain Coverage & Roadside Assistance. 3 Year/36k Basic Warranty
• 28 mpg (25/32 city/hwy)
MSRP: Around $30k, pictured, with dealer options
As always, check with dealer for details

The 2014 Nissan Rogue SL is full of good ideas.  Classed as a small SUV, the Rogue is full of the best parts of crossovers: car-like handling, respectable cargo space, inclement weather versatility and a comfortable passenger area.

What it’s also full of is good ideas.  Good mileage, for example, is always a good idea. 

“My favorite part is the fuel economy and the size,” said Randy Henni, sales consultant at Fuoco Motor Company.  “It gets a combined 28 miles per gallon, 32 on the highway.  That’s just unheard of for a gasoline engine in the SUV world.”

This all-wheel drive Rogue achieves mpg ratings of hatchbacks and compact cars, all while providing the sure-footedness of an SUV. 

If that’s not enough of a good idea, then maybe the Around View Camera System might do the trick.  Ever since I saw my first back-up camera several years ago, I wondered how long it would take automakers to put them on all four sides.  The Rogue does it with style, and in a very easy-to-use way. 

When parking and at slow speeds, the center console screen switches to a view of the front or the back bumper, as well as a four-direction shot.  The cameras are mounted on the bumpers and under the side rear-view mirrors, so you get a good look at the parking areas around you.  This helps you keep the Rogue in the lines, and helps with tricky parallel parking.  Quite frankly, my mother could use this little gadget (it would help her park evenly between the lines).

You can even switch to an alternate view that shows the direction you’re driving, and the passenger side (or sidewalk side), giving a more detailed view.

That’s not all, though, because the cargo system (Divide-N-Hide) is a thing of beauty.  A system of trays and platforms that can be adjusted easily to turn your cargo area from protected, covered storage, to slide-proofing trays, to a double-level platform.  There’s handles and hooks to help keep things in their place, and it’s all as simple as picking up a book.  The powered rear door makes it easy to open and close as well.

On the road, the Rogue was a surprisingly nimble vehicle, feeling a bit like a small car, and light on its feet in turns and handling.  The CVT was smooth, and the sports mode (which ‘gears’ the transmission for more power) was a nice touch to give the driver some road options.

The interior is stylish.  Charcoal leather seating with a six-way adjustable power driver’s seat (including lumbar) made it a comfortable place to ride.  Piano-black and carbon-fiber style accents on the dash and doors give it a rich texture that’s pleasing to the eye.

For just the cleverness of the Around View Camera System and the Divide-N-Hide Cargo System, the Nissan Rogue is worth a good look, but as a solid, easy to drive small SUV, it can be a strong contender.  Check it out today at Fuoco Motor Co. at 741 N. 1st St..

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