Nissan’s Rogue has been completely re-designed for 2014…as Nissan tries to get a leg up on its’ competition in an increasingly crowded field.

The result is an attractive “Mama Bear” right-sized / right-priced vehicle for those looking for a easy-handling 5-passenger SUV  in the mid-twenties.

Nissan pretty much had to make the Rogue redesign a good one, as they’re up against some very solid sport utes like Honda’s CR-V, Hyundai’s Tucson, Ford’s Escape and others.

Mission accomplished.

Nissan’s Rogue offers something that few of its’ competitors do….a $940 “Family Package” that includes a third-row seat and run-flat tires…meaning no spare.

With the third row in use, luggage space is limited, but when folded down, you’ve got a big, flat cargo area that offers a couple of cubic feet more room than it’s competitors.

All Rogues are powered by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder running through a continuously variable automatic.   It’s a decent performer…handling and braking are all well-controlled and predictable as well.

Mileage is rated at 26 city and 33 hwy.   We got around 28.5 in mixed driving….on regular.

Nissan has made it easy to get a Rogue exactly as you want it….with three levels of trim, and All-Wheel-Drive and third-row seating available on any of ‘em.

The basic “S” starts at $23,350 with transportation.  Our mid-range SV added 17” alloys, push-button ignition, dual-zone temperature control and a power drivers’ seat for an additional $1,740.

An SL with leather, 18” alloys, nav, an all-around view monitor and third-row seating…basically everything that Nissan offers….will still come in under 29K.

All-Wheel-Drive, if you need it, will add $1,440.

I’ve got two daughters with young children.  One needs the occasional third-row utility….the other just needs a solid, economical SUV with decent room in the back.

I’d recommend Nissan’s new Rogue to either of them.

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