My wife had weekend convention business in Las Vegas, so the four of us piled into the 2014 Nissan Rogue to make it a family outing.
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The fact that you have to live with a CVT and don't really gain that much, if anything, in mpg is my big issue with the Rogue (and it seems bared out here). 26 mpg on open road is not impressive. In fact, in 2011 we were moving from a 2008 Highlander to a smaller CUV. The top two my wife liked after testing everything were: Nissan Rogue and VW Tiguan. My son and I vetoed the Rogue due to the CVT (which is terrible > if people are at all 'enthusisasts'). The VW Tiguan with 4Motion gets 25-26 real world on the highway...BUT I have a 200 HP engine (which is rated low vs most) with the big torque of the turbo...All the drive-ability of a V6 and low-rpm torque vs winding up the CVT rubberband. On top of that, the 2.0T with a solid 6-speed AT returns 22 around town...I'd take a Tiguan or even a CR-V or CX-5 with a real transmission OVER the Rogue any day of the week. I love the look and solid interior of the Rogue but it would have to have an entirely different power train for me to consider it...
Nissan sells more CVT's than any body else by a wide margin yet they seem to make the worst ones. Not just the performance of the transmission but it has poor reliability. Subaru is the only other company I know of the uses CVTs across the lineup and the early ones had the slipping transmission feel but the current generation work really well. On top of that, searching the internet for Subaru CVT problems get few results so they are pretty durable. Honda just got back into CVTs in a big way phasing it in through the entire lineup and most auto journalist say it's the best in the business for driving feel.
Like it or not CVTs will be placed in more and more cars. They are less complicated and cheaper to make than traditional transmissions and get good fuel economy.
I've had similar problems with throttle calibration in the CVT equipped Nissan Altima. Tip-in on the pedal is stiff, and the car crawls forward slowly at part throttle. Push past the resistance in the pedal, though, and the car lurches forward with a burst of power. It's hard to modulate between crawling and lurching, making me feel as if I'm a newbie working a manual transmission when I drive that car.
With my rogue I get 32 to 33 MPG highway driving, but it is only me in the car and only when I drive the speed limit. I am sure you factored in 4 individuals luggage and heavy foot into consideration when criticizing the MPG. When driving the speed limit by yourself I am confident you will receive the advertise EPA estimate.
I've had my 2014 Rogue just under a month, so I can't speak on reliability. I will opine on the 2.5 liter motor and the cvt transmission. I freakin' love it. The rogue is sooo fun to drive. The CVT is to be approached with an open mind. There are 4 different driving types in my rogue. 1st, the start up-put it in drive- and drive.Next is the low-mode/gear.This in Canadian models is geared very low and I guess would be suited for really bad conditions and snow.The 3rd and most fun mode is sportmode. It keeps the rpms up and gives the feeling of excellent pedal touch. Zips along very well I find. I'm still breaking in the motor, but when I get 4000-5000 kms on on the car...I'm gonna use sport almost exclusively. Fuel mileage will suffer. The last setting would be OD,(over-drive), off. I start off in drive and as I approach or start up a hill I turn off the OD and cruise up the hill with higher rpms. The OD is like a top gear and better for level driving. Turning it off on a hill will keep the rpms from going to low and essentially losing power. i.e. starting a hill in 4th gear. I'm still getting used to mine and very biased,('cause I freakin' love it). But to imply that those that love the spirit of driving would be less than impressed driving a rogue is ridiculous. I could go on all night. But if it breaks down tomorrow, I'll freak!! So far...I'm extremely happy.
Also, it looks great, but really, if you love to drive a fun car, you might wanna try this one. I got the midnight jade, so please choose red, white or black.lol.
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