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A Comfortable Ride - 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,125
edited December 2014 in Nissan
imageA Comfortable Ride - 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Long-Term Road Test

I can't help but compare our long-term 2014 Nissan Rogue to the similarly sized Mazda 5 minivan I now own. Which one would I choose?

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Comments

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    edited December 2014
    Does the 5 still use the old 2.5 or has Mazda moved it to the SkyActive engines?

    I really liked the look of the previous generation 5, but not so much the current overly styled one. Historically the 5 has been the neglected stepchild of the Mazda lineup. It had a 4 speed automatic long after the 3 on which it is based had gotten the 5 speed box.

    I have always thought that if Mazda had made even the slightest effort to promote it that the 5 could be a strong seller. It has literally no competition in the US and is a perfect solution for a small family that lives in a crowded city that wants the convenience of 2 sliding doors but doesn't want the length and parking problems you get from today's "minivans' which are actually not that much smaller than conventional vans.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I really wanted to like the Mazda5. I'm used to driving minivans and like the upright seating position, but many vehicles these days have an oversized console that crowds out my knees. The Mazda5 feels narrow as it is, and then you bang up against the console.

    And you're right @bankerdanny, my '99 Quest wasn't too bad but the '09 Grand Caravan we have now is too big for cruising around town.
  • I think Mazda is killing off the Mazda5 because it didn't sell very well. It never got the skyactiv treatment either. If they were able to get real seats in the third row (w/LATCH), that may have helped.
  • @stever - I'm with you. The *idea* of the Mazda5 is perfect, and I wanted to love it. But in reality I found it way too cramped on the inside. Which is strange, because normally I do not feel that way in compact cars. I found the cockpit confining, and the third row was seriously claustrophobic. I'm 5'7" and skinny, so it's not like my own body was getting in the way.

    I once read an online review that put it best: "The Mazda5 feels like a 7/8 scale model of a normal car."
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2014
    Yeah, I'm only 5'9" and not too big. I just have a "wide stance" from my decade living in Idaho. B) The Scion xB was about the worst of cars I've test driven in the last years, a big hunk of empty plastic just taking up room. Minivans and SUVs don't need cozy cockpits.

    I avoided testing a Rogue after reading all the CVT complaints, but it sounds like they've finally figured that out.

    Some days I miss my short wheel base 5 passenger '89 Plymouth Voyager.
  • @bankerdanny: It still has the old MZR 2.5L, but I don't mind because I've always liked this engine's torque and the old five-speed automatic is still snappy by today's standards (my husband and I didn't bother looking for the rare manual-trans version because we wanted the features on the Grand Touring). But if you don't stay out of the power, it gets lousy fuel economy. No big deal to us since we're not putting on a ton of miles every week, plus our 2004 WRX has already set a low baseline. Anything over 20 mpg is OK by us.
  • @misterfusion: Totally get what you're saying and we almost didn't get the 5 because of that. But we really wanted the flexibility of having a third row when family comes into town (we've used the 3rd row twice this year which is about what I expected), and we just weren't ready for a full-size minivan with only one child. Yet, we wanted a more flexible interior space than we'd get with a midsize sedan. And wanted a lower stance than we'd get with a crossover SUV.

    I don't love the driving position in the van. That's one reason I wasn't sad about not getting the manual gearbox -- it's hard enough to settle in with only two pedals in the footwell. In the end, I just lowered the seat as far as it would go and put it all the way back on its track, and well, it's pretty good. Would I be happier sitting in an Odyssey? Sure, but at least it's roomier for three than our GTI was.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    I continue to believe that Ford made a huge mistake in bringing the conventional 4 door hatch C Max to the US instead of the Grand C Max, which is within a couple of inches all around (actually 2 inches shorter) than the Mazda5. I know they have the small Transit here, but even with the most recent makeover that continues to be a commercial focused small van, and its available engine is just awful for a regular consumer.
  • Even though it's sort of an oddball, I still like the 5. It's a good middle ground for somebody that simply doesn't want a real minivan, but needs more space and practicality. As far as the ride and handling, I've always found that Mazdas tend to ride on the firm side. A friend of mine used to have an 07 3 Grand Touring hatchback, plus I've read complaints about the long-term 3's ride. The trade off is that most Mazda's handle better than their competitors and simply feel more agile than you'd expect.

    The Rouge is pretty much exactly what the market wants. It's quiet, comfortable, and practical, yet not remarkable. I feel like the sort of people who would prefer a Mazda5 would find a Rouge just a bit too bland.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Transit we test drove didn't cut it, just too commercial. A Grand C-MAX with panoramic roof would definitely be on the list.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Posts: 471
    edited December 2014
    Let me join the chorus of those who pine for the Grand C-Max. The Transit Connect Wagon is still a bit too "industrial" for my taste (even after the redesign), and the available equipment is limited compared to other Ford cars. The upcoming Ram ProMaster City is similar, but the styling is still an unknown -- FWIW, I like the Fiat Doblo styling (on which the Ram will be based), and it will come with Uconnect, so the Ram might turn out better for me than the Transit Connect.

    I certainly won't fault anyone for choosing the Mazda5. It's a good handler, the 2nd row & sliding doors are perfect for young kids, and it's still the only vehicle in its class!
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