With Kelley Blue Book's long-term Nissan Rogue proving itself a competent urban runabout, we felt it was high time to stretch its legs on a road trip. After receiving a call from Santa Cruz Bicycles to pick up my new mountain bike in, you guessed it, Santa Cruz, CA, I packed a small overnight bag and geared up for the 800-mile round-trip journey.  

For the uninitiated, our Rogue SL AWD, or slawd as no one calls it, arrived fully loaded with the exception of an auto-dimming rearview mirror. As such, the SL's heated leather seats, nav system, well-padded armrests, and Bose audio system added a welcome dose of comfort to the drive. Aside from a noticeable amount of wind noise at speeds above 65 mph, our main gripe with the interior involved the limited adjustability of the driver's seat. Whereas the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape offer 10-way adjustment, the Rogue's driver's seat adjusts only six ways, meaning shorter drivers must contend with a completely flat seat bottom in the raised position. Not to add insult to injury, but the driver's seat now makes a shrill grinding noise as it slides towards its rearmost position.      

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Smooth cruiser

Seating flaws aside, the Rogue was a standout when it came to soaking up rough pavement and tracking straight at high speeds. What's more, the well-calibrated electric steering required only miniscule corrections during highway travel. 

By trip's end, our long-term sport-ute logged a very respectable 28.6 mpg at an average speed of 72 mph. And while that's a notable disparity from the EPA's 32 mpg highway rating, this road trip saw no shortage of aggressive overtaking, traffic jams, and rolling hills.                

Eschewing the flashy displays and graphic-heavy interfaces found in some competitive offerings, our Nissan Rogue features one of the most intuitive infotainment systems available. Sure, the display is difficult to view in direct sunlight and the nav system has a penchant for misdirection, but everyday functions such as selecting radio stations, streaming Bluetooth devices, and making phone calls couldn't be more user-friendly. Simply put, technophobes will find a lot to like in this infotainment system. 

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