With some 17,000 of them rolling off dealership lots each month, the Nissan Rogue compact SUV is the brand’s second best selling vehicle in the United States.

The competition in this class is fierce, including Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V – all of which have been redesigned in the past year or two, offering more features, options and style.

For 2014, Nissan has finally answered their peers and has introduced an all-new Rogue with a number of new features and upgrades to keep up with the Joneses, and even get an edge in some areas of the game.

Styling is all new from top to bottom, inside and out. While I have often seen Nissan’s styling to be somewhere between dumpy and lumpy, the sales numbers show my opinions aren’t mainstream. The new Rogue continues Nissan’s design language but with a sharper and more angular tact.

In fact the styling really gives the new Rogue a mini-Pathfinder kind of look, sharing the same facial features, belt line design elements, and overall silhouette. LED daytime running lights are found in the new headlamps which book-end Nissan’s latest chrome grille design.

You can option self leveling LED headlamps as well as a new full length panoramic sunroof, which offers a sliding front glass section. Body color mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators are now a standard feature.

Rogue base models come with 17” steel wheels with covers. Aluminum wheels are available in both 17” and 18” sizes on upper trim levels.

The new 2014 Rogue is about the same size with only a small increase in wheelbase and height. The roof is about 1.2” higher and the rear doors now open up a full 77 degrees, allowing for easier ingress and egress to the rear seats.

The interior gets a much more dynamic design theme than the relatively bland cabin of the 2013 model. The seats get Nissan’s new “zero gravity” design which has been popular in their best selling Altima sedan and overall space has increased.

The big news is the addition of an optional third row seat which increases passenger capacity to seven. Additionally, Rogue now has what Nissan calls “EZ Flex” seating which essentially means all seats except the driver’s can be folded down flat, allowing for large long items to be stowed such an 8′ ladder or stack of 2×4 studs.

New standards include a 5” center stack display for vehicle functions and audio information. Bluetooth connectivity, input jacks, and a rear-view camera are all included across the range. Available too is Nissan’s slick Around View Monitor which uses multiple cameras to give you a true birds-eye view of surroundings that works exceptionally well.

Under the hood is only a four-cylinder engine for 2014, Nissan’s venerable 2.5 liter mill with 170 horsepower. It comes only with a Nissan’s newest generation continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The CVT has a “Sport Mode” switch which throws a bone to drivers who prefer a more traditional feel, simulating shift points and offering up a more responsive driving character.

With this powertrain, Nissan projects fuel-efficiency to be as high as 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models.

Built at Nissan’s assembly plant Smyrna, TN the 2014 Rogue begins arriving at dealerships late this year.

For a more in-depth review and photo galleries see ActivityVehicle.com