2019 Nissan Rogue

By January 4, 2019

The 2019 Nissan Rogue puts comfort at the top of its priority list, with safety technology a close second. It’s an excellent place to drive for a few hours, while performance pulls up shy to some of its biggest rivals.

There’s a smaller Rogue Sport in the Nissan family that’s distinct from this compact crossover; we review it separately.

The Rogue’s been updated for 2019 with standard automatic emergency braking, while the Nissan active safety system suite of features, called ProPilot Assist, is standard on all models except the base S and SV, where it is optional. The system helps drivers stay in their lanes by beeping a warning when it detects drifting, a protection against dozing off. In certain situations, ProPilot Assist can also accelerate, brake, and maintain the distance from other vehicles with no driver input.

The 2019 Rogue comes standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission, making 170 horsepower with 175 foot-pounds of torque. It delivers average acceleration.

Fuel mileage is a solid 26 mpg city, 33 highway, and 29 combined with front-wheel drive, 27 mpg combined with all-wheel drive. The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forester get about 30 mpg—but there is a Rogue Hybrid, which the EPA rates at up to 34 mpg combined.

Federal and independent safety testers don’t agree on the 2019 Nissan Rogue.  The insurance industry’s IIHS gives the Rogue a Top Safety Pick after it earned top “Good” scores in all of its crash tests, including the finicky front small-overlap crash test. Automatic emergency braking, standard on all 2019 Rogues, was rated as “Superior” at avoiding front crashes.

However, that Top Safety Pick applies just to the Rogue SL when equipped with optional LED headlights. The IIHS rated the standard headlights on most Rogue models as “Poor.” Crashworthiness isn’t affected.

Meanwhile the NHTSA gave the Rogue only four stars overall, with four stars for frontal and rollover crash protection.

Model Lineup

The base Rogue S starts at $25,975 and includes 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A popular equipment package adds tinted windows, heated front seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels for $800. All-wheel drive is available on every trim level for $1,350.

SV trims add more available options, optional 18-inch wheels, rear automatic braking, remote start, keyless ignition, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and upgraded audio.

At the top, the 2019 Rogue SL sports 19-inch wheels, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, premium audio, navigation, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, remote start, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and Nissan’s suite of driver assist features called “ProPilot Assist.” The Rogue SL starts at $32,385 with front-wheel drive, or $33,785 with all-wheel drive. An $1,820 Premium Package for Rogue SL models adds LED headlights that were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS and are how the Rogue earns its Top Safety Pick award.

Rogue Hybrid models are available on SV and SL trims with comparable equipment.

Exterior

The Rogue has a nice shape and handsome proportions. It’s a conservative look that’s the opposite of Nissan crossovers such as the now discontinued Juke and the sleek Murano.

The Rogue received light tweaks in 2017, including a V-neck grille with LED running lamps in front and LED taillamps in back.

Interior

The cabin is fairly quiet, and nicely finished with high-quality materials, low-gloss plastics and metallic trim. It’s simply laid out with round knobs and a center stack with an LCD monitor. There’s a cowl over the gauges and slim vents in the center. The base Rogue S uses a nice 7.0-inch touchscreen, In 2018, the infotainment system was upgraded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Like those in the Altima sedan, the Rogue’s front seats are very comfortable, with dense foam and great shaping. One excellent feature is the flat-folding front passenger seat. There is manual adjustment in the base S model, power in the rest; front seat heating is optional. The driving position is good, although the non-adjustable steering wheel is raked a bit flat, like a bus.

Another nice feature is the liftback that opens with a wave of the foot under the rear bumper, on all models but the S.

The second row of seats slides on a long nine-inch track, which can improve the cargo space behind the seat when it’s slid forward, and expand legroom for passengers at other times. When it is  folded, there’s a excellent 70 cubic feet of cargo space.

There used to be a third-row seat, but it was so tiny it almost didn’t count. In the current model there are panels with stowage boxes and bins in the back. They’re great for things like tools, coolers, or muddy boots.

The rearward vision is obstructed a bit by the pillars, so we like the surround-view camera system that’s standard on the SL and optional (in a package) on the SV. It presents a composite 360-degree view from four cameras and provides great security when parking not only in reverse, but in tight side and even forward spaces.

Driving Impressions

The 2019 Rogue can’t match the turbocharged engines of the Ford Escape and Hyundai Santa Fe, but it’s good for 0 to 60 mph in about eight seconds. The CVT is programmed to imitate an automatic transmission with gears, and it’s fairly quick and smooth.

The Rogue’s ride is calm and composed, quite comfortable on the independent suspension, and not too firm, on the tall all-season tires that seem to help absorb freeway roughness.

The Rogue doesn’t wander over grooved concrete, and it responds predictably, though the steering is not filled with feedback like the systems in the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape.

The Rogue’s stability control is quite sophisticated. It applies brakes to the inside front wheel to sharpen cornering by rotating the car, and it cuts the throttle to smooth bumps; this prevents surging over them, a bit like coasting over speed bumps. You can’t feel these things happening, but you can feel the more comfortable results.

Final Word

The 2019 Nissan Rogue has a smooth ride, the cabin is excellent, and the CVT transmission is pretty good. It’s more often discounted than top-selling rivals, too—so bargains can be had, especially on hybrid versions.