2019 Nissan Rogue Review
  • Car Review

2019 Nissan Rogue Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 29, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Good standard technology features.
  • Stylish exterior.
  • Plenty of available safety features.

Cons:

  • Noisy and sluggish under acceleration.
  • Dated powertrain.
  • Most desirable features held back for the top trim.

Vehicle Type: A four-door, five-seat compact SUV.

Price Range: The 2019 Nissan Rogue ranges from $26,065 to $34,035, including destination but before taxes or options.

Powertrain: A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel-drive.

All-wheel drive is available.

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 30-kW electric motor for a combined output of 176 horsepower.

Front-wheel-drive is standard, all-wheel-drive is optional.

More Photos

See more 2019 Nissan Rogue photos here.


Overview:

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The Nissan Rogue is an essential model for its maker and has been one of the brand's top-selling vehicles for several years. It slots in between the smaller Juke and larger Pathfinder in the company's lineup. The Rogue was last thoroughly updated for the 2014 model year. Updates for 2019 include the addition of several new packages and a host of newly standard advanced driver assistance features.

The 2019 Rogue is offered in three trims: S, SV, and SL. All models are available with all-wheel-drive, but come standard with front-wheel drive. The crossover comes with one powertrain for 2019: A 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It's paired with Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a specialized shift program to emulate a "normal" automatic gearbox.

The Rogue Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a 30kW electric motor and a CVT. The total system output is 176 horsepower.

The Nissan Rogue does business in a crowded and highly competitive segment that also includes the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Outback, Mazda CX-3, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, and Volkswagen Tiguan. Buyers may also shop the Rogue against the Subaru Forester or Mazda CX-5. It's targeted at price-conscious new car buyers that want a comfortable crossover with excellent safety features.

The Rogue's big win in the segment is its smooth and calm ride. Nissan didn't try to pack the crossover with sporty features or overly aggressive styling that can muck up the ride with big wheels and small tires, stiff suspension, and a gruff, sporty interior. The Rogue knows its place in the crossover world and performs its duties as a family hauler and road trip machine admirably.

Where the Rogue falls is in handling and driving experience. It's designed for efficiency and comfort over all else, which has led Nissan to equip the crossover with soft suspension that allows far more body roll and motion in corners and on the highway than we'd like to see.

Overall Score: 7/10


Safety Features: 8/10

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2019 Rogue with a Top Safety Pick designation. That award is based on the crossover's Good scores in all crashworthiness categories except for passenger-side, where it earned an Acceptable rating. Its headlights were rated either Acceptable or Poor, depending on the trim level and equipped options. Front vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention was rated Superior, but front vehicle-to-pedestrian crash protection earned an Advanced rating. The Rogue's LATCH system ease of use was rated Acceptable because of the crossover's back seat features that make it difficult to install and uninstall car seats.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the Rogue four stars overall in its crash tests. That scoring includes a four-star rating for frontal crash protection, five stars for side crash protection, and four stars for rollover resistance.

Despite mixed results in crash testing, the Rogue is undeniably well equipped with the factory's safety features. It comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alerts, intelligent lane intervention, and automatic emergency braking with forward collision warning.

Available tech includes a surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, ProPilot Assist, and rear automatic emergency braking. ProPilot Assist offers a highway driving assistance function that helps drivers stay safe and alert while driving on limited-entry highways and roads.


Value: 7/10

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There's not much to complain about with the Rogue's standard equipment, but some of the best features, especially safety tech, are held back for the highest and most expensive trim level. That said, the Rogue is priced competitively and can be outfitted nicely without stepping up to the most expensive models.

Even though it's got a healthy list of standard features, the Rogue's driving experience and powertrain aren't up to the task and drag the crossover's value proposition down quite notably. Other competitors in the space, such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, have refined powertrains that provide more than enough acceleration. At the same time, the Rogue was designed with an emphasis on efficiency over performance.

The Rogue Hybrid has many of the same features as its gas-powered counterpart but adds an extra fuel efficiency layer. It's also priced reasonably against the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which pushes the Rogue Hybrid's value ahead of the standard Rogue.


Tech Features: 8/10

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The Rogue comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, USB inputs, Bluetooth streaming audio, interior ambient lighting, steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and phone, a rear-door alert system that lets drivers know when to check the back seat for children/pets/cargo, and a four-speaker audio system.

Available features include navigation, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, voice recognition, SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic, and hands-free text messaging.

Nissan's infotainment system is a bit clunky and feels outdated compared to its competitors. The Rogue's 7-inch screen runs that software flawlessly, however, and the standard inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will help most drivers overcome the system. The Rogue's quiet, smooth ride helps the stereo sound great, even in its base configuration. Sounds are clear, loud, and free of distortion at all but the highest volume levels.


Practicality: 8/10

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The Rogue offers generous passenger space in both rows of seats. The tallest adults will find the rear seats to be a bit cramped as legroom isn't the best, but overall comfort is top-notch. Nissan's Zero Gravity front seats come on every 2019 Rogue, and they are among the most comfortable in any vehicle on the market today.

The Rogue's cargo area is cavernous, despite the crossover's compact overall dimensions. The cargo hold can carry several carry-on sized bags and can accommodate quite a few suitcases as well. The cargo space in non-hybrid models offers the ability to raise or lower the floor for more flexibility carrying large items. The vehicle's reasonable ride height and low load floor make it easy to get heavy items in and out.

That same agreeable nature will make parents happy with the Rogue. The back seat is spacious and makes an ideal home for car seats of all sizes. The vehicle offers sizeable rear door openings with doors that swing wide to allow easy loading and unloading of children. The Rogue's questionable LATCH system rating from the IIHS refers to how hard it is to install or remove car seats. That is because the crossover's back-seat padding interferes with the anchor points, partially covering them and making them difficult to find with a seatbelt harness.


Styling & Design: 8/10

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The Nissan Rogue's style has moved more in the aggressive direction in recent years and is light years away from the round, somewhat frumpy shape that dominated the crossover's lineup in the beginning. Recent updates have brought Nissan's "V" grille to the Rogue, and the rest of the crossover's exterior has become sharper than before.

The Rogue's interior isn't anything fancy, but it's designed with usability and utility in mind. That means that entering and exiting the vehicle and using its interior functions (infotainment, etc.) is easy and intuitive. All displays, buttons, and infotainment screen are oriented in such a way as to be easily accessible for both the driver and front passenger. Though smallish, the display is bright and has good viewing angles that make using it while driving much more comfortable.

The Rogue has an agreeable ride height that makes it easy to enter and exit. It makes the Nissan ideal for people who regularly need to transport passengers with mobility needs, parents with children in car seats, and people who live in tight urban areas where quick entry and exit are key. Outward visibility is good, but large D-pillars make for a difficult time with blind spots. Thankfully, the Rogue is equipped with a load of safety tech that reduces anxiety in traffic.


Driving Experience: 6/10

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The Rogue's powertrains are designed for efficiency over all else. The crossover takes considerable effort to get up to speed and makes a loud, strained noise while doing it. That's due in part to the transmission's tendency to perform sluggishly, which causes the engine to whine and wail harshly. A standard automatic transmission would've been better here, but fuel economy would likely suffer.

Both the Rogue and Rogue Hybrid have quiet, relaxed rides that make them pleasant over almost any road surface or condition. That same comfort makes for a soft feel in the corners, making it seem unsettled at times. There's more movement than is expected, especially at highway speeds.

Steering is light and sharp, which significantly benefits in-town maneuverability, but also makes the crossover feel even softer and wobblier than the suspension already does.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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With front-wheel-drive, the Rogue is rated at 26/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined. All-wheel-drive shifts those numbers to 25/32/27 mpg.

The Rogue Hybrid with front-wheel drive is rated at 33/35/34 mpg city/highway/combined. With all-wheel-drive, those ratings change to 31/34/33 mpg.

Though it's got competitive fuel economy numbers, the Rogue's problems arise with its power output. Driving the vehicle with any sense of urgency taxes the anemic powertrain greatly and reduces gas mileage considerably. Longer drives through mixed traffic conditions consistently results in the standard Rogue delivering lower fuel economy numbers than its EPA estimates would suggest.

The Rogue's saving grace is its Hybrid. For not a lot more money, buyers can opt for the more efficient crossover, which is competitive with other crossovers and many sedans.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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The base Rogue S FWD has a starting price of $26,065 MSRP, including destination charge. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable transmission, LED tail lights, halogen headlights with auto-off, automatic headlights, front-wheel drive, 17-inch wheels, five-passenger seating, a six-way manual driver's seat, power windows and door locks, a rearview camera, a seven-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth audio and phone, single-zone climate controls, hands-free text messaging, USB inputs, auxiliary inputs, mood lighting, blind spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, and a lane intervention system.

The Rogue S AWD starts at $27,415.

The Rogue SV FWD has a base MSRP of $27,485. It comes with heated side mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rails, a motion-activated liftgate, outside mirror-mounted turn signals, heated driver and front passenger seats, and rear automatic emergency braking.

The Rogue SV AWD starts at $28,835. The SV Hybrid FWD begins at $28,745, and the SV Hybrid AWD has a starting price of $30,095.

The Rogue SL FWD starts at $32,535. It comes with 19-inch wheels, memory seating, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver's seat, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, navigation, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and the ProPilot Assist driver assistance system.

The Rogue SL AWD starts at $33,885. The Rogue SL Hybrid FWD begins at $32,685, and the Hybrid AWD starts at $34,035.

If we were in the market for a Rogue today, we'd opt for the midrange SV trim and upgrade to a hybrid model. Since the Rogue's focus is on fuel economy over outright performance, the hybrid system makes the most sense. The same comfortable ride and cushy interior accommodations come in the Hybrid model, which offers significant fuel economy benefits over its standard fuel-powered counterpart. That said, it's hard to argue with the range-topping SL model's price tag. The all-in price of just over $34,000 buys a vehicle with every bell and whistle available, and the fuel economy is a big bonus to that luxurious setup.


More Photos

See more 2019 Nissan Rogue photos here.