Nissan Rogue plays big for a compact SUV

From a spacious cabin to upscale features, this SUV punches above its weight.

Though the Rogue is technically a compact, it often looks and feels more like a midsize SUV.
Though the Rogue is technically a compact, it looks and feels more like a midsize SUV. –Nissan

The 2019 Nissan Rogue is technically listed as a compact SUV, but it truly pushes the limits of the word, “compact.” The Rogue has a spacious interior and sits high, which is more like a mid-size SUV, and new for 2019, Nissan upgraded its standard driver assistance features, making the Rogue a tremendous value in its segment.

The Rogue has seating for five passengers, with a 60/40 split-fold rear bench, giving way to 70 cubic feet of cargo space. In past years, the Rogue had offered a third row, making it one of the only options in the compact SUV segment with seven-passenger seating. But in 2018, Nissan took the third-row option off the table, just as the redesigned 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan began to offer three-row seating.

Advertisement

Still, up front, the Rogue has a thoughtful, well-planned interior design. It sticks to conventional controls and then incorporates the touchscreen infotainment system into the dash. Although the infotainment system is a bit basic, with faded graphics that appear pretty dated, Nissan makes up for it with plenty of conventional buttons and dials on each side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also offered standard.

Trims for the Rogue are S, SV, and SL. In addition to the aforementioned infotainment, the base S comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, manual seats all around, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and a front USB port.

The mid-range SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, tinted rear windows, integrated roof rails, an 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and an foot-activated power liftgate.

We drove the SL trim, which adds 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather seating, and a power front passenger seat. It also adds navigation to the infotainment system and ups the stereo to a Bose premium 9-speaker sound system.

The SL Platinum Reserve package gives the Rogue this upscale tan interior. —Nissan

Our SL test model also included the Premium Package and the SL Platinum Reserve package. The former adds LED headlights and a panoramic moonroof, while the latter upgrades the interior with special quilted leather seat stitching and attractive two-tone tan leather upholstery. With this package, the Rogue provides an upscale cabin that looks like it could be from Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti.

Advertisement

No matter the trim, the Nissan Rogue comes standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. It makes 170-horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a continuously variable transmission or CVT. These types of automatic transmissions often have a “rubber band” effect, but the Rogue’s CVT manages power well, providing solid acceleration at lower speeds. At highway speeds, this setup makes a lot of noise, and acceleration is sluggish.

The Rogue has well-weighted steering, and is stable around corners, though its turning ratio is less than ideal. This could be due to the length of its wheelbase, but shorter SUVs like the Kia Sportage are better suited to parking in the city.

Fuel economy for the 2019 Nissan Rogue with front-wheel drive is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. The AWD Rogue returns 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 combined. In our week of driving, we observed a fuel economy of 27.4 mpg.

The Rogue comes standard with ProPilot Assist and includes helpful driver assistance features. —Nissan

The Rogue comes standard with ProPilot Assist, which is a suite of driver assistance features including forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, and even full-speed lane-keeping assist. You have to keep your hand on the wheel, but it will follow the curves of the highway on its own.

The base MSRP of the 2019 Nissan Rogue is $24,800. The SV trim starts at $26,200, and the SL starts at $31,390. The SL trim with all-wheel drive, the Platinum Reserve package, and SL Premium Package brings the price to $35,855. But with standard driver assistance features, solid cargo capacity, and the latest connectivity from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Rogue is a shining example of the value of the compact SUV segment.