The 2019 Nissan Rogue compact crossover makes a wonderful first impression. Its attractive styling bucks the usual trend of frumpy and/or utilitarian design, and despite this model being around for five years since its last full redesign, it still looks pretty fresh. The interior similarly looks good, there's plenty of up-to-date tech, and those seeking lots of family-friendly space will find one of the roomiest cabins in the segment.
However, the longer you spend with the Rogue, you might start to notice the underpowered engine, unrefined transmission and general dreary driving experience. Back-to-back test drives of key competitors — most of which have been more recently redesigned — might also reveal that they manage to at least match the Rogue's strong points while substantially bettering it in others. Not a bad choice, but we think there are better ones.
Note that the Nissan Rogue Sport is a different, smaller SUV altogether.
What's new for 2019?Every Nissan Rogue now comes standard with forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and high-beam assist. Rear automatic braking and rear parking sensors are now standard on the SV and SL trim levels. The latter also gains Nissan's ProPilot Assist adaptive cruise control and advanced lane-keeping system. There are also new Special Edition and Premium packages available.
What's the interior and in-car technology like?The Rogue's cabin is arguably its finest attribute. It starts with a more attractive, car-like design than several top rivals, and on top trim levels, simulated leather trim on the dash and center console create a luxurious look and feel. Overall materials quality is typical for the compact SUV segment. The standard seven-inch touchscreen isn't quite as large as the displays in some rivals and is also mounted a bit low, but it's also pretty easy to use and we always appreciate the presence of actual buttons and knobs in support of a touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on every trim level, but there's only one USB port available.
Taller folks may find that the driver seat does not sufficiently adjust, whether with the standard six-way manual or upgrade eight-way power seat. Otherwise, the seats themselves are quite comfortable.
How big is it?The Rogue is one of the largest compact SUVs: only the Volkswagen Tiguan is longer and the Subaru Forester taller. It's also one of the heaviest, which certainly doesn't do its engine any favors. Interior space is commensurately generous. The back seat's legroom figure of 37.9 inches may seem unremarkably midpack, but its ability to slide provides a degree of versatility most rivals no longer offer. Sliding the seats forward allows you to bring kids in child seats a bit closer to mom and dad, or creates more space in the cargo area.
That's a bonus because the Rogue already has more space behind its raised second-row seat than anything else in the segment: 39.3 cubic feet. It also features the standard "Divide-N-Hide" cargo system of floor panels that allows for different floors heights, multiple tiered shelves or a rigid divider. Shown above, it's quite clever and no competitor offers anything quite like it. Maximum cargo capacity of 70 cubic feet is among the biggest in the segment, with only the Tiguan, Forester and Honda CR-V offering more.