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Published February 09, 2022

Is the Nissan Rogue a good car?

Nissan Rogue Review

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Image shows an orange Nissan Rogue parked wet pavement, with palm trees and a gray sky in the background.

It seems like the Nissan Rogue has been with us forever. After all, it first made its debut back in January 2007 at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit. It’s the make’s compact crossover SUV and also Nissan’s best-selling car in the United States – and that means there are plenty of used models on the market.

We’ve taken a look at the Nissan Rogue reviews of the 2019-21 models to see how it measures up – and to point you in the general direction of which are the best ones to buy.

Pros of the Nissan Rogue:

  • Plenty of passenger and cargo space.
  • High-quality interior for the class.
  • Above-average fuel economy for urban and highway driving.

Cons of the Nissan Rogue:

  • Sluggish performance from older engines.
  • Infotainment system could be more advanced.
  • Transmission and road noise are relatively high.
Nissan Rogue price

One point that used Nissan Rogues very much have in their favor is the competitive price and, because there are so many on the market, it means you’ll have plenty of choice. So, for example, a 2019 S-level model can be yours for around $20,000 with a top-of-the-range SL coming in at about $30,000. For a 2021 Rogue, you’ll be looking at around $26,000 and $36,000 for the equivalent models.

Performance

The 2019 model comes with two choices for you. The first is the range’s standard four-cylinder, 2.5-liter 170-hp engine with CVT and there’s also a hybrid version that features a combined 2.0-liter engine and electric motor that ups the power to around 176 horsepower. Don’t try looking for a post-2019 hybrid though, because it was discontinued after this.

The 2020 model retains the 170-hp engine, which has generally been singled out in Nissan Rogue reviews as being fairly sluggish and underpowered, especially when the car’s fully laden.

The arrival in 2021 of an engine whose power was bumped up to 181-hp was well received, along with the livelier performance it delivers. While not exactly record-breaking with figures of 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, this is still pretty respectable for a car in this category.

Reliability

One thing that you’re definitely looking for in any compact SUV is the same reliability that you’d expect from larger models. So is the Nissan Rogue a good car in this respect? While it has achieved only average scores in some consumer surveys, the authoritative JD Power report has given it a higher than average mark.

Other reports have stated that you can expect the Rogue to have a life of at least 200,000 miles if it’s properly serviced and maintained. It’s also true that over the years its reliability has steadily increased and the majority of problems experienced with more recent models have been fairly minor ones, such as malfunctioning air-conditioning. Maintenance costs are also lower than average, coming in at around $500 a year, which is $21 less than comparable vehicles in the category.

Safety

While the 2019 and 2020 models didn’t receive the highest five-star rating in crash tests carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they were both awarded four stars. The 2021 model is still awaiting testing but it should be the same or higher.

There’s no doubt that all the models come heavily laden with safety equipment as standard, which helps the Rogue compete with other similar models including the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester.

These features include standard automated emergency braking that reacts to an imminent collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, even if the driver doesn’t. There’s also standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts. Highway driving is made even safer thanks to adaptive cruise control and a semi-autonomous driving mode.

Fuel economy

The prospective Nissan Rogue owner should be making fewer visits to the gas station compared with some of the rivals in its class. Official figures for the 2.5-liter engine vary between 26 mpg for urban driving and 33 on the highway.

Manufacturers often exaggerate these figures but this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Rogue, with numerous impartial road tests finding that real-world conditions only marginally reduce the quoted figures.

Cargo space and interior

Another of the strengths of the Nissan Rogue is just how much you can pack into it. Fold the rear seats flat and you’ll have a class-leading 74.1 cubic feet of storage space, more than enough for most people’s needs.

Even when the seats are up, you’ll have 31.6 cubic feet, more than enough room for your luggage for a week away or a huge shopping trip to the mall or the supermarket. Higher spec models also come with a very practical feature called the Divide-N-Hide configurable cargo floor that can be used as a shelf or to cover hidden compartments. The wide rear hatch also makes it comparatively easy to load large or bulky items.

The interior itself has always been one of the Rogue’s strong points with comfortable seats, plenty of legroom and lots of practical cubby holes for additional storage.

Infotainment and technology

The 2019 and 2020 models have a 7.0-inch touchscreen that controls the car’s infotainment systems. Called NissanConnect, it is reasonably simple and intuitive to use and the physical buttons that surround the screen are a practical addition. One criticism has always been the lack of a specific home screen.

In 2021 models, the screen size has been increased to 8.0 inches and 9.0 inches in the higher-spec SL and Platinum models. The later screen is also far higher resolution than the previous version.

There is full Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity and the car has all the other features you’d expect, like twin USB ports and Bluetooth.

It comes with a perfectly good four-speaker stereo system but if you can find a model with the ten-speaker Bose system, this produces sound that really can’t be beaten.

Is the Nissan Rogue a good car?

Yes, Nissan Rogues are good cars, although perhaps not absolutely class-leading in the compact SUV world. They are economical, well-equipped and come with all the cargo space you could need, and maybe even more. There’s also a good range of specs to choose from according to your needs and budget.

The downside is the relatively sluggish performance the car delivers. But if you want a reliable workhorse and a practical family car rather than a head-turner, you could do far worse than the Rogue.

If you still have doubts, just ask yourself why it’s Nissan’s bestseller in the States and this may well sway your opinion.

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