Entry Price: $24,920
Price as tested: $36,135

This week, we’re behind the wheel of the 2019 Nissan Rogue, the larger sibling of the smaller Rogue Sport we tested last year. Rogue is not only Nissan’s best-selling SUV; it’s Nissan’s best overall seller thanks to consumers moving away from sedans and into SUVs of all shapes and sizes. Specifically, the Nissan Rogue topped overall Nissan vehicle sales in both 2017 and 2018, and early indicators point to another banner year of Rogue sales overall.

Our test drive Rogue arrived in upper-class SL trim with All Wheel Drive (AWD). Notable is all 2019 Rogue models, from S to SL, now come standard with automatic emergency braking assuring potential consumers that they are receiving some of the best high-tech Nissan safety items as standard fare. Additionally, the innovative “Rear Door Alert” is added to remind you to check your back seats when weight is detected. (Yes, we’re talking children here … thank you Nissan).

Available in three versions including S, SV and top line SL, Rogue is a Smyrna, Tennessee, built small to mid-size sport utility that starts at just $24,920 for the S front wheel drive. The AWD S starts at $26,270 and then jumps up to Rogue SV FWD at $26,340; SV AWD at $27,690; SL FWD at $31,390 and our top class tester SL AWD at $32,740.

Hybrids are also available in the West, Northwest, Mountain and Mid-Atlantic regions. Hybrids start with the mid-level SV class ($27,600 FWD, $28,950 AWD) and the top line SL ($31,450 FWD, $32,890 AWD). We expect to drive a hybrid Rogue this year and will give a complete report.

Rogue is now in its second generation that began in 2014 following a 2008 introduction. This new Rogue features a half-inch longer wheelbase, better interior dimensions, more cargo space by over 10 cu. ft. and comfortable yet sporty suspension.

Under the hood, all non-hybrid Rogues receive power from Nissan’s trusty 2.5-liter 170-horsepower inline-4 that delivers 175 lb. ft. of torque. Power transfers through an improved Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that features a “Sport Mode” or “Economy” selector. Thanks to the CVT advancements the last few years, fuel mileage is very good as the front drive delivers 26 city and 33 highway while the AWD is just one less MPG at 25 and 32, respectively.

Outside, Rogue’s design is a mingle of smooth lines and aerodynamic touches that please most every consumer demographic. Other reasons for Rogue’s success are Consumer Reports 2019 buyers guide overall “Small SUV” recommendation and accompanying very good owner reliability ratings.

A few of the enhancements on our top line tester includes standard Pro Pilot Assist technology, which provides assisted steering, braking and acceleration during single lane highway driving. However, even if you buy an S-grade Rogue, you’ll still receive excellent safety thanks to intelligent lane intervention, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic, pedestrian detection, and all the traction controls and electronic vehicle dynamic controls. Your dealer will explain all the differences between the models, but I can’t forget to mention that every 2019 Rogue now includes the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Inside, Rogue’s roominess offers convenience and multi-task opportunities thanks to up to 70 cu. ft. of cargo space available depending seat configuration. Every seat except the driver’s folds down and the front passenger seat folds rearward allowing transport of items like an 8-foot ladder or even a Kayak when combined with the 40/20/40 flat folding second row seat.

Some of the upper-trim SL features include Halogen headlights, power touch lift gate, dual zone climate, fog lights, heated outside mirrors, Sirius/XM, 9-speaker Bose Premium Audio, Bluetooth, heated seats and steering wheel, and even a CD player that was used to generate some great Beach Boys tunes in unison with the Royal Philharmonic. There’s way more but not much space left to explain.

Nissan’s technical initiatives show well with a fine-tuned independent suspension and automatic AWD drive system. Additionally, Rogue’s Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control and other electronic assisted enhancements make for an enjoyable driving experience regardless of weather conditions. I was able to test our Rogue in a snowstorm, and it performed flawlessly. On the dry road freeways, it’s a comfortable, quiet vehicle that handles very well, too. All Rogues come with four-wheel disc ABS brakes for optimal stopping abilities.

Important numbers include a 106.5-inch wheelbase, 3,659 lb. curb weight, from 39.3 to 70 cu. ft. of cargo space depending on seat arrangement and a 14.5-gallon fuel tank.

Options on our tester include an SL Premium Package that adds a power panoramic moonroof and LED lights for $1,820 more, $280 for nice carpeted floor mats with Rogue logo and cargo liner, and finally a $250 Platinum Reserve interior package with quilted two-tone leather seating (very nice). These options brought the final tally of our tester to a retail of $36,135 with $1,045 delivery included.

It’s worth a visit to your Nissan dealer to check out this solid SUV contender. Make sure to ask about current incentives/discounts and lease programs as Nissan is very aggressive in these areas.

Likes: Good looks, reliability, interior, enhanced safety on all models, American built.

Dislikes: Noisy full throttle with CVT, pricey moon roof option, could use a few more ponies.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.