2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum AWD Road Test Review
January 31 2019, Trevor Hofmann
Great Compact Crossover SUV Made Even Better for 2019
Nissan has been building compact crossover SUVs for longer than most of its competitors. In fact, I first drove the Canadian-market X-Trail when it debuted here in 2005, a model that was already well seasoned from years in global markets. It was highly competitive for its day and therefore did very well, ushering in a second generation around the world in 2007, and a unique Canadian version wearing the Rogue nameplate that very same year. Now, three years into a refresh of the second-generation model, the Rogue has become a household name, but it's still one of the most attractive compact SUVs available.
Like the rest of Canada, I've witnessed the Rogue rise in popularity over the past dozen or so years, now amongst the top-sellers in its class, plus I've had the pleasure of testing and reviewing a version almost every year since it arrived on the scene, so to be honest I didn't expect this particular year to be all that eventful from a "what's new" perspective. Still, Nissan surprised me by making all of its most advanced driver assistance systems standard on its top-line as-tested SL Platinum trim, plus making them optional with the model's mid-range SV trim, while still surpassing the majority of its peers when it comes to standard safety features.
The 2019 Rogue SL Platinum that I was given most recently for a weeklong test, looked exactly the same as the one I tested for 2018, Pearl White paint and all, until I slid into its leather-lined driver's seat that is. In place of the Charcoal black hides found in last year's SL Platinum test model was a saddle brown motif dubbed Premium Tan, a rich looking combination that I experienced two years prior in a Scarlet Ember coloured Rogue SL Platinum. That was the year Nissan gave this SUV a mid-cycle upgrade and added the $500 SL Platinum Reserve Interior Package that makes this year's tester look so opulent, improved upon yet further by slightly nicer finishings like quilted seat stitching and more.
That 2017 refresh also improved exterior styling, specifically by replacing its more V-shaped original Vmotion grille with a tougher looking 2.0 version designed like a "U", which I happen to like more, while a set of standard quad-beam halogen headlamps received stylish LED daytime running lights, and reworked LED brake lights made the rear design look more sophisticated. Improving on styling further, while enhancing safety, this year's Rogue SL Platinum includes standard LED headlights.
Rogue SL Platinum Delivers Near-Luxury Refinement
As far as the exterior design goes, this 2019 Rogue SL Platinum is identical to the 2017 model, those LED headlights aside, while its interior remains mostly unchanged too. Such is the result of good design; it hasn't needed constant attention despite a hotly contested compact crossover market. While a number of details make it stand out from the crowd, its flat-bottom steering wheel is a personal favourite that provides a sporty element to an interior design that's otherwise all class and elegance in Platinum Reserve trim. The steering wheels' rim gets wrapped in leather and comes heated with the SL Platinum, a celebrated feature amid especially cold winters like we've been suffering through this year, while Nissan's Quick Comfort heatable front seats are even more appreciated and standard across the entire Rogue lineup.
Not to move on without filling you in on all the SL Platinum Reserve Interior Package details, together with its saddle brown colour scheme this reasonably priced upgrade includes quilted stitching for the seat inserts, while the inner bolsters get detailed out in perforated leather, and the tops of said bolsters feature sporty contrast-stitched black leather. Nissan also adds the caramelized Premium Tan hue to the door armrests, the centre armrest, the centre console knee protector pads, and a stitched, padded leatherette trim piece crossing the dash ahead of the front passenger's seat. What's more, the cabin gets classy Piano Black vent bezels on the instrument panel, yet more glossy black trim for the centre stack, across the lower console, and along the door panels, the latter adorning the chromed door handles.
Nissan Makes Its Semi-Autonomous Pro-Pilot Assist System More Affordable
On top of all the features mentioned thus far, the 2019 Rogue SL Platinum comes standard with ProPilot Assist, a "hands-on-wheel" semi-autonomous self-driving technology that could actually drive itself if Nissan would allow it to. With safety in mind, ProPilot Assist only lets you release the wheel for moments at a time, steering itself competently when left to its own devices. While a forerunner to a future world of autonomous mobility, the system's impressive ability to keep the Rogue centered within its lane when cruising down the highway helps to make longer trips less stressful, while it can also help to avoid potential accidents thanks to working alongside other advanced driver assistive systems like Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Intelligent Lane Intervention.
Bringing Pro-Pilot Assist to more buyers than ever before, Nissan now makes it available to mid-range Rogue SV buyers, whereas the two features mentioned a moment ago are now standard in this second-rung trim, as are Intelligent Cruise Control and Intelligent Emergency Braking (P-IEB) with Pedestrian Detection. Back to SV options, buyers that want to save a little on luxury yet still enjoy the benefits of optimal safety can add High Beam Assist (HBA), Moving Object Detection (MOD), Backup Collision Intervention, plus Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking (R-IEB), all of which are standard on the as-tested SL Platinum.
I should point out here that even the entry-level Rogue S is well-equipped with standard safety kit like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), these latter two standard Rogue features normally only found on rivals' most well-equipped trim levels.
Last but hardly least, Nissan has included its Rear Door Alert system as standard, which sounds a warning while providing a visual alert via the multi-information display when shutting off the engine, if you had previously opened a rear door before heading off on your drive, effectively guessing that you might have left something or someone on the back seat.
The base Rogue is filled to the brim with all the usual active and passive safety features too, while also including a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that shows individual tire pressures and an Easy-Fill Tire Alert on the multi-information display.
One of the Smoothest Compact Crossovers in the Industry
As amazing as all this high-tech gear is, particularly ProPilot Assist, the way the Rogue drives down the road while being guided via one's own hands and feet is even more critical to everyday life, no matter if you're traversing the Upper Levels from the Second Narrows to Westview, continuing on past West Van to the circuitous Sea-to-Sky on your way to Lions Bay, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and beyond, or alternatively just winding your way around lower Lonsdale. The Rogue is as effortless to wield through a rush hour commute as it's thoroughly enjoyable to wring out on your way up to the tops of Cypress or Seymour, while its dynamic cruise control and ProPilot Assist make weekend trips to the Okanagan as positively relaxing as can be. The Rogue has been optimized for comfort and convenience first and foremost, with a smooth and progressive power delivery that combines ideally with a completely comfortable ride, while braking is also the Rogue's strong suit.
Below its shapely hood is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine making a formidable 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, while one of the keys to the Rogue's overall smooth nature is its standard Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), a primary ingredient for its superb fuel economy as well.
Transport Canada gives the 2019 Rogue a 9.6 L/100km city rating, plus 7.5 L/100km on the highway and 8.7 combined when hooked up to its all-wheel drivetrain, or alternatively 9.1 L/100km in the city, 7.1 on the highway and 8.2 combined with front-wheel drive.
Together with the various electronic drive systems noted earlier, plus its standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS), the Rogue is a great companion when scaling Capilano Road to Grouse Mountain this time of year, or for that matter Cypress, Seymour or Whistler/Blackcomb on powder-coated roads, not to mention while heading to the cabin during the summer holiday season, when rain can make light- to medium-duty country roads and trails more treacherous than they'd normally be.
Take note that you'll be able to pull a 500-kilogram trailer to said campsite, whether you'll be staying in a cabin or tent and unloading a boat on the other side, or backing a camp trailer into your favourite site.
Rogue Is Big on Gear Hauling Cargo Space
That said you can haul a lot of camping equipment in the back of a Rogue thanks to 1,112 litres of cargo volume in its rearmost hold, as well as 1,982 litres of total gear-toting space when its standard 60/40-split seatbacks are folded down. A feature that I especially like is a centre pass-through that allows rear passengers to enjoy the window seats while longer items like skis are stowed down the middle. What's more, that pass-through is fitted with cupholders for holding drinks when laid flat, and makes a pretty good armrest as well.
Before I forget, some unmentioned standard items that come standard in $37,398 top-level SL Platinum trim include all-wheel drive, 19-inch alloys, LED headlights, an electric parking brake, an auto-dimming rearview inside mirror, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel rim, a leather-clad shift knob, driver's seat memory, side mirror memory, a four-way power front passenger seat, a panoramic moonroof that powers rearward or alternatively tilts upward, two-zone automatic climate control, navigation, a really helpful Around View parking monitor, Bose audio with nine terrific sounding speakers including two powerful subs, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive volume, a gesture-activated liftgate, and more.
Additionally, some of the features that get pulled up from lesser trims to the SL Platinum include remote engine start, proximity keyless entry, a start/stop button, auto on/off headlights, fog lamps, LED turn indicators within the side mirrors, roof rails, a six-way power driver's seat with powered lumbar support, a retractable tonneau cover to hide your cargo, and more with the $29,098 SV model; plus variable intermittent wipers, LED map lights, sunglasses storage in the overhead console, a bright colour multi-information display, 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, NissanConnect, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Traffic, a hands-free text message assistant, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, mood lights, plus a lot more with the $26,798 base Rogue S.
Driving Home an Excellent Compact Crossover SUV for Superb Value
As you can now appreciate, the 2019 Nissan Rogue comes well equipped despite being offered at very competitive pricing, while the SL Platinum Reserve might just be more compelling for under $40k. Possibly most impressive is the Rogue's highly advanced driver assistance systems, its exclusive ProPilot Assist system making it one of the most advanced in its class, while the Rogue also delivers potent performance, smooth and quiet driving dynamics, superb fuel efficiency, and a luxurious, comfortable and accommodating cabin with plenty of cargo space.
Topping it all off is styling that can't be beat, especially when loaded up in SL Platinum guise, which when tallied up results in a strong argument in the Rogue's favour, and a compact crossover SUV that I can highly recommend.
To see one up close and then take it on a test drive, contact North Vancouver Nissan by phone at (888) 450-6443, or visit us in our showroom at 819 Automall Drive, North Vancouver.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Karen Tuggay