//Richard Case 00966583

2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum AWD Road Test Review

 

A strong seller for good reason 

I've been lucky enough to test the Rogue nearly every year since its inception. Along the way Nissan has been pretty good about mixing up the colours and trim levels, so as to add variety in between model updates, but just the same this 2019 Rogue SL Platinum AWD looked identical to last year's 2018 Rogue SL Platinum AWD, even including its Pearl White painted body panels. 

Once I opened the door and climbed inside, however, I noticed a clear distinction. Instead of last year's Charcoal black interior, my new tester's Premium Tan hue was an exact match to a near identical Rogue I drove the year prior in beautiful Scarlet Ember paint, which meant that last year's version wasn't fully loaded. 


 

In fact, this new 2019 and the old 2017 were fitted with a $500 SL Platinum Reserve Interior Package that replaces the top-line trim's usual Charcoal black or Almond beige leather upholstery with a stylish caramel/saddle brown colour, plus it adds quilted stitching to the seat inserts and more. The lighter colour scheme looks superb, and I must say nicely complements my tester's optional white outer paint. 

For a bit of background, the Rogue received a mid-cycle makeover for 2017, highlighted by Nissan's wider, more U-shaped Vmotion 2.0 grille, which I like a great deal more than its original V-shaped design, while its then-new standard quad-beam headlamps with LED DRLs, plus its renewed LED brake lights added premium-level sophistication to the design. Even better, this 2019 Rogue SL Platinum gets yet more stylish and wholly safer LED headlamps. 




Rogue delivers a near premium interior with Platinum Reserve upgrade 

The 2019 Rogue continues forward with the same styling tweaks on the outside as the 2017, plus plenty of improvements within, its flat-bottom steering wheel a personal favourite item that still makes a sporty statement in the otherwise elegantly appointed top-line 2019 Rogue SL Platinum Reserve model. That steering wheel rim is leather-wrapped and heated, an always welcome feature this time of year, while the Quick Comfort heated front seats are actually standard in every Rogue, but take note the perforated leather upholstery is exclusive to the SL Platinum. 


 

By the way, there's more to the reupholstered SL Platinum Reserve Interior Package than just its saddle brown colour treatment and quilted seats. In fact, the quilting only gets used for the seats' middle inserts, with the inner bolsters finished in perforated leather and the top of those bolsters made to look sportier thanks to contrast-stitched black leather. What's more, Nissan adds the Premium Tan colour to the door armrests as well, plus the centre armrest, the knee protector padding on both sides of the centre console, and even for a padded and stitched leatherette bolster on the instrument panel ahead of the front passenger. Additional interior niceties include Piano Black rimmed dash vents, centre stack trim, lower console detailing, and door panel inlays, the latter surrounding the chrome inner door handles. 


 

Nissan leads with the most advanced driver assistance systems 

In addition to everything noted so far, the Rogue SL Platinum now comes standard with a number of really high-end features that should make the purveyors of most premium brands blush in embarrassment for not offering them too. Top of this list is ProPilot Assist, a "hands-on-wheel" driving system that can actually drive itself autonomously, although for safety reasons it only allows you to let go of the steering wheel for short durations. Nevertheless, ProPilot Assist helps to centre the Rogue within its lane during highway driving, and therefore eases long-distance traveling, plus along with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Intelligent Lane Intervention, it might even help to avoid a potential accident. 


 

The two advanced driver assistance systems just mentioned are now included as standard fare in the Rogue's mid-range SV trim too, which also boasts Intelligent Cruise Control and Intelligent Emergency Braking (P-IEB) with Pedestrian Detection, while the headlights are made easier to operate during night driving via High Beam Assist (HBA), and parking made less stressful thanks to reverse sensors, Moving Object Detection (MOD), Backup Collision Intervention, and Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking (R-IEB), which, along with ProPilot Assist are options with the SV and standard on the SL Platinum. 


 

Of note, even the base Rogue S comes equipped with an impressive array of standard safety features, such as Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB), while two standard Rogue features that are usually only found on competitors' top-line trims include Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). 

Finally, Nissan includes standard Rear Door Alert that, if you happened to open a back door before heading off on your drive, sets off a reminder that you may have left something or someone in the back when you turn off the engine. Of course, the Rogue also gets filled with the usual active and passive safety features, plus it includes a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with a dash display that shows individual tire pressures and an Easy-Fill Tire Alert. 


 

Rogue delivers smooth and controlled driving experience 

As impressive as all this technology is, especially the experience of sitting behind the wheel of a car that can actually pilot itself, how the Rogue drives while guiding that steering wheel with your own two hands, whether cruising south on Highway 99, winding your way along Highway 3 on your way to the Kootenays, or manoeuvring through often congested Vancouver traffic, is even more important. As you may have expected with a vehicle as popular as the Rogue, it's as easy to negotiate through rush hour mayhem as it's fun to drive through twisty backroads, while its adaptive cruise control and ProPilot Assist make highway driving more relaxing than usual. Ease and comfort is the Rogue's prime directive, thanks to smooth, linear acceleration and wonderfully compliant ride quality, while it provides impressive braking power too. 


 

Under the nicely sculpted hood is a well-proven 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine good for a healthy 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, while its standard Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a key reason this SUV is so smooth. It also plays a big part in the Rogue's impressive fuel efficiency, which is Transport Canada rated at 9.6 L/100km in the city, 7.5 on the highway and 8.7 combined in as-tested AWD, or 9.1 city, 7.1 highway and 8.2 combined with FWD. 

That Rogue's advanced AWD, along with its aforementioned electronic drive systems, as well as standard Traction Control System (TCS) and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), make it ideal for trips to the ski hill on a snow-covered mountainside two-laner, or for that matter the types of light- to medium-duty backcountry roads and trails you might find yourself on when venturing to a favourite summer campsite, and to that latter quest's end you can tow a small camper or boat weighing up to 500 kilos without issue. 


 

One of the most accommodating cargo holds in its class 

Hauling gear in mind, the Rogue is good for 1,112 litres of cargo in its rearmost compartment, plus 1,982 litres of total luggage space when its 60/40 split-folding rear seats are fully lowered. What's more, Nissan made the rear seat more flexible than the majority of challengers thanks to a large pass-through down the middle, allowing skis and other long cargo to fit between rear passengers while they take in the views from their more comfortable window seats. That pass-through also does double duty as a second-row folding armrest with integrated cupholders. 


 

Now that I'm talking features, take note that some as yet unmentioned standard items added to top-tier $37,398 SL Platinum trim include AWD, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, an electronic parking brake, an auto-dimming centre mirror, a heated leather steering wheel rim and leather-wrapped shift knob, memory for the driver's seat and side mirrors, a four-way powered front passenger's seat, a tilt-and-slide powered panoramic sunroof, dual-zone auto climate control, navigation with detailed mapping, an excellent 360-degree surround parking monitor, a Bose audio system with nine superb sounding speakers including two subwoofers, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive volume control, a gesture-activated tailgate, plus more. 


 

In addition, some key highlights pulled up from lesser trims to my SL Platinum tester included remote engine start, proximity access, pushbutton ignition, auto on/off headlamps, fog lights, LED indicators integrated within the side mirror housings, roof rails, a six-way powered driver's seat with power lumbar, a retractable cargo cover, plus more with $29,098 SV trim; and variable intermittent windshield wipers, LED map lights, overhead sunglasses storage, a colour multi-information display, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, NissanConnect, SiriusXM Traffic, hands-free text messaging, Bluetooth phone and audio, mood lighting, and plenty more with $26,798 entry-level Rogue S trim. 


 

A great crossover SUV for superb value 

As you can see, all 2019 Nissan Rogue trims come well stocked with standard features, with our SL Platinum Reserve tester even more so for less than $40k, representing excellent value across the entire line. The value equation is especially notable with respect to advanced driver assistance systems, while the Rogue also provided strong performance, a smooth, quiet, and comfortable suspension, great fuel-efficiency, and a luxurious, accommodating passenger compartment with loads of cargo capacity. I must admit to liking the Rogue's styling, particularly in its top-line trim, which when all summed up makes for a very compelling compact crossover SUV offering that I can recommend highly. 


 

For a closer look and test drive, make sure to contact Southside Nissan by phone at (888) 815-4707, or visit us in our showroom at 290 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver. 



Story credits: Trevor Hofmann  
Photo credits: Karen Tuggay