Most models take a step forward to becoming safer every year. However, the 2021 Nissan Rogue took two giant steps backward – adding to the SUV’s list of deal-breakers.
How did Nissan manage to make such a mistake with the newest Rogue, and should you still consider buying one? Let’s take a look at the data and the manufacturer’s urgent response.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue’s crash test showed disastrous results
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2021 Rogue a four-star overall safety rating. While this middling score isn’t inherently terrible, one particular category stands out.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue only earned a two-star rating in the front passenger crash test – down two points from the previous year. Meanwhile, it scored four stars in the front driver side crash test – a one-point improvement from last year’s results.
The compact SUV’s latest safety scores may make potential buyers hesitant to purchase the vehicle. Experts didn’t praise the SUV as one of the most robust models on the market.
However, the Rogue’s sharp decline is quite concerning. Other compact SUVs typically score either four or five stars in the front crash tests, giving families more peace of mind before making their purchase.
Critics were split on the 2020 Nissan Rogue’s safety acumen. The NHTSA gave it a four-star overall safety rating, while the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick.
Notably, the IIHS gave the 2020 Rogue its second-highest rating of “acceptable” in the small overlap passenger-side front crash test.
What is Nissan doing to fix the 2021 Rogue’s safety problem?
The Japanese automaker gave the Rogue a makeover for 2021. However, this change appears to have caused more problems than it resolved.
Thankfully, Nissan may have already fixed the issue. Consumer Reports reported that the 2021 Nissan Rogue’s low crash-test rating only applies to models built in Kyushu, Japan before Jan. 28, 2021.
Shoppers can identify these particular models based on the VIN – located on the driver’s side center pillar. Identifications that begin with ‘J’ were built in Kyushu, while ones that start with ‘5’ were made in Smyrna, Tenn.
Should you still consider purchasing this Nissan SUV?
Yes. The Rogue should still make your shortlist if you’re in the market for a compact SUV. You’ll just have to identify the VIN before test-driving any particular model you find at a dealership.
The Rogue is well-equipped with unique features, and it has one of the most ample cargo areas in its class.
The U.S. News & World Report listed the 2021 Nissan Rogue as the fourth-best SUV in the compact segment.
Notably, the publication ranked the 2021 Honda CR-V as the best model in the class. However, shoppers on a budget may prefer the Rogue’s longer list of standard features. The Rogue’s standard eight-inch touchscreen display is larger than any version the CR-V offers.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue also earns a much higher fuel-economy rating than the other two SUVs ahead of its in U.S. News’ ranking. The entry-level Rogue achieves an EPA-estimated 30 MPG city/highway combined. Meanwhile, the Mazda CX-5 gets 28 MPG combined, while the Kia Sportage manages just 26 MPG.
Plus, Nissan equipped the Rogue with standard reverse automatic emergency braking. Most other rivals don’t even offer this coveted feature at all.