2021 Nissan Rogue Becomes Perfect SUV for People With Thrill-Seeking Friends

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2021 nissan rogue becomes perfect suv for people with thrill seeking friends

The 2021 Nissan Rogue has bombed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s front passenger-side crash test with a score of two stars. Since we’re not using the Michelin Guide, this is a stain on the freshly pressed slacks Nissan has put on as part of its all-important restructuring strategy.

The automaker has been shedding weight, dropping products, and losing employees in the name of profit. But it also has to restore public faith in a brand that has been caught in numerous quality control scandals and some ugly corporate infighting over the last few years. A crummy score on a crash test isn’t going to help, even if it does help spice up an otherwise bland vehicle segment. But let’s not overcook the eggs. There is a lot to unpack here before we jump on the bandwagon of calling it a cursed model.

Overlap crash tests are famously tough to do well on and there was a time when practically nobody did. We also know Nissan has the ability to perform better because the 2020 Rogue was awarded four stars by the NHTSA in the same test. And the organization still saw fit to award the 2021 model-year Rogue an average of four stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety similarly named it a “Top Safety Pick” after their team threw it at a few barriers. It even got top marks on the passenger-side small frontal overlap test while in their hands.

But that’s where the good news ends for Nissan. As the 2021 model’s only difference from the previous year is a revamped interior, it’s strange that the SUV (crossover) would have such a bad showing. This leads us to wonder if the issue isn’t related to quality control or perhaps some of its planned modifications to the passenger restraint system. Nissan’s statement on the matter seems to point to both as it makes mention of the date those changes occurred (January 28th) and the Kyushu plant in Kanda, Japan where the NHTSA test vehicle originated from.

Most North American Rogues come from Nissan’s facility in Smyrna, Tennessee, however. This could be a non-committal hint from the company that the Kyushu plant, which was one of the Japanese factories at the heart of its multi-year final inspection scandal, would not be serving up product for the market. Despite the test vehicles being built before the restraint changes, Nissan is planning to run a comprehensive investigation into the issue.

Here’s Nissan’s official statement:

Nissan is committed to vehicle safety and is pleased with the 2021 Nissan Rogue’s overall 4-star NCAP safety rating. All 2021 Rogue vehicles fully comply with federal safety standards.


Nissan is aware of the two-star NCAP rating for front-passenger safety for 2021 Rogue vehicles assembled at Nissan’s Kyushu, Japan, manufacturing facility prior to Jan. 28, 2021. Nissan applied an update to the front passenger restraint system on all 2021 Rogue vehicles assembled at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant, and all vehicles produced after Jan. 28 at the Kyushu plant. Therefore the two-star front-passenger safety rating only applies to the vehicles produced at the Kyushu plant prior to Jan. 28.

The front-passenger safety systems in the vehicles that received the update have yet to be tested by NHTSA. An additional test of the 2021 Rogue is scheduled with results expected in May.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Feb 23, 2021

    The way I see these things being driven, they'll definitely provide a "thrill" for those friends alright! The faulty restraint system only adds to the excitement. Nissan leads the league in aggressive drivers, overtaking BMW some years back. I cringe when I see one of these, or, arguably worse, a scraped up Altima.

  • Neebme Neebme on Feb 24, 2021

    If your friends get a thrill from the Nissan Rogue then you should get new friends.

  • Wjtinfwb How does the ICE mid-engine C8 platform work for... anything else? A sedan? SUV? With a mid engine configuration? A mid-engine SUV will have to be Suburban sized to offer the utility of a CRV. GM should dust off the Omega platform designed for the Cadillac CT6 for an SUV/Sedan offering with exceptional handling, Rear or AWD capability and acceptable space utilization. They also need to focus on interior fit & finish, trim choices and high quality final engineering and assembly. What GM doesn't need is another half-baked product with a storied and prestigious badge on the decklid and a premium price on the Monroney. No more Cimarron's, Allante's or X-cars needed to tarnish the reputation of Corvette.
  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck Wait...how do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?
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