The 2021 Nissan Rogue impressed us during a first drive and in a thorough follow-up test, recording a rating of 9.7 out of 10. But that class-leading figure came before we found out about a disappointing performance in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, where the redesigned Rogue scored just four stars overall and managed a meager two-star rating on front passenger crash testing. There’s a catch, though.
The issue behind the low rating only impacts vehicles built before January 28, 2021, at Nissan’s Kyushu, Japan, facility. And while that group includes approximately 50,000 examples of the popular compact CUV, the majority of Rogues sold in North America come from Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, factory, where the company has already made changes to Rogue’s build process.
“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 January 28 at the Kyushu plant,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Therefore, the two-star front-passenger safety rating only applies to the vehicles produced at the Kyushu plant prior to January 28.”
Gallery: 2021 Nissan Rogue Crash Tests
“The front-passenger safety systems in the vehicles that received the update have yet to be tested by NHTSA,” the statement added. “An additional test of the 2021 Rogue is scheduled with results expected in May.”
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As for retrofitting the Kyushu-built Rogues, Nissan spokesman Dan Passe said the company is “evaluating options.”
While the Rogue earned disappointing marks in one aspect of the evaluation, it stood up to side-impact crash situations, recording a perfect score in all tests. It also fared well in rollover testing, earning four out of five stars. And while NHTSA doesn’t test active safety gear like the folks at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the Rogue has earned rave reviews for its available ProPilot active safety system.