2021 Nissan Rogue’s NHTSA Crash Test Results Are Troubling

UPDATENissan has released a statement on the NHTSA test results. That statement is incorporated below.

With its crisp suit of sheet metal and a significantly revamped interior, the new 2021 Nissan Rogue looks sharp. It’s good enough that we declared that Nissan “appears to be getting some of its mojo back” last year. While you might expect the attention the automaker gave to the Rogue’s styling and dynamics would carry over to its crash ratings, you’ll be disheartened to learn this doesn’t seem to be the case. At least, according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) crash ratings first spotted by The Car Connection.

While the Rogue ekes out a “Four Star” overall safety rating, the individual front crash scores are troubling. The front driver gets a Four Star rating, but the front passenger only earns a Two Star rating. The overall front rating is only a Three Star one, too. Since higher Star scores mean the risk of injury is reduced in a crash, these ratings mean the new Rogue doesn’t do as good of a job at protecting the passenger—theoretically—as many of its arch competitors—and in a significant way. The 2020 Honda CR-V snagged a Four Star front passenger rating, while the 2020 Toyota RAV4 got a perfect Five Star rating.

Meanwhile, the Rogue gets the highest scores possible in side-impact testing, and a Four Star rating in rollover testing—much closer to on-par with its competition.

A big caveat: NHTSA’s score only applies to vehicles built at the Kyushu Plant in Japan before January 28, 2021. Nissan has released a statement that vehicles built for the U.S. market at the Smyrna Assembly Plant in Tennessee utilize updated front passenger restraints that were not present on the Kyushu-built vehicle tested by NHTSA. We expect to see NHTSA test results for the updated, U.S.-market vehicles in May. Nissan’s statement is below:

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.

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