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5 things Nissan should do to update the Rogue for 2020

The Rogue is a solid offering, but there are ways it could be better.

2019 Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is a good SUV. It has the most comfortable front seats in the industry and is nicely appointed for its price point. Still, it’s aging and with the introduction of redesigned models of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 in recent years, the long model run is more apparent than ever.

For 2019, Nissan is smartly adding their new Safety Shield 360, a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies to SL and SV grades of the popular SUV. Lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear door alert, and high beam assist are now standard equipment.

There’s also a long list of new packages available for buyers:

  • Special Edition Package (S grade) featuring 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated driver’s and front passenger seat, chrome exterior and interior door handles and roof rails
  • Premium Package (SV grade) with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, ProPILOT Assist and electronic parking brake

The company’s driver assistance technology, ProPILOT Assist, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are now standard on the SL grade.

Nissan is already set up to fill the holes in the 2020 Nissan Rogue using technologies and equipment it’s already putting in other vehicles from their lineup. Here are the key things that can (and should) be changed:

1.) The Rogue’s current engine should move to become a base engine or be wiped off the slate altogether. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder power plant is rated at 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, which is fine for a base model but in upper trims, it’s not as engaging as what you’ll find under the hood of Rogue rivals. The company should offer the variable compression turbo inline four-cylinder engine that is now powering the 2019 Nissan Altima and the 2019 Infiniti QX50 as a base or upgraded engine.

2.) The infotainment system in the Altima should move to the 2020 Nissan Rogue as well. The 2019 Rogue comes with a 7-inch color touch-screen display, which the company should upgrade to the same 8-inch multi-touch color display that is in the 2019 Altima. That should also continue to have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment.

3.) Nissan should add Traffic Sign Recognition technology to the Rogue. This new-to-Nissan tech is available in the Altima and would be a great addition to the Rogue, which is frequently used for family travel.

4.) The Rogue Hybrid could also stand for some upgrades. Its braking is too grabby, so an ideal 2020 Rogue Hybrid model would have a more measured level of regeneration.

5.) Torque vectoring technology and more dynamic drive modes than the current Sport and Eco choices would be ideal. Many other SUVs typically thought of as family haulers, like the Honda Pilot, have added torque vectoring technology in their latest iterations. Dynamic drive modes would allow for a more engaging drive, something that would solve one issue the current Rogue has in its reviews.

…and one more. The 2020 Rogue needs more USB ports. The SUV desperately needs them in the second row and a second one in the front row wouldn’t be necessary if the automaker decides to add wireless charging capability (which it should).

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Written by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.

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