Nissan Rogue and Maxima earn Top Safety Picks

September 27, 2019

The 2019-20 Nissan Rogue and the 2019-20 Nissan Maxima each earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Rogue earns the award when equipped with specific headlights, while the Maxima qualifies with specific headlights available after June 2019.

To qualify for a 2019 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. It also needs an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good or acceptable headlight rating.

The Rogue qualifies for the award thanks to a new acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap crash test. The rating applies to 2018-20 Rogues built after April 2018. At that time, Nissan added reinforcements to the passenger-side door-hinge pillar and door sill to provide better protection in small overlap crashes on that side. The Rogue already earned good ratings in the five other crashworthiness evaluations.

The small SUV earns a superior rating for front crash prevention. In IIHS track tests, its system reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 12 mph test and avoided a collision in the 25 mph test. It has a forward collision warning component that meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's criteria.

The Rogue's best available headlights — LED projectors with high-beam assist — earn an acceptable rating. Its other headlights — halogen reflectors — rate poor. High-beam assist is a system that automatically switches between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.

The Maxima, a midsize car, earns good ratings in six IIHS crashworthiness evaluations.

Both the 2019 and 2020 Maxima have standard front crash prevention systems that rate superior, though the systems are different. In IIHS track tests, the 2019 Maxima's standard system avoided a collision in the 12 mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 25 mph test. The 2020's standard system, which is available as an option on the 2019 model as well, prevented crashes in both 12 and 25 mph tests. Both systems have forward collision warning components that meet the government's criteria.

The Maxima earns an acceptable headlight rating for its available LED reflector headlights with high-beam assist for models built after June 2019. The same headlights on 2019 models built earlier rate only marginal, due to excessive glare. The 2019 Maxima is also available with LED reflectors without high-beam assist, which also rate marginal. High-beam assist is a standard feature for 2020 models, however, meaning that all 2020 Maximas qualify for the award.

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