What is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle these days? Sentra? Altima? Wrong on both accounts. Car sales have been slumping industry-wide in favor of crossover utility vehicles and the top seller at Nissan is now the Rogue. And that model is now being joined by the new Rogue Sport.
The Rogue Sport is totally new for 2017 and is sized just under the Rogue model. It seats up to five and offers all of the latest Nissan amenities including the Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield that features forward emergency braking with pedestrian braking, lane departure prevention, and rear cross-traffic alert. It arrives in three trim levels – S, SV, and SL and is offered in front- or all-wheel drive formats. Dimensionally, the Rogue Sport is just over a foot shorter overall than big brother Rogue and is about half a foot lower in height.
To be perfectly honest, we found little sport in the Rogue Sport, but this sort of moniker seems to be all the rage in the crossover world right now. Our tester arrived in AWD format and SL trim although it did not come with a copy of a window sticker. All new Rogue Sport models are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder gas engine with direct injection that produces 141hp and 147 lb. ft. torque. This is mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT gearbox with Eco mode.
Rogue Sport rides comfortably on four-wheel independent suspension and has electric power-assisted steering. It handles quite well and rides smoothly over mixed driving surfaces. It rides on 16-, 17-, and 19-inch wheels with all-season tires depending on the package. Standard features include vehicle dynamic control, traction control system, and tire pressure monitoring system with easy fill tire alert system.
Inside we find the new Rogue Sport to be quite comfortable despite its compact size. And our SL tester offered a host of creature comforts including leather seating and trim appointments, heated seats and steering wheel, electroluminescent gauges, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, remote engine start, premium audio system with satellite radio, 7-inch color touchscreen display, Nissan voice recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic, NissanConnect mobile apps and connected services, around view monitor with moving object detection, and Divide-N-Hide cargo system in the rear.
The Rogue Sport never felt too small around town or on the highway and the powertrain combo provided enough power in mixed driving situations. This new cute ute handles well and is very maneuverable, perfect for the modern urban (and suburban) environment.
“The combination of the new Rogue Sport and the immensely popular redesigned 2017 Rogue will appeal to a broad audience and offers a wide spectrum of features and price points for SUV buyers,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “While we expect Rogue to continue to appeal to owners with young families, Rogue Sport fills a need for singles and couples who want more space and versatility than the average sedan for everyday urban use and social activities.”
Pricing for the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport starts at $21,420. Our loaded SL AWD tester was probably in the 30 grand range. FWD models are rated at 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway and AWD models are rated at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway.
Nissan has done a nice job with the redesign of the Rogue line and with having a duo such as the Rogue and Rogue Sport they should be a popular spot for anyone shopping compact crossovers.