Review: Nissan Rogue Sport is sized, priced just right – USA TODAY
The new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport small sport-utility vehicle is primed to be a hit.
A convenient size and appealing features set it apart from competitors, and its base price of $21,420 plus $960 in delivery fees should attract plenty of buyers.
Don’t confuse the Rogue Sport with the larger and more expensive Rogue SUV that already is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle. They use the same platform, but the Sport is significantly smaller, lighter and less expensive.
Value and convenience are Rogue Sport’s strengths. The top model will sticker at $27,420, and Nissan will offer safety and driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alert, 360-degree cameras, automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Rogue Sport is about a foot shorter than the standard Rogue. Under another name — the Scrabble-winning Qashqai — the Sport already is a star in Europe, where its easy-to-park size, good visibility, and useful interior make it the small SUV of choice.
Nissan says those same qualities will attract twenty- and thirtysomething Americans living in congested cities.
The Rogue Sport’s interior is comfortable, with good passenger and cargo space. It offers plenty of features for the money, including Nissan’s user-friendly touch screen and voice recognition.
The market for small SUVs is still developing, and the Rogue Sport’s 14.4-foot length fits between subcompacts such as the Honda HR-V and compacts such as the CR-V.
The Rogue Sport offers adjustable power steering for the impression of sporty handling. Its 141-horsepower 2-liter engine is less powerful than smaller turbocharged engines competitors such as the Chevrolet Trax and Equinox and Honda CR-V offer, but the HR-V is the prime competition, and the Sport’s horsepower matches and the torque exceeds those of the smaller Honda.
The engine revs smoothly in city driving but gets buzzy and labors a bit in hard acceleration. The Rogue Sport weighs about 200 pounds less than the Rogue but has a worse weight-to-power ratio than both its bigger sibling and the smaller Honda HR-V.
The Rogue Sport looks grown up and sophisticated next to the utilitarian HR-V.
Nissan builds the Rogue Sport in Kyushu, Japan, but don’t be surprised if sales grow to a large enough volume for the automaker to decide to move production to Mexico or the U.S.
WHAT STANDS OUT
Size: A foot shorter than Rogue
2017 NISSAN ROGUE SPORT
What: A compact SUV
When: Just arriving in showrooms
Where: Made in Japan
What makes it go: A 4-cylinder, 2-liter engine that produces 141 horsepower with a continuously variable transmission
How thirsty: 25 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, 28 mpg overall
How big: 14.4 feet long
How much: $21,420 plus $960 destination charge
Overall: Handy size, affordable price