2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Is More Than Just a Smaller Rogue

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport (Aaron)

Nissan introduced the Rogue Sport as a smaller crossover option to fit between the subcompact Juke and the compact Rogue. Aiming for a more sophisticated urban audience, the Rogue Sport has a lot in common with its European cousin, the Qashqai.

The manufacturer says

Introducing the brand-new Rogue Sport. The versatile crossover that helps you navigate life's daily adventures, or break routine at a moment's notice.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Nissan
  • Year, Model: 2017 Rogue Sport
  • Class, Type: Compact crossover
  • Propulsion system: 2.0L gasoline
  • Base Price: $21,420
  • MSRP as tested: Varied
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is sized to offer the space and versatility that a compact crossover provides without the long wheelbase and large vehicle size that some compacts have. It’s just over a foot smaller in length compared to the Rogue, but only 2.3 inches shorter in wheelbase. It’s the same width and has the same wheel track as the Rogue, but the Rogue Sport is also 5.6 inches shorter than the Rogue. The Rogue Sport weighs about 200 pounds less as well.

The smaller Rogue Sport does not have a third row option, but is more maneuverable, more fuel efficient, and more city-friendly than the Rogue. Which is its goal.

The 2017 Rogue Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that outputs 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. An Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) is attached to that engine in front-wheel drive as standard. All-wheel drive is an option.

Fuel economy in the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is good and will mostly pan out in the real world. Front-wheel drive models are EPA-rated at 28 mpg combined, with 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. AWD models are rated at 27 mpg combined, with 24 in the city and 30 on the highway.

In the real world, we drove several models at Nissan-sponsored events in Tennessee and Colorado and then drove an AWD model for a week as a press loan. During our short drives in Tennessee and Colorado, we experienced the FWD models and saw that their EPA ratings are likely close to the mark if you account for elevation, which affects naturally-aspirated engines like the Rogue Sport’s. A week with the AWD model showed that most of the EPA estimates are going to be very close, even at altitude, with highway mileage suffering the most. Our average was 27 mpg on the highway at an average of about 6,000 feet and 70 mph speeds. We noted that passenger load didn’t affect MPG as much as we’d expected. City mileage remained as the EPA estimates.

The 2017 Rogue Sport has an excellent interior, even at the base level, and is comparable to the Rogue in terms of comfort and materials use. It is noticeably smaller than the Rogue, but the front seats do not suffer for this. The rear seating is cramped with more than two adults in place, but can seat three across when required. Children in booster seats will have trouble finding seatbelt receivers as well, thanks to the narrow positioning across that bench. Child safety seats are otherwise easy to install and the LATCH system for locking in carseats is in the European style, so it’s very easy to access. The rear cargo is very nice and the rear seats fold down to add more room as needed. Cargo with the seats up is 22.9 cubic feet and expands to 61.1 with them folded.

Technology is another high point in this new Nissan. The upgraded infotainment, which can be had in any but the base Rogue Sport model, is built around a clear, well-positioned 7-inch touchscreen with a lot of smartphone integration and connected technologies. A rear backing camera is standard in the Rogue Sport and a 360-degree camera system is an optional upgrade with the infotainment upgrade.

What we like

Smart sizing that maximizes usefulness and maneuverability.

Great drive experience with a well-tuned drivetrain choice for the car’s size.

What we don't

Unproven track record for safety and reliability.

No hybrid option.

Conclusions

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is a well-done compact crossover. It slots well between Nissan’s current lineup and has a look and appeal that will bring on the shoppers. We like the way it is packaged overall, but do note that seating for four is much more realistic than for five and that parents may have issue with child boosters and seatbelts, but child safety seats are otherwise well-accommodated.

We are fans of the Rogue Sport and enjoyed its fuel economy and well-balanced drivetrain. A quiet ride and good interior add to this while technology options will keep all but the most demanding techno-geeks happy.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport was driven on multiple occasions, including at all-inclusive, Nissan-sponsored events in Tennessee and Colorado as well as during a standard manufacturer’s press loan in Wyoming. Various models and passenger loads were undertaken with the vehicle, as well as some moderate cargo hauling. Total mileage is uncertain, but well over 400 total miles were driven in the Rogue Sport.

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