AUTO REVIEW: Nissan Adds Smaller Rogue Sport Model to Crossover Lineup
A new Rogue Sport joined the expanding Nissan SUV lineup for 2017, sharing design, utility and technology with the slightly larger Rogue, Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in the United States.
The five-passenger Sport is, of course, sportier — with a lower profile and sleeker looks — and has more room than a compact sedan, with maneuverability, a fun-to-drive feel and affordability that younger, urban buyers are looking for. The third-row seat from the regular Rogue is not available.
Three models are offered: the very basic S, midlevel SV, and well-equipped SL — priced from $21,420-$26,070 for front-wheel drive models. Intuitive all-wheel drive adds $1,350.
All models are equipped with a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, Xtronic CVT with manual-shift mode and Eco Mode switch, and four-wheel independent suspension. Manual shifting is located on the shifter, with position (1 through 7) indicated in the instrument panel meter.
Eco Mode is operated using a switch or the navigation screen, and helps improve fuel efficiency, correcting excessive acceleration when starting from a standstill. If sudden acceleration is necessary in an emergency situation, the computer accesses the pressure on the accelerator and allows proper acceleration.
Standard equipment includes Electric Power-assisted Steering with Sport mode (sharper steering response), Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Dynamic control helps control oversteer or understeer for more confidence in turns by reducing engine speed and/or applying brake pressure to specific wheels, while traction control reduces throttle in the event of front wheel slippage or spin to help regain grip and maintain control.
Active Trace Control helps keep the vehicle on its intended track around sharp curves, for even more confidence. Active Engine Braking smoothly adds small amounts of engine braking when the driver depresses the brake pedal, for more-comfortable braking. Active Ride Control moderates fore-aft pitching of the vehicle over bumps in the road by controlling the engine and brakes, for a smoother ride. Hill Start Assist is also standard.
Rogue Sport’s exterior wears Nissan’s familiar “emotional geometry” design, from the swooping front end with the dynamic V-motion grille flanked by signature boomerang headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights, purposeful creases along the sides, the pronounced rise at the back of the beltline, ending in a wide rear body appearance with long, sleek boomerang LED taillights and integrated roof spoiler.
Lines from the V-motion grille extend up to and across the hood to the “A” pillars. The kick-up waistline emphasizes the floating roof appearance.
Round fog lights designed to create a low, wide projection are integrated into the outer edge of the body-color front bumper.
Rogue Sport greets passengers with proximity approach lighting. Black lower body cladding and wheel arches are standard. Body-color outside mirrors have integrated turn signals.
Variable intermittent front windshield wipers and rear window wipers with reverse interlocking are also standard. Reverse interlocking means the wiper activates automatically when the vehicle is backing up.
Ten exterior colors are available including bold Monarch Orange ($395) and Nitro Lime, elegant Pearl White ($395), rugged Gun Metallic, and delicious Mocha Almond. Interiors are available in Charcoal or Light Gray cloth or leather.
For this review, I drove an eye-catching Nitro Lime top-of-the-line SL with front-wheel drive, riding on 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with silver-painted fronts and gray pockets emphasizing five stylized “V” spokes. The interior was Charcoal, featuring Piano Black finishers with chrome accents on the door panels, dash, center stack, and shifter knob/surround.
My tester was well equipped with automatic headlights, heated mirrors, remote start with Intelligent Climate Control, hands-free liftgate, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, Quick Comfort heated front seats, universal garage/gate opener, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Siri Eyes Free iPhone control, and roof rails.
The Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection made parallel parking much easier and more precise with a bird’s-eye-view of my Rogue Sport, giving a visual and audible alert for a small dog passing behind.
An SL Premium Package ($2,280) brought a power sliding moon roof with sliding shade, LED low- and high-beam projector headlights with LED accents, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Forward Emergency Braking is normally included in the Premium Package. A Platinum Package ($570) replaced it with Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, along with Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning and Prevention.
The interior was attractive, with Nissan’s “Gliding Wing” design philosophy featured on the dash. The dash curved up and away from the center console, giving the impression of extended wings.
A six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, and a four-way manual front passenger’s seat were supportive and comfortable, with 38.8 inches of headroom and 42.8 inches of legroom. Rear outboard passengers had 33.4 inches of legroom, with the middle a little less due to the console and mid-floor tunnel.
Dual-zone automatic temperature control had an in-cabin micro filter, and rear passengers had air conditioning vents.
Rear seatbacks folded 60/40, making room for a trip to the thrift store with several boxes and larger items for donation. With the seats upright, cargo capacity was 20 cubic feet; there is up to 61.1 cubic feet with the seats down.
A standard Divide-N-Hide Cargo System is an adjustable floor with two removable floor boards and slots for repositioning to create shelves/dividers. With the floor in normal position, cargo capacity was 53 cubic feet. A cargo cover is standard, as well as four luggage hooks on the floor and two on the sides.
Rogue Sport doesn’t skimp on technology, with many of the same features as the larger Rogue. My tester had standard RearView Monitor; NissanConnect with Navigation, Mobile Apps, and Services; SiriusXM radio, Travel Link and Traffic; Voice Recognition for navi and audio; 7.0-inch color touch-screen display; Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, and streaming audio; USB connection port, 12-volt DC power outlet and steering-wheel-mounted controls for audio and Bluetooth.
NissanConnect Services offers three package options, with a number of digital alerts and remote access for personal security, convenience, and confidence. With the touch of a button or automatically, response specialists are available in emergency situations. Curfew, speed and boundary alerts help keep an eye on young drivers. Remote lock, vehicle locator, and remote start with climate control are added conveniences with NissanConnect Services.
SiriusXM Traffic provides flow, accident locations, road construction, and more, while Travel Link brings weather, fuel prices, sports scores, and more. Services include finding nearby destinations and route guidance.
The Advanced Air Bag System with occupant-classification adjusts the inflation rate of the front air bags depending on crash severity and seatbelt usage. Front seat-mounted and full-length roof-mounted curtain air bags with rollover sensors are standard. A LATCH system allows compatible child restraints to be secured in the second row without using a seatbelt or locking clip.
Rogue Sport construction includes several safety measures such as hood buckling creases and safety stops, rear crumple zones, energy-absorbing steering column, slide-away brake pedal assembly, and pipe-style, steel side door-guard beams.
This impressive roster of safety equipment and technologies is rare in the segment, helping the Rogue Sport to stand out.
Rogue Sport was fun to drive, comfortable with lots of space and well-cushioned seats, and quiet even at highway speeds. Cargo capability was excellent, and personal storage space was average with cupholders and door pockets. My Sport was good-looking as well, inside and out.
Carpeted Floor Mats added $135, for a total of $2,985 in options. Destination charges were $835, with a delivered price of $29,890.
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