Nissan is one of the biggest automakers in the world, and their compact Rogue SUV has been the third best-selling SUV in its class for years. Almost 330,000 Americans bought a Rogue in 2016. But the Rogue is pretty big for a compact SUV, and Nissan needed a crossover for smaller families and urban settings.
The all-new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is designed to meet those needs. The Rogue Sport is substantially shorter, taking a foot off the overall length of the Rogue, yet still offers plenty of seating space for four adults.
The Rogue Sport comes with a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine that offers you 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Nissan's standard Xtronic continuously variable transmission is also standard, but you can order the Rogue Sport with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive.
The Rogue Sport is a good-looking SUV, with up to date styling. It looks good without drawing too much attention to itself. There are three trim levels to choose from — the basic S trim, the sportier SV, and the luxury SL trim. You can choose FWD or AWD in each trim level. AWD costs an additional $1,350 over the FWD price. If you ordered the top SL trim level and all the option packages and AWD, the Rogue Sport could cost as much as $30,000, but you can get one pretty well-equipped for about $25,000.
As I mentioned, the Rogue Sport is a foot shorter than the regular Rogue, but the wheelbase is only 2.3 inches shorter. That means there's plenty of room in the back seat, whether you're hauling around a car seat or a too-tall teenager. If you fold the rear seats down, you get 61.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is comparable to other SUVs in the class.
On the road, the Rogue Sport is nimble and fun to drive. You definitely feel like you're in a smaller, more peppy crossover. Nissan also offers its active handling system on all trim levels of the Rogue Sport, and while you won't notice it working, the active handling is helping the Rogue Sport be more fun.
Most buyers in Portland and the Northwest generally will opt for AWD. That's a good idea, because we all still remember the last winter. The Nissan AWD system is an on-demand design, which will activate to get you through winter snow and spring rains safely and efficiently.
I think the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is great. It's priced right for active couples and young families, and it does everything you want from a small compact crossover. My initial impression of the Rogue Sport is that it feels like a high quality vehicle.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
Base price: $22,380
Price as tested: $27,030
Type: Compact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter inline 4 (141 hp, 147 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: 25/32
Road noise: Below average
Overall length: 172.4 inches
Curb weight: 3,225 pounds
Final assembly: Kyushu, Japan