2017 Nissan Rogue Sport – First Drive

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

NissanUSA’s headquarter city of Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Official estimates state that around 85 and as many as 100 new residents move to the city each day. Many of them will become urban dwellers, and Nissan thinks they are the perfect customers for the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport in Nashville.

Billed as a “right-sized” vehicle for Millennials and others, they may be on to something. The newest member of the Nissan Rogue family, the Rogue Sport joins its slightly larger sibling in a quest for total CUV world domination. With sales figures otherwise starting to slump, the Rogue family is a bright spot in the lineup with sales of 27,400 units, which was an increase of 18-percent in April 2017, alone.

Built for City Service.

The five-passenger Rogue Sport shares a platform with its larger garage mate, although it now rides lower, has a 2.3 inch-shorter wheelbase, and 12.1-inch less overall length than its big brother Rogue. The net result is a vehicle that is easier to move, maneuver, and park within a city center than many other CUVs in service today.

The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is available in three trim levels ranging from base S, mid-level SV and top-shelf SL trims. All of the vehicles made available to us by Nissan were of the SL variant, which is what we will base our report on. Likely competition will come from the Honda C-RV, Chevrolet Trax and Mazda CX3.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that utilizes direct-injection to feed the four pots in the mill. This small-but-somewhat-mighty four banger produces 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission that is also equipped with a standard Eco Mode option for increased fuel economy.

Nissan Rogue Sport’s 2.0-liter engine.

In its standard configuration, the Rogue Sport is equipped as a front wheel drive (FWD) vehicle. Buyers in the Snowbelt regions can opt for Nissan’s intuitive all-wheel drive system (AWD), which provides an all-wheel-drive bias at launch, which then reverts back towards the front wheels, again in an effort to save fuel. This compact CUV rides on a MacPherson-style independent front suspension and a multilink independent rear kit equipped with a 19mm stabilizer bar.

My SL tester was equipped with nearly every available item included in Nissan’s Platinum package. That’s in addition to heated seatbacks, 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated outside mirrors, seats and steering wheel and leather wrapped shift knob. Available safety features included blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, and prevention, intelligent cruise control and forward emergency braking with pedestrian protection.

Interior decorating.

Smartly appointed inside, the Rogue Sport featured a new “only as needed” interior design that was spacious and efficient at the same time. Featuring nothing truly frivolous, it seemed that everything was in its place and within a short arm’s length reach of the driver’s seat. We quickly found comfort in the six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and thought the rear seat offered adequate legroom, if even for just a short while. Fold the rear seats down and you will quickly realize up to 61.1-cubic feet of storage space.

The Nissan Rogue Sport’s Interior.

Our SL variant was zooted out with everything from leather seating to a sunroof and six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM audio system. With more cars opting for larger screens, we felt the 5.0-inch color display monitor that also serves to show the available Around View Monitoring system with Moving Object Detection, was just a touch on the smallish side. While not featuring Apple CarPlay, our Rogue Sport was equipped with Siri Eyes Free, which we think of as the next best thing.

But not all was perfect inside. We would deduct a couple of points for the low-powered (1mA) single USB connection at the base of the center stack, seeing that the first move most people make after buckling up is to plug in their phone charging cable. If the driver gets first dibs, the rest of the passengers are all odd men- or women out. Even then, and owing to the low amperage rating of the USB port, the amount of charge realized may be very low. In other words, it takes longer than usual to charge an iPhone battery. As always, YMMV.

Drivetime.

Ergonomically speaking, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport fit drivers ranging from a big guy and a small girl to everything else in between. Power was adequate for most urban driving situations, which saw us stop and start with such frequency we felt we were delivering the US Mail. We can see most buyers will be urban dwellers, and this is where the safety features of the Rogue Sport will really shine, especially some of those like the Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian detection.

Rogue Sport in the City

Acceleration was adequate in the sense that everyone buying the Sport knows it’s not a speed demon. Instead like a Slo-Poke All-Day Sucker, it’s an all-day steady cruiser that offered good road feel while negotiating both city and country drives. In highway situations, even with the low-profile sport tires, I felt the ride of the Rogue Sport displayed extreme poise, while offering little in the way of road noise-a feature that really surprised me. So quiet on the highway, we only heard the engine and the CVT transmission when we kicked it down a notch to pass slower moving traffic. Nissan officials tell us the ride becomes even quieter with the taller sidewalls of the 17-inch wheels.

Don’t even think of doing any serious off-roading in the Nissan Rogue Sport. It’s just not that kind of beast. Instead figure it will do everything to take you through the urban jungle and back. And that’s just what most people want in a compact CUV these days.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

Story and Photos by Mark Elias. Additional Photos by Nissan USA.

Rogue Sport S FWD $21,420 USD
Rogue Sport SV FWD $23,020 USD
Rogue Sport SL FWD $26,070 USD
Rogue Sport S AWD $22,770 USD
Rogue Sport SV AWD $24,370 USD
Rogue Sport SL AWD $27,420 USD
   

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    I-4

Displacement:                            2.0-liter

Power:                                          141 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque:                                         147 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Fuel System:                                Petrol Direct Injection

Fuel:                                               Regular

Drive Type                                    FWD or available All-Wheel-Drive

Gearbox:                                       Xtronic With Eco Mode Switch

Tire Size:                                       19-inch

Length:                                          172.4-inches

Width:                                           72.3-inches

Height:                                          63.3-inches

Wheelbase:                                   104.2-inches

 

AWD                  FWD

City:                                             24                        25

Highway:                                    30                        32

Combined:                                  27                        28