What it is: The Rogue Sport is Nissan’s compact crossover that is slightly smaller than the very popular Nissan Rogue. Yes, they are different models and the Rogue Sport is about 12 inches shorter than the regular Rogue. The Rogue Sports is offered in both FWD and AWD versions and starts at a miserly $21,640 for the 2018 model year.
It’s offered in three trims, the S, SV and SL. I tested the top-end SL trim which starts at $26,290 and offers a bevy of standard features such as 19-inch wheels, navigation, 360-degree video parking monitor, leather seats with power adjustments, push button ignition, and more. On top of that, it came with the SL Premium Package ($2,280) which provides a moonroof, LED headlights, forward emergency braking, and some other safety features. The $570 platinum package adds intelligent cruise control with lane departure warning and prevention. I love seeing high-tech safety features at affordable prices in lower-priced cars. These are features that you might not know that you want, but once you get used to them they are a must buy.
The Rogue Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower and 147 lb.-ft. of torque and is enough to get the Rogue Sport going, but not much more than that. I would imagine with four passengers and some cargo the lethargic acceleration would be exaggerated. The fuel economy does deliver, though, getting a full 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
I really like the neutral design of Nissan interiors, and that is carried over into the Rogue Sport. It’s nice, but not luxurious. The infotainment system is OK and the navigation is lacking, but those are really the only hold-ups. It has a really good balanced driving experience for highways and neighborhoods, and delivers the elevated driving position that all consumers seem to crave.
MPG: 24 city/27 combined/30 highway (fuel economy is going up to 25/32 in 2018)
Price: $27,420 SL base price. $31,380 as-tested.
Upsides: Good fuel economy.
WRAP-UP: The Rogue Sport is very non-threatening, but it delivers on basically every aspect of car ownership. It may be a little small for some families, but Nissan is happy to sell you a larger Rogue for a few thousand more. I think the Rogue is likely the crossover choice between the two, but you can easily save the $3,000 and go smaller if so inclined. My fully loaded test model delivered the premium crossover experience without hitting the pocketbook too hard.