The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is not-so-subtly capitalizing on the fact Americans now can’t get enough of small SUVs, especially ones made by Nissan.
In 2016, the compact Rogue was the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, and the addition of a hybrid version for 2017 should only make it more popular. With that, the Rogue Sport is a more compact take that Nissan hopes will find another niche among the smaller set of SUVs, which include the likes of the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and upcoming Toyota C-HR.
Based on the Nissan Qashqai that’s been sold for years in European markets, the Rogue Sport shown at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is roughly 12 inches shorter than the standard Rogue, and only marginally narrower. Much of that length is lost at the rear, which makes the Sport a strict five-seater (the standard Rogue is available with a third-row seat to lift capacity to seven).
The Rogue Sport gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower, more than 30 down on what a regular Rogue makes with its 2.5-liter engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an option. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is also standard.
Every Rogue Sport will get LED exterior running lights, Bluetooth and a backup camera. The mid-grade SV adds to the base S model 17-inch aluminum wheels, push-button start, a power driver’s seat and dual-zone automatic climate control. The top SL trim gets 19-inch wheels, leather seats, navigation and Nissan’s Around View Monitor system. The Rogue Sport will also be offered with driver assistance technologies such as adaptive cruise control, forward emergency braking and lane departure prevention.
Nissan says it’s going after singles or couples who want a crossover but don’t need as much space or bulk as the standard Rogue offers, such as young urban types or older people downsizing now that they don’t have kids to cart around.
The Nissan Rogue Sport is expected to go on sale in spring. Count on a starting price reasonably below the big Rogue’s $25,000 kick-off point.