Bigger isn’t always better. While the current Nissan Rogue has grown in size to offer more interior volume and even a third-row seat, this has created a void for passengers who just want a traditional, five-seat compact crossover. And that’s where the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport comes into play. Positioned between Nissan’s best-selling Rogue and the smaller, subcompact JUKE, the Rogue Sport aims to be the Goldilocks crossover in Nissan’s lineup with its just-right size. The Rogue Sport is a direct replacement for the previous-generation Rogue, which survived until 2015 as the Rogue Select.
Although the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is a new model here in the U.S., this crossover has actually been on sale globally since 2006 as the Nissan Qashqai, and this current body style has been around since 2013. Unlike the Rogue, which is built in Smyrna, Tennessee, the Rogue Sport is produced in England, and it is smaller, lighter and less expensive than its bigger brother. To see how this new model stacks up against existing five-passenger CUVs like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, we recently spent some time in a fully loaded 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL FWD.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Exterior:
In terms of its overall size compared to the existing Rogue, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport has a wheelbase that is 2.3 inches smaller, an overall length that is 12.1 inches shorter and it’s about three inches shorter. These smaller dimensions actually help to make Nissan’s current design language look even better including the signature V-motion grille, the bold body creases and the unique shape of the side windows. The Rogue Sport definitely stands out in this tester’s flashy Nitro Lime paint job (NOTE: a Caspian Blue Rogue Sport was used to photograph the interior and engine compartment), while SL’s two-tone V-spoke 19-inch wheels and the optional full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights (part of the $2,280 SL Premium Package) finished off the crossover’s fun and sporty appearance.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Interior:
The smaller size and more affordable price meant that some of the bigger Rogue’s amenities wouldn’t trickle down to the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport including a panoramic sunroof or Nissan’s super-comfortable NASA-inspired seats. What this interior does get is an added dose of sportiness with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and piano black accents throughout the cabin; the SL trim level takes it a little further with leather seats and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. The fit and finish of this cabin is pretty good, and while most major touch points have a good feel to them, the cabin materials get a little disappointing at the fringes. Still, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport packs a lot of features into a small package.
Aside from the leather seats, the biggest reason to step up to the Rogue Sport SL is the standard touch screen navigation system, which isn’t the latest and greatest but is extremely easy to use. Sadly, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport does not offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The optional Premium Package bundles a handful of features together including the high-tech headlights, some safety features and a power sunroof. This sunroof takes a good chunk out of interior space, but it is still comparable interior space as the larger Rogue (including more second-row headroom). Overall passenger volume (with the sunroof) is listed at 94.3 cubic feet, and there is still plenty of cargo volume with 53.3 cubic feet behind the front seats and 19.9 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. Nissan’s nifty Divide-N-Hide cargo system adds a pair of sizable cubby holes beneath the cargo area load floor.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Powertrain:
Further downsizing took place under the hood of the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport with this crossover getting a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder rated at 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque compared to the Rogue’s 175-hp 2.5-liter engine. This is the same engine found in the recently introduced Rogue Hybrid, but the Rogue Sport gets nowhere near the fuel economy of its electrified cousin. Despite being smaller and weighing 200 pounds less than the standard Rogue, the Rogue Sport actually gets lower fuel economy with EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway** (the Rogue gets up to 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway).
As is usually the case with any modern vehicle with the word “Sport” in its name, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is hardly an enthusiast’s crossover. Instead, it is exactly what has come to be expected from high-volume CUVs with a suspension and steering setup that are geared more for comfort than performance. The Xtronic CVT helps deliver smooth acceleration, but high revs bring considerable engine noise into the cabin.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Safety:
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport has yet to be tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but as a potential sign for this CUV’s safety, the Nissan Qashqai received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. Even in base form, the Rogue Sport comes with plenty of standard safety goodies including six airbags and a backup camera, while this fully loaded SL with Platinum Package brings Intelligent Cruise Control, Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Departure Prevention. Remarkably, this package costs just $570, but it does require the $2,280 Premium Package (which also includes Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert).
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Overall:
The addition of the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport makes perfect sense for Nissan following the runaway success of the current Rogue and the continued popularity of SUVs and CUVs in the U.S. Complementing the just-right size of the Rogue Sport is its equally attractive starting price of $21,420*; versus $24,420* for the larger Rogue. The luxury minded SL trim level starts at $26,070, and this optioned-up 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL FWD carried an as-tested $29,880.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Nissan dealership and test drive the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.