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- More stylish than Rogue
- Small and nimble
- Pleasant interior
- Good standard, optional safety features
- Doesn't live up to "Sport" name
- May be mistaken for regular Rogue
- Limited rear seat legroom
- All black interior feels claustrophobic
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport looks like a smart entry into the compact crossover segment, giving the automaker a two-prong approach to conquering buyers—even if it's not very sporty.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is a small crossover utility vehicle that’s effectively a cut-down version of the very popular Nissan Rogue, a large compact SUV.
The new Rogue Sport is a foot shorter and almost 6 inches lower than the Rogue, and it’s intended for younger buyers who may not yet have a family—and for whom smaller dimensions make city parking easier. Three trim levels are offered: the base S, the mid-level SV, and the top SL; all-wheel drive is available as an option on all three.
Nissan suggests the competitors for the new Rogue Sport are the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-3. Reflecting the variety of approaches taken by carmakers to splitting the crossover utility vehicle segment more and more finely, others might include the Chevrolet Trax and the Toyota C-HR. Just to make things a bit more complicated, Nissan also sells an even smaller crossover as well, the aging Juke with its outré styling. It'll shortly be replaced by a new model previewed by the Kicks concept, but for the moment, the Rogue Sport is the freshest smallish SUV in the lineup.
We liked the Rogue Sport for its straightforward but well-made interior, its comfortable front seats, and its style. Design is important to the target audience, Nissan says, and its surveys indicate that despite their similar front ends, buyers see the Rouge Sport as a different, sportier, and better-looking car than the more family-oriented Rogue.
Drawbacks include the slow acceleration from its 140-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission, engine noise under full acceleration, and the limited rear-seat room (to be expected, granted).
We would also have liked a little more “sport” in a car called the Rogue Sport: it’s not that it handles badly, just that it’s entirely average on that score—and not all that much sportier, frankly, than the bigger Rogue.
Overall, we scored the 2017 Rogue Sport at 5.4 out of 10 points, slightly better than average. That score may rise soon, however, once safety data is available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)