2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
February 27, 2019

Buying tip

The base Rogue Sport S with bigger wheels could be the answer for most shoppers in the class. Try it first before stepping up to tonier versions.

features & specs

24 city / 30 hwy
24 city / 30 hwy
24 city / 30 hwy

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport is a smaller crossover built for smaller families—and small budgets.

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport compact crossover doesn’t waste time.

Among small SUVs, the Rogue Sport filled the hole left by the outgoing Juke and replaced outgoing personality (and quirks) with brute-force practicality.

The Rogue Sport’s low price of less than $24,000 in base trims is proof enough.

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Although its price is comparatively low, and its utility minimally surpasses other, less expensive compact sedans and hatchbacks like the Versa Note, the Rogue Sport is popular among buyers for its tall ride height. We give the Rogue Sport a 5.2 overall, its good features are somewhat offset by its leisurely performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2019 Rogue Sport is largely the same as the outgoing 2018 version. This year, advanced driver assistance features that are standard on top trims are good—better safety systems on base models are better.

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport is available in S, SV, and SL trim levels with a handful of options scattered among them. Base cars cost around $24,000 while top trims ring the bell at more than $32,000 fully loaded. There’s better value toward the bottom, at the top the Rogue Sport comes temptingly close to the Rogue, which is bigger and more useful.

In all versions, we appreciate the Rogue Sport’s restraint compared to the love-it-or-hate-it Juke. Outside, the Rogue Sport borrows some cues from the larger Rogue; inside, it’s an unabashed carbon copy.

Under the hood is a pedestrian, 141-horsepower inline-4 that’s tuned for efficiency. All-wheel drive costs $1,350 more at every trim level, but it’s more of an all-weather system than rough-and-ready, off-road feature.

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) handles shifting duty, well kinda. It’s a pulley-and-gear system that simulates an infinite number of gears, but in the Rogue Sport it mostly succeeds in getting out of the way. It offers a little pep on launch around town but falls flat on the highway.

We like the front seats in the Rogue Sport—gifted from other Nissan products, no doubt—but the rear seat is cramped without much leg room. The utility in the “crossover utility vehicle” is a 20-cubic-foot cargo area that holds plenty. It’s better when the small second row is folded flat and opens to more than 53 cubic feet.

The 2019 Rogue Sport offers standard automatic emergency braking, but the most expensive models get driver assistance features that can reduce fatigue in long drives, under the "ProPilot" name.

We like the Rogue Sport closer to its base price, where it’s a better value. All Rogue Sports feature a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Top trims add leather, navigation, 19-inch wheels, and a moonroof.


2019 Nissan Rogue Sport


The 2019 Nissan Rogue doesn’t waste much time trying too hard. We like that.

The 2019 Rogue Sport doesn’t make a bad step, among compact crossovers it’s a wallflower. That’s not bad: Ask the Toyota C-HR about trying too hard.

We give the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport a 5 out of 10 for styling for playing it safe. Some do better, more do worse. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The smallest Rogue vaguely resembles its namesake, especially from the front. The front bumper of the Rogue Sport is cribbed from the Rogue, and a V-shaped grille is tastefully applied on the small crossover. Its headlights don’t reach too far back on the front fenders (the Juke couldn’t say the same) and there are small bumps on the front fender that hint at fun.

In profile, the Rogue Sport won’t raise many pulses—that’s fine.

Around back, the Rogue Sport cuts its own shape with a highwater tailgate and small tick up under the front glass.

Inside, the Rogue Sport is a dead-ringer for the Rogue, at least at 70 percent on the copy machine. The upper and lower half of the dash are visually separated with a little style, and a logical array of buttons and knobs offer good controls for focused drivers.

That all sounds like minutiae, but most automakers seem to get that wrong. The Nissan Rogue Sport doesn’t flub the little things, and that’s refreshing.  

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2019 Nissan Rogue Sport


The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport lacks the brute grunt that its name implies.

The 2019 Rogue Sport makes a vague declaration that it struggles to deliver. Despite its name, it’s not a quicker version of the Rogue, just smaller—consider the “sport” as a term of affection rather than a performance promise.

The only engine Nissan offers in the Rogue Sport is a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 141 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a CVT with not much to gain, its primary job is to get out of the way. Whether driving the front wheels only, or optionally all four wheels, the Rogue Sport is slow—so are its main competitors.

The net is a point below average for leisurely acceleration. The Rogue Sport earns a 4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Around town, the Rogue Sport points and shoots like an urban runabout. The CVT, which offers good response but a little drone at a slow gallop, gets some of the fame.

On the highway, at cruising speed or faster, the CVT gets some of the blame, too. Passing in the Rogue Sport is a noisy and deliberate affair and prior planning is necessary.

The well-weighted steering tracks well down the highway with or without speed, and keeps the Rogue Sport settled on the road with a slower rack compared to some other crossovers.

Most Rogue Sports will ride atop 17-inch wheels with good sidewall flex that can help smooth most roads. Struts and springs in front and an independent rear multi-link quell fussy roads, too, although with the optional 19-inch wheels on top trims it’s too much; Rogue Sport SLs ride too harsh for our tastes.

We’ll skip the top trims for something more realistic and within our budget. All-wheel drive is a steep ask at $1,350 more in every trim, and it’s an all-weather system that’s tuned more for traction than scrambling up tough hillsides. The Rogue Sport’s 7.4 inches of ground clearance works well, but the Subaru Crosstrek or Jeep Renegade has the off-road bona fides that some buyers may need instead.

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2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

Comfort & Quality

Utility vehicles like the 2019 Rogue Sport offer more space, just not all of it is for passengers.

Small crossovers might not read like compact cars from yesteryear, but the space is largely the same.

The 2019 Rogue Sport is best for two people—up front—with room for cargo in the back. Its rear seat is small, without much leg room for adults and best considered for occasional use or for children.

Starting from an average score, we ding the Rogue Sport for a cramped second row but give one back for a spacious cargo area that’s bigger than most trunks. It earns a 5 out of 10 for comfort. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The front seats in the Nissan Rogue Sport are all-day comfortable but lack power adjustment for the driver in all but the top trim—the passenger rows their own in every version without height adjustability. Nissan’s institutional knowledge in making good front seats (see: Altima, Maxima) saves the Rogue Sport from losing more ground on front-seat comfort to competitors.

The rear seats offer a scant 33 inches of leg room, which makes horse-trading with front-seat passengers a necessity for adults 5-foot-10 or taller. Two grownups will fit in the back for short distances, three isn’t advisable for full-size adults.

Behind the small rear seats, the Rogue Sport offers 20 cubic feet of cargo room, which is larger than most mid-size sedans’ trunks. That space is largely vertical space that may not be useful for grocery bags or suitcases that aren’t stackable, but the hatch is useful nonetheless. With the rear seats folded, the space opens up to more than 53 cubic feet, which is plenty for big box store runs or home improvement store emergencies like replacing a broken sink—ask us how we know.

In SV and SL trims, Nissan offers a Divide-N-Hide system that shuffles the load floor with dividers to store small objects. Hardly life-changing stuff, but it’s convenient for keeping smaller cargo like gallon milk jugs from tumbling around like little gymnasts after a grocery-store run.

The Rogue Sport’s interior materials reflect its low price and budget-first mission. They’re pleasantly durable but stop short of rugged with a handful of hollow surfaces in touchable places. It’s better than budget cars from a decade or more ago, but we’d skip the leather trim and expensive interiors—luxury is not the Rogue Sport’s forte, anyway.

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2019 Nissan Rogue Sport


The 2019 Rogue Sport lacks comprehensive crash-test data but makes automatic emergency braking standard.

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport lacks a full set of crash-test scores, but what’s in from the feds is mildly concerning.

The IIHS hasn’t yet tested the small crossover and when they do, we’ll update this space with a score. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

In federal tests, regulators gave the Rogue Sport a four-star overall score, including four stars for front- and rollover-crash protection. That’s relatively low among new cars.

This year, the Rogue Sport offers a suite of driver assistance features that Nissan dubs “ProPilot Assist” to reduce fatigue on long drives or stop-and-go commutes. The system, which combines automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors, helps the car follow others and stay centered in its lane. Like its name implies, ProPilot Assist isn’t a hands-free system. Instead, it relies on the driver to make fewer corrections to the wheel and controls speed and following distance. ProPilot Assist is standard on Rogue Sport SLs and optional on Rogue Sport SVs.

The rest of the Rogue Sport lineup gets standard automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera. Rogue Sport SVs add blind-spot monitors, active lane control, rear automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection as standard equipment.


2019 Nissan Rogue Sport


The 2019 Rogue Sport offers a surprising amount of equipment for its low entry price.

Color us surprised: The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport does surprisingly well on our features scale for an entry crossover that costs less than $24,000 to start.

Offered this year in S, SV, and SL trim levels, the Rogue Sport starts with 16-inch wheels with hubcaps, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, cloth upholstery, and automatic emergency braking. A $570 package adds 17-inch alloy wheels to the base trim level.

That’s good base equipment, especially its infotainment screen. Both earn points above average on our scale and we land at a 7 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

All-wheel drive is optional at every trim level for $1,350.

The 2019 Rogue Sport SL with all-wheel drive tops out at more than $30,000 and includes leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, premium audio, 19-inch wheels, navigation, a surround-view camera system, driver assistance features (that we cover above), keyless ignition, and dual-zone climate control. A premium package adds a moonroof and LED headlights for about $2,000 more, but those versions nearly rival the Rogue, which has a bigger rear seat and more storage capacity.

The Rogue Sport S or SV trim levels make more sense and are a better value. A Rogue Sport S with bigger wheels is still reasonably equipped for around $25,000 with all-wheel drive, or a Rogue Sport SL for just over $26,000 features 17-inch wheels, more active safety features, and keyless ignition seem like better deals.

Nissan’s infotainment system isn’t as sharp as some competitors, but standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility helps. This year, Nissan added wi-fi connectivity to its infotainment system that can update the system’s firmware via the Internet. Nissan hasn’t yet said how it plans to use the updating capabilities, but other automakers have used it to fix small problems or incrementally add features such as apps.

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2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Rogue Sport is fuel-efficient for a crossover but doesn’t offer hybrid batteries or an advanced powertrain.

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport is average among new cars for fuel economy. The small crossover skips hybrid batteries or fuel-efficient turbocharging like some of its competitors to keep its price low.

The EPA rates the most fuel-efficient 2019 Rogue Sport with front-wheel drive at 25 mpg city, 32 highway, 28 combined. That earns a 5 out of 10 on our fuel-economy scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The all-wheel-drive version isn’t far behind. The EPA rates those models at 24/30/27 mpg.

Among small crossovers, the Rogue Sport is mid-pack. The Ford EcoSport and Chevy Trax rate up to 28 mpg combined, same as the Rogue Sport. The Mazda CX-3 rates up to 31 mpg combined, and the Subaru Crosstrek manages 29 mpg combined.

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