2018 Nissan Rogue Sport Review

Rogue Sport Overview   (European Model)

Some features shown in video not available in U.S.

I’m betting they named it “Rogue” because “Rascal” was already taken. Seriously, the personality of Nissan’s compact crossover SUV is much more rascally than roguish, as one look at the “happiness” of its styling will demonstrate. Yes, the lines of the 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport do mimic those of its larger sibling somewhat, but in terms of personality, the Rogue Sport somehow exudes a more playful character than the standard Rogue.

For those of you inclined to keep track of such things, the Rogue Sport is in truth the Nissan Qashqai (CASH-kai), a model the company has had in production since 2006. Qashqai holds the distinction of being the first Nissan model to emerge from the company’s London styling studio. Literally translated, the word means “Horse with a white forehead.” The term is also the name of a tribe of people indigenous to the mountains of southwestern Iran.

Either way, power comes from a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, good for 147 lb-ft of torque. Rogue Sport uses a front drive powertrain tied together with a continuous variable automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is offered as an option.

The unibody platform uses independent suspension at the front and the rear, which helps the compact SUV considerably in the handling department. Fuel economy is rated at 25-mpg in the city and 32 on the highway with the front drive configuration.

Inside, much of what people love about the full-size Rogue carries over to the Rogue Sport. By and large, the look is pretty much the same. Fit and finish are right and tight too. The overall design is quite handsome and offers easy interaction. Seating for front seat passengers is comfortable and outward visibility is good all around for the driver.

Key comfort and convenience features include the availability of a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel, a two-tone dash treatment, leather upholstery, keyless entry and push-button ignition, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated front seats and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

On the safety side, Nissan is offering forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure prevention, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Naturally Nissan’s 360-degree Around View Monitor with moving-object detection is part of the package too. The smaller Rogue model can also be equipped with intelligent cruise control. LED headlights and daytime running lights with auto on/off function and high-beam assist.

Rogue Sport is now available with standard auto emergency braking, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. These features were added mid-year to "2018.5" models. The mid-year update also includes standard intelligent cruise control (ICC) on Rogue Sport SL. ICC was also added to the SV Technology Package.

Shorter by a foot in length and 5.6 inches in height than its bigger brother, the Rogue Sport eschews a third row seat, but delivers 22.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the 60/40 split rear seatback folded. Legroom is a bit dear in the second row, but if front passengers are inclined to compromise, the Rogue Sport’s back seat is tolerable.

Quiet and smooth on the road, Rogue Sport is perhaps best characterized as adequately powered, if not exactly quick. Said succinctly, the powertrain is well suited to the demeanor of the compact Nissan. Responsiveness is good, agility is self-assured and braking is more than competent.

Like most modern electric power steering systems, road feel is minimal, but the tiller feels direct and wholly accurate in its response. In exchange for its smaller dimensions, Rogue Sport demonstrates more agility than the standard Rogue. This makes it easier to deal with around town.

However, rather than implying the Rogue Sport handles brilliantly, it should be considered more proficient than outstanding. Long story short, the Nissan’s mechanicals fade into the background as they competently go about the business of providing thrust and control.

Nicely sized, handsomely styled, adequately powered and sumptuously equipped, the playful Rogue Sport is also a formidable competitor in the steadily expanding compact crossover segment.

Pricing starts at $22,110.

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