The Nissan Rogue Sport crossover is small, attractive, and relatively cheap. Despite sharing a name with the larger Rogue, the Rogue Sport is a completely different vehicle. It's the least expensive vehicle in Nissan's portfolio with optional all-wheel drive. What it doesn't offer, despite its name, is a sporty driving experience, and it can get surprisingly pricey if a buyer isn't careful with options.
What's new for 2019?Nissan added its new Rear Door Alert technology, which activates the horn and other notifications when the system detects the rear door opened before the engine started but wasn't re-opened after shutting down. Also standard are a rearview monitor, a Bluetooth phone and infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus an available nine-speaker Bose audio system. There's a new color option and the expanded availability of its ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving and Safety Shield 360 safety technologies. And finally, there's a new exterior color, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, added to the list of choices.
What's the interior and in-car technology like?The Rogue Sport is a pretty nice place from which to watch the miles pass by. You probably wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in the rear seat, but it's roomier than a lot of the competition, and both front seats are cozy. The optional leather seats look and feel nicer than you'd expect for a vehicle in this class. The thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel feels good to hold, and helps add a little to the perception of sportiness.
Some of the controls seem cheap, and some switches are oddly placed and hard to reach, like the heated steering wheel button that's hidden near the driver's left knee. A 7.0-inch infotainment system is standard and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is great.
How big is it?The Rogue Sport is of average size for a subcompact crossover, but that still means it's pretty small overall. It slides in between the smaller Kicks and larger Rogue in Nissan's lineup. So, as you'd expect, it's a couple of inches longer and wider than the Kicks in every meaningful exterior dimension, and it therefore boasts a roomier cabin. But it's not the biggest vehicle in its segment. The Honda HR-V offers considerably more rear legroom, for instance.
The cargo area, at 22.9 cubic feet behind the second row, is average for this class. It holds plenty of grocery bags, and it has a couple of nifty under-floor "divide and hide" compartments. Practically speaking, there's enough room in the cargo area for two people's worth of luggage for a weekend getaway, but families with children may find its size limiting.
What's the performance and fuel economy?The Rogue Sport makes just 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque from its 2.0-liter four. And it has a CVT. So the "Sport" moniker pertains to nothing performance-related, just its diminutive size and zippy color choices like Monarch Orange or Nitro Lime. All-wheel drive is optional, and its added heft does have an impact on acceleration and efficiency.
The standard front-wheel-drive Rogue Sport earns fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 combined. That falls to 24/30/27 with all-wheel drive.
What's it like to drive?The Rogue Sport drives ... fine. It's nimble enough and throttle response is good. It's not quick by any measure, but accelerates well enough that it doesn't feel underpowered in the daily commute. The CVT will occasionally lock the engine into the buzzy upper reaches of its rev range, especially when driving uphill for extended periods, but that can be avoided somewhat by switching the transmission into its manual shift mode setting.
Steering is light but not lifeless, and a sport setting gives it a little more heft. The cabin is commendably quiet, too.
What more can I read about the Nissan Rogue Sport?
Convincing illusions of space and sportiness | 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport First DriveOur first drive of the Nissan Rogue Sport from 2017. There have been a few small updates since then, but our thoughts on its driving dynamics still apply.
2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Drivers' Notes Review | Comfortably in the middleOur most recent commentary after spending a week with the Rogue Sport, including a discussion of its size and price tradeoffs.
What features are available and what's the price?The Rogue Sport S starts at $23,385 once destination is factored in, and it includes such standard features as a seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning. All-wheel drive adds $1,350 to the tally.
SV trim starts at $25,185 and brings 17-inch aluminum wheels, push-button start, an eight-way power driver's seat, and a lane-keeping system that Nissan calls Intelligent Lane Intervention.
The top trim level is called SL, and it boasts 19-inch wheels, a 360-degree around-view camera, leather seats, GPS navigation, and Nissan's ProPILOT assist. That last bit is noteworthy as it is capable of taking over steering duties under certain circumstances, though the driver does have to keep their hands on the wheel.
You can find detailed breakdown of features, specs, and local pricing for the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport here.
What's its safety equipment and crash ratings?All Rogue Sport models come with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Intelligent Lane Intervention is included at the SV level, and the automatic braking adds pedestrian detection. The aforementioned ProPILOT technology adds some semi-autonomous capability, though the Rogue Sport is far from what you'd consider a self-driving vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Rogue Sport four out of five stars, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2017 version Good in most categories.