We Like: Competent ride; cargo space
We Don’t Like: Weak engine; numb steering; poor off-road
It’s a tricky segment: Larger than a subcompact SUV and smaller than a compact but priced nearly on top of those same compacts. That’s the niche Nissan is seeking to fill with the city-friendly Rogue Sport.
Gordon Dickie described it as “a perfectly decent car for empty nesters who want to get away for the weekend.”
The Rogue Sport suffers from being underpowered, with a mere 141 hp underhood. Christian Seabaugh described the Rogue Sport’s acceleration as “like a boat … it confidently and capably saunters forward, gathering speed.” But it’s hardly quick, and the CVT moans like an old man getting up from his favorite reclining chair.
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The ride, with a planted chassis unperturbed by road crud or washboard, is excellent for an SUV of this size. Unfortunately, once off-road in our silty approximation of a snowdrift, the Rogue Sport ground to a halt—on several occasions with several drivers. Not a good sign. It also was plagued with numb steering feedback and suffers dynamically from “grinding understeer,” Frank Markus said.
Although Nissan cribbed interior bits from the upmarket Rogue, it still has too much plastic strewn about. It also lacks Apple CarPlay, and the infotainment screen is too small and carries an outdated interface. The back seat is an uncomfortable little cushion with insufficient thigh support and compromised knee- and foot room—although it offers two air-conditioning vents and two USB ports. Cargo space is wide and deep but not tall. The hatchback required an extra effort to close—tough when your arms are full of stuff. A fair effort but not a finalist.
Read about other 2018 SUV of the Year contenders:
- Audi Q5
- BMW X4
- Buick Encore
- Buick Envision
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Jeep Compass
- Maserati Levante
- Mazda CX-5
- Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Volvo V90 Cross Country
|2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL AWD|
|BASE PRICE||$ 28,395|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$ 31,640|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.0L/141-hp/147-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont variable auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,426 lb (59/41%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||172.4 x 72.3 x 63.3 in|
|0-60 MPH||9.8 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||17.5 sec @ 80.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||137 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.75 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||29.6 sec @ 0.53 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||24/30/27 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||140/112 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.74 lb/mile|
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