2017 Nissan Rogue Sport review – Roadshow

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Picture yourself behind the wheel of your car. What’s in front of you? Behind you? More than likely these days, it’s a small SUV of some sort. America has gone cuckcoo for crossovers as of late, and manufacturers are more than willing to indulge our addiction. Case in point: the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

The five-passenger Rogue Sport slots in between Nissan’s funky-looking Juke and its larger Rogue with its optional third row. Offered in S, SV or SL trim lines with either front or all-wheel drive, it’s no wonder Nissan decided to bring this little guy stateside. It’s long been a huge hit in Europe under the name Qashqai (say it with me: cash-kai) and joins the subcompact crossover SUV segment with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek and the quirky Toyota C-HR.

Nissan’s new small crossover is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

However, as popular as it’s been in Europe, tech-savvy folks here in America might be disappointed. Advanced driver’s aids like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist are all optional, and even then, only on SV and SL trims. My top-of-the-line SL needed the $2,280 SL Premium Package to get blind spot monitoring and the $570 Platinum Package to score adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning.

During my week with the car, I found that the adaptive cruise control was pretty good at keeping traffic frustrations at bay. The system will bring the Rogue Sport to a complete stop for a maximum of two seconds, — any longer and the driver must hit the resume button to re-engage the system. While some systems stay engaged for longer, there are many that don’t work at all in stop-and-go traffic. Kudos to Nissan for making its adaptive cruise control useful for those with an “Office Space”-like commute.

When traffic clears, the lane-departure warning can keep drivers from straying outside the lines. A little bit of distracted driving and the system issues a visual and audible warning, then countersteers to bring things back in line. The system is easily turned off with the touch of a button.

A tiny 5-inch touchscreen is standard, but my Rogue Sport tester featured the optional NissanConnect 7-inch display. In today’s market, a 7-inch screen is pretty average,  but Nissan hasn’t done much to distinguish its infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not offered and while the onboard navigation got me around the unfamiliar city of Nashville for a week, inputs were slow and the graphics could use a refresh.

No guts, no glory

There is only one engine on tap for the Rogue Sport, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant mated to a continuously variable transmission. At 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, the engine offers similar outputs to that of its Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR classmates, but the Subaru Crosstrek offers a bit more power, while the Jeep Renegade can be had with 180 ponies. Further, the Subaru, Jeep and Honda can be had with a manual transmission while the Rogue Sport is two-pedal only.

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