The Nissan Rogue Sport is a subcompact crossover that fills in some important white space within the Nissan lineup. It fits in neatly between the small front-wheel-drive-only Nissan Kicks, and the bigger, more family-friendly Nissan Rogue, which is the automaker’s best selling vehicle. The Rogue Sport is noticeably inspired by the Rogue in terms of design, and it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the two. This vehicle is special in its class because it’s quite spacious, and can be equipped with all-wheel-drive.
Comparing the Rogue Sport to its closest competitors reveals that it is much more spacious and still quite affordable. We’ve tested and compared the Rogue Sport quite a few times over the years, and found it to be a bit bland, but quite practical. It’s low price and decent fuel economy helps make it more appealing to buyers. It also has a few important safety features and drivers assistance technology.
The Nissan Rogue Sport is in its second generation but first came to the North American market in 2017. It has been available in other markets since 2006.
The Rogue Sport is also known as the Qashqai in other markets including Canada and is assembled in Kyushu, Japan.
Pros/ Spacious, Technology, Decent cabin, Priced Affordably, Easy to Drive, Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Cons/ Poor infotainment, Awkward seating position, Uninspired drive, CVT isn't great, No fast-charge USB
Bottom Line/ The Rogue Sport is a small crossover that doesn’t feel like a penalty box. It offers a lot of great features for the money.
Table of contents
Nissan Rogue Sport Specs
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Output: 141 hp, 147 lb-ft of torque
Fuel Economy (MPG): 25 city, 32 highway, 28 combined (FWD) 24 city, 30 highway, 27 combined (AWD)
Cargo Space: 22.9 – 61.1 cubic feet (S model) / 20.0 – 53.3 cubic-feet (SV model) / 19.9 – 53.3 cubic feet (SL model)
Nissan Rogue Sport Fuel Economy
The Nissan Rogue Sport is offered in two drivetrain setups: all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive. Every Rogue Sport comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a CVT to maximize fuel economy. The front-wheel-drive model earns 25 MPG in the city, 32 MPG on the highway, and 28 MPG combined. The all-wheel-drive model is slightly less fuel efficient, earning 24 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG combined. Some Rogue Sport rivals like the Honda HR-V are more fuel-efficient choices.
Nissan Rogue Sport Safety Rating
The Nissan Rogue Sport was last tested by the IIHS in 2017. It hasn’t earned any safety awards from the institute but earned top marks in the three crashworthiness tests the IIHS conducted. This means it is rated as “Good” in the driver-side front small overlap test, the moderate overlap front crash test, and the side crash test. Unfortunately, the IIHS has yet to conduct any tests on the Rogue Sport’s automatic braking function, and these tests are critical for cars to earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus rating.
For the 2020 model year, the Nissan Rogue Sport gets standard Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes features like rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams, to name a few.
Nissan Rogue Sport Features
The Rogue Sport S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels with covers. S models can be upgraded to 17-inch alloys, while the SV models come with these wheels as standard equipment. The SL jumps up to 19-inch wheels. All Rogue Sports come with a temporary spare tire, and Nissan’s easy fill tire alert, which honks the horn when you reach the necessary tire pressure.
The exterior mirrors are heated in the SL models, although this feature is optional on SV models. All models come with body-colored door handles, rear privacy glass, and a rear spoiler. SV and SL models come with roof rails, and SL models can be equipped with a power moonroof. The Rogue Sport comes with daytime running lights and halogen headlights. The SL can have optionally upgraded LED headlights, while the SV and SL models come with a high-beam assistance feature. The SV and SL also have automatic on/off headlights. The SL comes with fog lights, while the SV can have that feature as optional equipment.
When it comes to interior equipment, the S and SV models feature cloth upholstery, while the SL comes with leather seating. The SL has heated front seats, while the SV can have them as an optional extra. The S has manually adjustable seats, while the SV and SL have power adjustments. There is standard air conditioning in the S models, while the SV and SL have dual-zone automatic climate control. The SL and SV also feature push-button start.
All versions of the Rogue Sport come with a seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. That means there are also Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. The SL model comes with a Bose-branded audio system that features 9 speakers. The S model comes with a four-speaker system, while the SV features six speakers. Navigation is standard on SL models and an optional extra on SV models.
The S and SV models come with a rearview camera, while SL models feature a surround view camera. The SL also features intelligent cruise control remote engine start and ProPilot Assist, while these features are optional for SV models.
Nissan Rogue Sport Pricing
Nissan offers three trims to choose from for both the all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive models. The front-wheel-drive Rogue Sport is more affordable, starting at $23,385 for the S trim, including the $1045 destination charge. The Rogue Sport SV FWD costs $25,185 while the Rogue Sport SL FWD will set buyers back $29,105.
The upcharge for all-wheel models isn’t much. A Rogue Sport S AWD starts at $24,735, the SV AWD is $26,535 and the SL AWD is $30,455.
If you want a premium paint for the Rogue Sport, it will cost an extra $395. Buyers of the S model can add the S appearance package for $570. The SV versions of the Rogue Sport offer a $920 all-weather package or a $2,580 technology package. The SL can be outfitted with the $1,990 premium package.
Nissan Rogue Sport Competitors
The Nissan Rogue Sport competes with a number of small crossovers including the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Toyota C-HR. The Nissan is special because it can offer both all-wheel and front-wheel-drive, and is plenty spacious.
Future Nissan Rogue Sport Plans
The Rogue Sport debuted in 2017 and has gotten a mild refresh so far. A bigger refresh should be expected within the next few years as the Rogue Sport tries to distance itself from the more affordable, smaller Kicks and the bigger, family-friendly Rogue. Some interesting features that Nissan can add to the Rogue Sport include the comfortable zero-gravity seats.
Nissan Rogue Sport Review
By Jodi Lai
As an older Millennial, I’m continuously told by marketing people that I’m the Holy Grail of car customers.
I have no kids, I live in the city, have decent disposable income, and can appreciate an out-of-town weekend adventure here and there, so the Nissan Rogue Sport (Qashqai in Canada and the rest of the world) should be right up my alley. On a quick trip to Nashville, Tenn., a place that Nissan’s North American HQ calls home and a city that is now overrun with hipster Millennial folk like me, we were able to drive the Rogue Sport for the first time in its natural habitat. Interesting fact: Nissan was the top-selling brand among Millennials last year, and the Rogue Sport should help keep that record going.
A Familiar Drive
Driving around visiting little coffee shops, stopping for hipster artisan donuts, passing bars with live music, and hunting for Nashville’s many colorful murals, the Rogue Sport felt completely familiar. People shopping this segment want something easy to drive, easy to park and essentially unobtrusive, and the Rogue Sport is all those things. With its compact dimensions and decent sightlines, the 360-degree top-down reverse camera makes parking ridiculously painless.
The Rogue Sport is powered by naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque; a continuously variable transmission is the only one available (Canadian Qashqais come with a manual transmission on the base model). It all works as expected — no podium finishes, but getting to highway speeds and passing slower cars can be done easily enough. The CVT, like many other such transmissions, drones under full acceleration and could be more responsive, but it’s generally acceptable. The brakes could also benefit from being a bit sharper, but the driving dynamics reflect what others in the Rogue Sport’s segment can offer.
More nimble and easy to maneuver than its bigger Rogue sibling, the Rogue Sport is predictable and even verges on sporty. I don’t mean sporty as in Fast and Furious, but the crossover feels sporty simply because it has a willingness to change directions and juke around town.
How Does It Compare to the Competition?
Speaking of the Juke, the Rogue Sport is much more practical and more approachable than its funky frog-faced sibling, so Nissan doesn’t think they will step on each other’s toes. People who want a sportier, more unique and unconventional crossover will go for the Juke and its turbo engine with more horsepower and torque (personally, I love the Juke, especially the NISMO one), but if cargo capacity, more space, and not standing out too much are their priority, the Rogue Sport can meet that need.
With nearly double the cargo capacity of the Juke, the Rogue Sport has 22.9 cu-ft of cargo space, which opens up to a big 61.1 cu-ft with the second row folded flat. The larger Rogue, meanwhile, offers 39.3 cu-ft and 70 with the seats folded flat. Moving outside the Nissan family, the Rogue has slightly more total cargo capacity than the Honda HR-V (23.2 cu-ft/57.6 with the seats folded) and certainly looks less dorky. And although it’s not as fun to drive or as good-looking as the Mazda CX-3, it does have far more cargo capacity.
All the Driver Assists
Basically, the Rogue Sport offers all the same features the bigger Rogue does: It comes with forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, the excellent around-view monitor with moving object detection, adaptive cruise control, remote engine start, hill start assist, and more. Like most other systems, the lane departure warning is too sensitive and annoying, so I just turn it off. The adaptive cruise control is pretty smooth, however, and I never needed to intervene with the brakes thinking the Rogue Sport wouldn’t slow down on its own. The “Divide and Hide” cargo system in the trunk is available and Nissan’s Easy-Fill system for the tires is standard.
The interior is also familiar and inoffensive. Nothing about it screams “segment leading,” but it has a clean, user-friendly layout and doesn’t look or feel terribly cheap.
A Few Missing Things
The Rogue Sport has missed out on a few key areas that I, along with many other Millennials are looking for. For one, it only has one USB port and it’s not a fast charging one. Most cars these days should have quick-charge ports in the front and back so me and my passengers can get their phones charged up for all the Instagramming and Snapchatting we Millennials apparently do so much. Luckily, the Rogue Sport comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now, which cuts down on driver distractions, as it locks out non-essential apps and displays a more user-friendly infotainment display that can be controlled via voice commands.
The other strange thing is that although it is smaller and presumably lighter, the Rogue Sport has the same fuel economy as its bigger Rogue sibling despite having a smaller and less powerful engine. Rated at 24 mpg city, 30 hwy, 27 combined for the AWD model, it is also less fuel efficient than the Honda HR-V (27/31/21 mpg), which is OK because it has more torque and definitely feels a bit more alive.
The Verdict: Nissan Rogue Sport Review
The Nissan Rogue Sport is a solid offering in a very competitive segment. Although it doesn’t rise above and beyond its competition, it is non-offensive in nature because it does mostly everything right — combined with its affordable price, that means it will sell boatloads. Generally, Nissan USA sees the buyer as wanting a smaller and more affordable Rogue, which helps explain why they named it the way they did instead of calling it the Qashqai like it’s called in the rest of the world. And considering that the Rogue is Nissan’s top-selling model in the U.S., it seems like a pretty smart decision.
But as a Millennial, I’m known sometimes to not make the smartest decisions, preferring instead to follow my gut or pick something that’s a bit more obscure, because, let’s face it, Millennials hate being labeled as Millennials, so we might do the complete opposite of what people say Millennials should/must do. For the Rogue Sport to be a hit with “my people,” it has to be priced right and have all the right features, but it also has to be marketed properly. There are far too many companies and automakers who talk down to Millennials, and it’s enough to drive them away. Still, the Rogue Sport has all the right ingredients to be a success whether you’re a Millennial or not.
|Engine /||2.0L 4-cylinder|
|Horsepower /||141 hp|
|Torque /||147 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy (MPG) /||24 / 30 / 27 (AWD)|
|Cargo Capacity /||20.0 - 53.3 cubic-feet|
Our Final Verdict
The Nissan Rogue Sport is easy to drive, has a large cargo capacity, and comes standard with some very useful features like Nissan Safety Shield and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available features like ProPilot Assist help make it even more competitive. The crossover is priced right and although it’s not a segment leader in any way, the Nissan Rogue Sport is a solid compact crossover.3