2018 Nissan Rogue Sport

Overview: Nissan Rogue Sport 2018

Introduced in 2017, the all-new Nissan Rogue Sport is a stunning crossover that offers good fuel economy, a comfortable interior, and a low price. However, there are a few pitfalls that stop this Nissan from securing a spot in our pick for the best crossovers introduced in the recent times. In terms of performance, the car isn’t very sporty, except maybe in its looks. Its sole engine lacks power and struggles when speeding up on highways. Although smaller and less expensive, the 2018 Rogue Sport is unable to match the charisma and performance of its larger Rogue sibling. Designed primarily for young singles and old empty-nesters, the Rogue Sport can be a delightful ride for those who’re not living in the fast lane.

Design

As mentioned earlier, the 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is much smaller and compact compared to its larger variants. It’s a great combination of elegance and versatility and has all the qualities that we’d expect from a crossover. Its relative lack of power and command on the roads doesn’t disappoint us; however, its price compared to the bigger Rogue does.

a)   Exterior

The Rogue Sport looks sleek and stylish on the outside. Complete with a V-shaped grille, the Rogue Sport successfully adapts the corporate look for smaller proportions. The headlights don’t reach all the way back to the fenders, and the hood sports small bulges near the wheel arches, which gives it a touch of fun. With signature Nissan styling cues such as the V-motion grille and sleek wraparound taillights, the Rogue Sport’s exterior design looks much nicer and funkier than the larger Rogue upon which it is based. A dramatic up-kick at the rear-quarter-panel glass, along with 19-inch alloy wheels gives the car a rather mean and sinister look. Compared to most competitors in this segment, this car is slightly larger, almost equal to the dimensions of larger SUVs like the Jeep Compass and Ford Escape.

b)  Interiors

The 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is basically a smaller version of the Rogue and it’s no surprise the interior layouts are pretty much the same. The dashboard, instrument cluster, steering wheel, and door panels have a generic design but are well-organized and serve its purpose. The Rogue Sport seats five in two rows of seats. The front seats, which are borrowed from the larger variant, are pretty spacious, comfy, and there is enough legroom for tall adults but the rear seats fall a bit short in both headroom and legroom. While the rear seats can accommodate adults, it’s not ideal for a long road trip. The car has a quality interior with a good number of soft-touch surfaces. The cabin isn’t completely devoid of hard surfaces, but it doesn’t look out of place next to class rivals. Compared to its competitors, the Rogue Sport’s interior dimensions are right in line, with nearly 22 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, and 61.6 with them folded down. Most class rivals in this category can hardly match up to this number. Although the interiors might not be too exciting, it’s executed well and isn’t over the top.

Trim Levels

The Nissan Rogue Sport is available in three trim levels – S, SV, and the premium SL. All models of the car come with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can add the all-wheel-drive feature to any trim at an additional cost of $1,350. The base S trim has a decent number of features but for the best combination of price and features, it is advisable to opt for the SV trim with the optional technology package. With the SV trim, you’ll get some impressive features like dual-zone climate control and push-button start, and the optional technology package adds some even more exciting features like blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, voice recognition, and 360-degree camera.

a)   Nissan Rogue Sport S

The Nissan Rogue Sport S is the base model and starts at $21,640. It comes with fabric seats, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat. It is also equipped with a 5-inch audio display, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging, a USB port, and a four-speaker audio system.

b)  Nissan Rogue Sport SV

The Nissan Rogue Sport SV is retailing at $23,240 and comes with a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlights, a six-speaker audio system, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the Divide-N-Hide cargo system. If you’re tech-savvy, you can also opt for two packages at this trim level – an all-weather package ($920) and a technology package ($2,420). The all-weather package equips the car for harsh winters with heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, a heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, remote start, and fog lights. The technology package, on the other hand, arms the vehicle with the latest technology offerings such as rear cross traffic alert, voice recognition and navigation, a 7-inch touchscreen, a 360-degree camera, and blind spot monitoring.

c)  Nissan Rogue Sport SL

You can get the top-of-the-line Nissan Rogue Sport SL at $26,290. This model comes with leather seats, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, fog lights, a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, a 360-degree camera, remote start, and voice recognition. With the premium package, you can get additional features like high-beam assist, blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, LED headlights, and a moonroof.

Comfort and Quality

The Rogue Sport is considerably smaller than the Rogue which is why the rear passengers bear the brunt of its more compact stature. The front seats of the car are agreeable and comfy for a wide variety of body types. Accommodating four adults in the car is possible with some adjustment between the front and rear-seat riders; however, fitting five adults in the Rogue Sport isn’t advisable. Despite considerable room inside the car, most of which is way up high, it can be a little challenging to store grocery bags and suitcases. This is why Nissan has made a cargo management system called Divide-N-Hide a standard feature on SV and SL trim levels that enables you to shuffle the load floor configuration for storing small objects. It may not bring about a major change, but it hoists small objects off the floor for better space utilization.

Performance

Performance isn’t the top selling point of 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport. More akin to an endearing nickname rather than a racy performance, the Nissan Rogue Sport comes with only one powertrain and is quite efficient. It is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine which produces 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque with CVT, mated to the front or all-wheel drive. The Rogue Sport is not very fast and takes a long time to accelerate up to the desired speed. Acceleration can be rather leisurely but once it’s picked up, the engine settles into a respectable trot. The vehicle somewhat redeems itself with lively steering that absolves some of the engine’s shortcomings, but it’s hard not to notice that it’s lacking some fervor under the hood.

The vehicle comes with 17-inch wheels but you can also opt for 19-inch wheels with the top-end Rogue Sport SL. Nissan offers all-wheel drive on the Rogue Sport, but it’s best considered as all-weather traction rather than off-road ready—and even then, its value is questionable. All-wheel drive is a $1,350 option on all trim levels, thereby increasing the starting price of a Rogue Sport close to an all-wheel drive Rogue. The Rogue Sport offers 7.4 inches of ground clearance compared to the 8.4 inches from a Rogue, and while neither will be mistaken for a Jeep anytime soon, the Rogue is definitely more spacious and powerful.

Technology

The base version of the Rogue Sport comes with a four-speaker audio system with a 5.0-inch infotainment display, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and the freedom of an open road. That’s good base equipment, and the infotainment display is above average. The SV trim level offers more standard equipment and more available options including automatic headlights, power adjustable driver’s seat, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and a cargo management system for the rear, cold-weather collection that adds heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, leather-wrapped gear shifter, and heated outside mirrors.

A technology package adds all of the above, a larger 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, and satellite radio. In addition to all equipment from the SV trim level and technology package, the SL premium package includes a moonroof, along with some new-age safety features. All-in-all, a 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport SL with AWD costs around $31,000. With just a little more, or maybe less if you’re opting for the basic trim, you can buy the original larger Rogue, which is available with more standard and optional safety features.

Safety

The Nissan Rogue Sport 2018 hasn’t been officially tested by the major safety rating organizations in the U.S. so it lacks authorized safety data. For passenger safety, the car comes with airbags including front, side, and rollover airbags. It is also equipped with traction and stability control systems, which are standard safety features in most vehicles nowadays. The car also comes with a rearview camera which is standard equipment in all models. However, active safety features such as forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and a surround-view camera system are reserved for the top SL trim level and even there, you’ll have to pay extra. This seems a bit odd as it turns out to be way more expensive than the well-equipped bigger Rogue that comes standard with automatic emergency braking.

Fuel Economy

The 2018 Nissan Rogue is quite fuel-efficient thanks to its small size and automatic transmission. Its fuel economy is the best in the entire Rogue lineup, but it’s also smaller. In the small crossover category, Rogue Sports falls just short of a vaunted 30 mpg combined rating, which few rivals can claim. The EPA rates front-drive Rogue Sports at 25 mpg city, 32 highway, 28 combined, which is pretty efficient. The Rogue Sport is competitive against its immediate rivals including the Subaru Crossover (29 mpg combined), Mazda CX-3 (31 mpg combined), and Chevy Trax (28 mpg combined).

The Verdict

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport can be quite delightful as a subcompact SUV with a tall ride height and affordable base models. It offers a nice balance of features, price, accommodations and good fuel economy, along with a comfortable and relaxed ride and generous cargo area. But don’t get your hopes up on this one just now! The car comes with an outdated infotainment system and languid acceleration holds it back from being the best in class. Although it is devoid of Rogue’s 3rd-row seat and a larger cargo space, the Rogue Sport features the same dashboard, and by default most of the same infotainment and safety features. The Rogue Sport’s rear seat could be a little more versatile and spacious like a few of its rivals. And while we love the idea of a pint-sized Rogue, the Sport lacks in power and doesn’t really pack a punch! It is also devoid of some must-have options, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Despite its shortcomings, with consumer appetite for crossovers seemingly insatiable, manufacturers are working tirelessly to keep showrooms stocked.

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