2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

With consumer appetite for crossovers seemingly unquenchable, manufacturers are working overtime to keep showrooms stocked. To help feed the demand, Nissan plucked the already successful Qashqai from its international product menu and prepped it for stateside duty as the Rogue Sport. Landing amid a host of subcompact crossovers including the Honda HR-V, the Toyota C-HR, the Mazda CX-3, the Chevrolet Trax, and the Fiat 500X, the Rogue Sport shoulders in on the Nissan Juke’s territory just in time for the Juke’s departure at the end of the 2017 model year.

Brothers in Small Arms

Speaking of shoulders, interior space is just one area where the Rogue Sport excels over the Juke. Not only does it offer more front seat shoulder room, but ingress and egress is easier too, and the quality of the seat upholstery is better. The Rogue Sport’s exterior design offers a calm, reserved respite from the Juke’s busily extroverted visage.

Rear-seat accommodations are deceptively spacious as well. While too tight for cross-country travel by anyone over age 7 or so, a pair of actual adults can squeeze in for short jaunts as long they don’t mind tucking their toes beneath the front seats. The dash and switchgear are essentially the same as found in the Rogue, so Nissan aficionados will feel right at home. Unfortunately, the plastics in the lower console don’t live up the standard set by the seating and upper dashboard materials. Other quibbles include the hard-to-reach bank of buttons (for traction control and steering wheel heat, for example) that are located so far to the lower left of the dash that even seasoned owners will need to take their eyes off the road to find them. And the foot-operated parking brake had us reminiscing about our mom’s 1974 Ford Country Squire station wagon. You’d think an electric parking brake would make the cut in a loaded, top trim model like the one we tested.

What’s the Buzz?

Relying on a naturally aspirated 141-hp 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) as the sole available powertrain, the Sport sets its sights on practicality rather than segment-defining performance. Accordingly, the 10.0-second zero-to-60-mph run and 17.6-second quarter-mile time land near the bottom of a class known for languid acceleration. The Kia Soul Turbo with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is the segment hot rod, completing the same measures in 6.5 and 15.1 seconds. The Mazda CX-3 with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter and six-speed auto required 8.1 and 16.3, and the Honda HR-V with a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter and CVT clocked in at 9.5 and 17.4—need we say more? (The Juke SL AWD got to 60 mph in under 7.0 seconds.) The Rogue Sport does out-hustle one competitor: Toyota’s origami-themed C-HR micro-ute, which sauntered its way to 60 mph in 11 seconds flat and completed the quarter in 18.4.

While CVTs are largely a subjective matter—we tend to dislike them, some buyers are oblivious—the unit in the Rogue Sport, which behaves like a traditional automatic by executing distinct shifts, does little to change preconceptions. Left to its own devices, and even with its shifting mimicry, the characteristic CVT rubber-band effect is evident under heavy throttle. Toggling the shifter into its Sport mode keeps the engine in the meat of its powerband with surprising tenacity. Given that the 2.0-liter makes most of its power in the upper end of the tach (it’s 141-horsepower peak occurs at a relatively high 6000 rpm; maximum torque is 147 lb-ft at 4400 rpm), things can get a little buzzy. Stay in the throttle through the twisties and it’ll hold a “gear” until you reach a straightaway long enough that the only way to continue accelerating is to adjust the ratio. That’s when the things get less fun, as the CVT handles the ratio adjustment or “shift” with slippery indifference. You can call out the action manually via the shift lever—there are no shift paddles—but the sluggish result is essentially the same. (Note to diehard clutch-pedal devotees residing near our northern border: the Canada-market Rogue Sport offers a six-speed manual gearbox.)

The chassis, at least, holds up its end of the bargain, it’s balanced European breeding shining through. The steering is linear if not lively, and the little crossover rotated predictably on the more challenging sections of our local test loop despite lateral grip that topped out at 0.79 g on our 300-foot skidpad. While less than jaw-dropping, this figure is in line with its otherwise modest capabilities. It also delivers a reasonably compliant ride, and only the harshest impacts felt through the 225/45R-19 Bridgestone Ecotopia H/L tires warrant the use of expletives. Braking from 70 mph required 180 feet, which is slightly better than the 181 feet required by the Mazda CX-3 and the 183 feet the Honda HR-V needed.

Starting at The Top

Nissan offers the Rogue Sport in three trims: S ($22,395 base MSRP), SV ($23,995), and SL ($27,045). All-wheel drive is a $1350 option. Nissan left nothing to chance with our top-trim SL AWD test vehicle, outfitting it with the $2280 SL Premium Package (LED headlamps, a sunroof, and a safety technology suite including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward automated emergency braking, and automatic high-beams) as well as the $500 Platinum Package (adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and prevention, and pedestrian detection) for an as-tested MSRP of $31,245. (Note that the active-safety features in the Platinum package are only available on the SL trim; the Premium package is only available on SV and SL.)

That price point is concerning, however, as this is a segment that appeals to first-time buyers and overall value is often the deciding factor in a purchase. Don’t count on fuel savings to offset the buy-in cost, as we observed only 22 mpg overall versus an EPA rating of 27 combined—but we did best the EPA’s 30 mpg highway figure on our 75-mph highway test by 1 mpg. At the as-tested price, our top-trim Rogue Sport SL AWD leaves shoppers plenty of leeway to find better alternatives in this segment and the one above it, including the larger and much lauded Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Ford Escape, all of which can get similar fuel economy.

If the Rogue Sport’s size, combination of features, and style rings your bell, check out a base S trim with front-wheel drive before committing to the fully loaded version. With a base MSRP of $22,395, it’ll leave enough cabbage in your wallet for a nice set of winter tires and more than a few fancy dinners.

Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED: $31,245 (base price: $23,745)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve, inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1997 cc

Power: 141 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 147 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

TRANSMISSION: continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:

Wheelbase: 104.2 in

Length: 172.4 in

Width: 72.3 in

Height: 63.3 in

Passenger volume: 94 cu ft

Cargo volume: 20 cu ft

Curb weight: 3441 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:

Zero to 60 mph: 10.0 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 35.6 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 10.3 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.8 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 6.9 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 17.6 sec @ 79 mph

Top speed (drag limited): 112 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 180 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.79 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY:

Observed: 22 mpg

75-mph highway driving: 31 mpg

Highway range: 440 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY:

Combined/city/highway: 27/24/30 mpg

Source : https://www.yahoo.com/news/2017-nissan-rogue-sport-awd-222500567.html


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