Saturday, September 15, 2018

We test drive the Rogue Sport

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi ALL-MODE 4x4i Tekna Qab-Pearl-White-Metallic Vorderansicht Bahndamm (cropped).jpg

If you heard the name Rogue Sport you’d immediately think it were a turbo version of the Rogue. However, it’s more of a little brother to the Rogue. Competing with crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Does the Rogue Sport offering a compelling reason to sway buyers away from some of the class best?

The sport tagline seems to be just added to spice the name up because the Rogue Sport really isn’t ‘sporty’ in the nearest form. The 2-liter four-cylinder is the sole engine for this vehicle and it only pumps out 141hp. The running costs are very low on this vehicle which should appeal to those who want a crossover but don’t want to break the bank. We just wish that Nissan offered the turbo engine from the Juke in the top of the range trim for those who may want the extra flexibility and well to be honest give the Rogue Sport a reason to call it a Rogue Sport. The engine isn’t bad at all, when you are driving at relaxed speeds and around town there’s plenty of pep in acceleration. It does feel a little sluggish on faster paced roads but it’s class average in horsepower figures and well if you want more power you’ll either have to get the Juke or step up to the more expensive Rogue.

Driving the Rogue Sport is sort of like every other compact crossover. It doesn’t feel as sharp to drive as the Mazda CX-3 and it certainly isn’t as agile either. It is very comfortable as a daily commuter car and we really love the crossover seating position. Visibility outward and around is good and the overall driving experience is more on the blah side, it does feel livelier than the Rogue but that’s mainly because of the size difference. It’s dinky dimensions makes squeezing around tight urban streets a breeze, however nothing beats the conventional hatchback. The driver’ seat and front passenger seats are very comfortable and offer decent support, while those in the second row will find both legroom and headroom is decent as well. The boot is about class average as well, it’s not the best but it does the job good enough.

Standard S trim gets rearview monitor, advanced drive-assist display and Bluetooth for your mobile device. You’ll have to step up to the SV trim to get 17-inch alloy wheels, push button ignition switch, power outside mirrors with LED turn signals and electrically operated driver’s seat with lumbar support. Top of the range SV trim gets 19-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, leather seats and Around View camera with moving object detection. All-wheel-drive is optional on all trims.

The Nissan Rogue Sport isn’t sporty but it does offer a very compelling package. It offers decent kit for the money and is very stylish, we just wish that Nissan induced more fun into the driving experience and also added the turbo engine from the Juke to standout more from the herd. It’s a great crossover with low running costs and should satisfy those who want a crossover but don’t want to break the bank.

Likes: A crossover that’s easy to park and live with in tight urban areas. Plus it has low running costs and decent standard kit; stylish inside out with a decent sized boot.

Dislikes: It’s not sporty and the engine feels anemic.

Devon’s Pick: The SV trim offers the best value for the money here. You can skip the all-wheel-drive as it’s not needed here, unless you just have to have the extra traction.

 If we could change anything: The Rogue Sport is already a decent crossover worthy of being shortlisted, however we wish that we could replace the engine in the SL with the 1.6 turbo from the Juke. Nissan would dominate the small crossover segment as it would be the only option for a turbo engine at a low price point. We know that the Juke exists but why not add an option for those who don’t like the way the Juke looks but still wants a fun to drive crossover that’s flexible and lives up to the ‘Rogue Sport’ name.

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