Thursday, September 20, 2018
Comparison: Outlander Sport vs Rogue Sport
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Nissan Rogue
(Note: The Nissan Rogue Sport we were able to get our hands on had a starting price of $23,999* and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport we could find to evenly price match with was $23,249*. Later in the review we will explain why we had to enclose this note.)
We decided to do a new vs old review. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has been on sale for some time now and has been given moderate updates here and there but the engines are both tested tried and true. Nissan has been in this segment for a while as well with their European Qashqai which wasn’t sold here until now. They’ve renamed it Rogue Sport in hopes to lure in buyers who want a crossover but in a smaller more urban friendly size. We definitely had to do a comparison test, old vs new.
Performance: The Nissan Rogue Sport comes with a 2-liter four-cylinder which pumps out 141hp. When we first reviewed the Rogue Sport it was front-wheel-drive and we thought it was perfectly fine in that configuration. However, the version we have now is all-wheel-drive and the traction is there. It does provide plenty of confidence on slippery surfaces but the problem is the engine feels anemic and with the extra weight of the all-wheel-drive it really doesn’t help. The Rogue Sport is fine around town and can keep up with faster paced traffic, our only gripe is that we wish that the turbo engine from the Juke was offered here. It would make the Rogue Sport more enticing and also help the Rogue Sport live up to the ‘sport’ in its name.
The Outlander Sport does come with two engine choices. The standard 2-liter four-cylinder pumping out 148hp was the version we were looking for but the examples (the dealers) had would’ve pushed the Outlander Sport price way below that of the Rogue Sport and made the comparison a little unfair. We opted for the 2.4 instead and well it still feels like an unfair comparison considering the 27hp difference between the two of them. The engine however is more flexible than the Rogue Sport and while the running costs are too much higher, we still appreciate the added power to match with the weight of the all-wheel-drive system.
Winner: The Outlander Sport won this not because it had the most horsepower but the engine doesn’t feel as anemic as the in the Rogue Sport. We tested the Outlander Sport with the 2-liter engine and all-wheel-drive and even in that configuration it didn’t feel as sluggish as the Rogue Sport.
On the road: The Rogue Sport does feel lighter than the Outlander Sport, this helps make the Rogue Sport easier to drive around tight urban streets. We love how the steering isn’t overly but does enough to provide feedback where it matters. You can chug the Rogue Sport around and it handles pretty good considering the higher center of gravity and the fact that despite the lack of horsepower it is much more fun to drive the Rogue Sport fast than the Outlander Sport. We managed to do the same run with the Outlander Sport and while it is the more powerful vehicle here, the steering isn’t where it should be and the handling is not as composed. We know that most people won’t be chugging these crossovers into bends and corners like hatchbacks but it is nice to have a decent handling crossover and the Rogue Sport definitely trumps in that aspect. Both have low wind and road noise and both are easy to live with in general. It was a little hard to come to decision and just called a tie here.
Behind the wheel: Where the Outlander Sport fails is the driving position. It feels like you have to have long arms because the seat doesn’t offer upright seating comfort that the Rogue Sport does. The dashboard layout is simple and easy to navigate through thanks to the large touch screen infotainment system. It isn’t as crisp as the one in the Rogue Sport but we do appreciate the fact that it is a lot easier to navigate through. Space in the rear seat is tied between both. We appreciate the visibility being good in both but the Rogue Sport easily takes the win for this one.
Equipment: The Rogue Sport came fitted with all-wheel-drive, automatic headlights, keyless entry with push button start and multi-zone climate control. 17-inch alloy wheels, rear-view parking camera and integrated roof rails also came standard.
The Outlander Sport came fitted with Xenon-headlamps, premium sound system by Rockford-Fosgate, auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror and leather seats. All-wheel-drive was fitted as well as dual-zone climate control and a rear-view parking camera.
Winner: The Rogue Sport and Outlander Sport both lack the active safety features that should be standard but the Outlander Sport wins hands down on the value for the money factor.
These are two different approaches to crossovers. The Rogue Sport is the more modern option compared to the Outlander Sport which feels like its age. We loved how the Outlander Sport had the more flexible engine and was the more comfortable to drive around town, but the Rogue Sport was way more enjoyable to drive in the city but felt out of its depth on faster paced roads. Picking between the two of them merely comes down to what you desire the most, the newest and more modernized or the value for the money. We love the Rogue Sport but you can get so many of the Outlander Sports at dirt cheap prices.
Winner: The decision to pick a winner really did fall on deaf ears as both loved the Rogue Sport the most and most arguments were in favor of the on-road dynamics of the Rogue Sport and the fact that it is a better overall package. The only argument that could be presented with the Outlander Sport is better reliability, lower prices and higher standard kit. We eventually came to the conclusion that the Rogue Sport will fit everyone. It has a lot going for it in terms of low-running costs and the easiest to live with. We just wish that Nissan made the Rogue Sport live up to the ‘sport’ in its name.
Nissan Rogue Sport
Likes: The easiest crossover to live with and has very low running costs. Exterior styling and interior styling are attractive with a boot that’s generous in space.
Dislikes: The engine feels anemic and not everyone will be convinced to pay near $35,000 for a compact crossover with barely any active safety features and a sluggish engine.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Likes: It has the strongest engine between the two of them. It also came with the most standard features for a dirt cheap price.
Dislikes: It doesn’t feel as refined as the Rogue Sport. Residual values will be weak.
2-liter four-cylinder 141hp (AWD)
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
2.4-liter four-cylinder 168hp (AWD)