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  • First Drive: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    Posted on May 9th, 2017 ninarussin

    Rogue’s new sibling is a city-friendly compact crossover

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    The all-new Nissan Rogue Sport is a smaller, lighter version of Nissan’s popular compact crossover, competing against the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR. Because the Sport is twelve inches shorter and has a lower roofline than its big brother, it loses some cargo space, rear leg and head room. Bottom line: growing families should think Rogue while singles or childless couples go with Rogue Sport.

    Since Nissan was one of the first players in the subcompact segment with the turbocharged Juke, some might wonder why the automaker is bringing out a second entry. According-to Nissan spokespersons, the Sport’s more conservative styling and lifestyle-friendly features such as the divide-n-hide rear cargo system should give the baby Rogue a bigger net to cast in the pond.

    Power for the Rogue Sport comes from a two-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 141-horsepower with 147 pound-feet of peak torque and continuously variable automatic transmission. Pricing for the base front-wheel drive model starts at $21, 420 excluding delivery while the upscale all-wheel drive SL starts at $27,420.

    Test drive in Tennessee

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    At a recent media program, I got behind the wheel of the Rogue Sport SL on routes through Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee, near Nissan’s corporate headquarters. The drive included surface streets and freeways in Nashville as well as two-lane rural roads outside of town. The rolling countryside provided good opportunity to test the car’s low-end power, suspension and steering response.

    Although the Rogue Sport engine is smaller and less powerful than the 2.5-liter block in the Rogue, the car’s curb weight is also lighter by about 200 pounds. The smaller engine has ample power for acceleration off-the line and in the 20-to-50 range drivers use merging onto highways. While the Rogue Sport isn’t really-a sports car, its peppy acceleration and good high-end power make for an appealing driving experience.

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    Safety conscious buyers will like the long roster of available active safety features, including the standard rearview camera, around-view monitor standard on the SL, optional adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane departure alert and prevention.

    Drivers can modify steering feedback using the settings function in the gauge cluster. The electric power steering system delivers excellent low-speed turning assist, but on-center response on the highway is soft.

    A four-wheel independent suspension consists of struts with coil springs in front and multi-link setup in the back. The independent rear suspension is a big deal for buyers who plan to travel with more than one passenger on a routine basis, since competitors including Honda and Mazda utilize torsion beam rear axles. Stabilizer bars keep the chassis flat in the corners.

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

    Nineteen-inch alloy wheels come standard on the SL, providing a fat footprint. Nissan has included its easy-fill tire alert system as standard equipment. The system chimes when the driver has refilled the tire to the proper inflation pressure.

    Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Rogue Sport in firm, linear fashion.

    Visibility around the perimeter is good, thanks to key active safety features including the around-view monitor that displays an image of the car’s perimeter in the center stack screen when the driver shifts into reverse. Blind spot monitoring illuminates LED signals in the side mirrors when vehicles in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots, making it easier to weave through dense traffic.

    Engineers did a good job of minimizing NVH, so both rows occupants can converse on the highway or enjoy the audio system.

    Versatile interior

    Nissan Rogue Sport Interior

    Nissan Rogue Sport Interior

    The Rogue Sport’s versatile interior makes it a good option for buyers who like to go off the grid on weekends. The divide-n-hide cargo system enables owners to make better use of the rear cargo bay with additional shelving and dividers.

    Fold-flat second-row seats create a cargo floor long enough for a road bike. Since all trim levels are available with all-wheel drive, tackling unpaved fire roads or winter snowstorms shouldn’t be a problem.

    Keyless entry and start- standard on the SL- save drivers from fumbling for the key fob after dark. Dual-zone climate control and heated front seats keep occupants comfortable in temperature extremes.

    Both the driver’s seat and front passenger seats are easy to adjust, with ample lower lumbar support. I was-able-to move the driver’s seat high enough for a clear forward view, while maintaining a safe distance from the front airbag.

    Nissan has packed the Rogue Sport with infotainment features tech-savvy buyers crave, including satellite radio, Siri Eyes-Free, and an available six-speaker audio system. Navigation and mobile apps are standard on SL.

    Roof rails come standard, making it easy to add an overhead rack or gear carrier.

    Standard safety

    The Nissan Rogue Sport comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, hill start assist, daytime running lamps and tire pressure monitoring.

    Nissan builds the Rogue Sport in Kyushu, Japan.

    Like: A versatile subcompact crossover with a peppy engine and one of the best CVTs in the industry. Nissan’s divide-n-hide cargo system enables owners to make better use of the rear cargo area.

    Dislike: Soft on-center steering response.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Nissan
    Model: Rogue Sport
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $21,420
    Horsepower: 141 HP @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 147 lbs.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    As tested: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 24/30 MPG (AWD), 25/32 MPG (FWD)

     

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