"Rogue Junior" would be a more apt name for this new subcompact SUV from Nissan. It looks like a shrunken version of the regular Rogue, but it isn't any sportier to drive. It's slower than its big brother, and it wasn't much nimbler.
Even so, the Rogue Sport feels more mature and substantial than most of the subcompact SUVs it competes with, thanks to a pleasant, composed ride, and a quiet cabin for the class. And where the roomier Rogue is designed for families, the Sport has a younger, more urban vibe.
We applaud Nissan for making automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning standard equipment for all trims on the 2018.5 model.
The Rogue Sport is available in front or all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 141-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's paired with a well-tuned continuously variable transmission. Although this powerplant gets the job done, it could use more zip when merging onto highways. It takes more than 10 seconds to get the Rogue Sport from rest to 60 mph. The engine's sound is OK, except when drivers have to tromp on the throttle. Even with its pokey power, fuel mileage is unimpressive, just 26 mpg overall in our testing.
On the road, the cabin remains relatively quiet and civilized, and the ride is composed for an SUV in this price and size bracket. Handling is responsive and secure, though we'd stop short of calling the Rogue Sport "sporty."
As is typical to its segment, getting into the cabin is a snap. Equipment levels are commendable as even mid-trim Rogue Sports provide a power driver's seat and adjustable lumbar support. Those front seats are rather basic, though, with a squishy cushion that loses support over longer drives. The low rear seat is short on thigh support, and cargo capacity is rather modest, even for the segment.
There are plentiful storage bins and readily accessible charging ports. These and the simple, well-placed controls make the Rogue Sport easy to live with. Unfortunately, drivers can only interact with paired phone functions through voice control.
Thanks to piano black trim scattered about, along with nicely patterned cloth seats with textured inserts, the Rogue Sport has a more inviting cabin than most of its competitors. An optional surround-view camera system is handy for backing into tight parking spots.
The Rogue Sport is a pleasant runabout that provides practicality within a small footprint. While it's among the quietest and most substantial models in its segment, it's not the roomiest nor the most fuel efficient.