Road Test: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL

We’re admittedly huge fans of the 2017 Nissan Rogue. It checks all the boxes for versatility, comfort, tech, and efficiency, while still having a fun side and looking modern too.

When we learned Nissan was bringing a slightly smaller version to market, we hoped they would keep the flavor just the same, reducing only the portion size. Well, that’s exactly what they did, along with injecting a tad more sportiness, hence the Sport name. Rogue Sport is shorter in length and height than the larger Rogue, making it the perfect size for someone who doesn’t carry a full load of passengers and cargo regularly.

Ride and Handling
Rogue Sport rides smoothly and comfortably. Our tester wasn’t equipped with 19″ alloys per the SL trim specs but rather the 17″ alloys from the SV trim. Regardless, the ride was refined and handling was impressive given the large (pothole damping) tire sidewalls.

Steering effort is excellent, with the option to turn it up with a Sport mode.

Braking
Four corners of vented disc brakes feel strong and smooth. They grab early and provide a linear feel.

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

Nissan always amazes us when it comes to powertrain refinement and fuel efficiency. The Rogue Sport continues that with 2.0L direct-injected engine mated to a CVT, producing 141 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque.

That translates to smooth driving around town with plenty of pep, and more than enough passing power on the highway. An Eco switch on the lower left control area of the dash makes calibration changes and dulls the throttle a bit to reduce aggressive acceleration from a stop, often the largest consumer of fuel. We used it for two of the seven day test loan and didn’t mind it.

Fuel economy results after a week of mixed driving surpassed our expectations, averaging 31.4 mpg. The EPA rates the Rogue Sport at 25 city, 32 highway for FWD models, 24 city, 30 highway for AWD.

Noise
Rogue Sport was quite serene. The sleek shape and tight seals kept wind noise out while sound deadening material kept the engine noise at bay. Tire noise was also very low.

Headlights
Sophisticated LED low-beam headlights spread light evenly on the road ahead, while the halogen high-beams project even further and with greater intensity. Auto high beams worked well on our test vehicle, switching the second another car was spotted and resuming shortly after they were out of sight.

Interior Fit and Finish
Materials throughout the cabin are soft-touch, nicely grained, or both. They look high quality and feel well-assembled. The overall feel inside is modern, futuristic, and sporty.

Seating
Nissan’s are known for having some of the most comfortable seats, and Rogue Sport is no exception. The 6-way power front seat with power lumbar is incredibly comfortable, with soft padded elbow rests in the door and armrest, and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. We really like the D-shapped flat-bottom wheel for its good size and thickness.

The rear seat is totally usable and comfortable regardless of the 12 inches lost in length compared to Rogue. Our passengers had no complaints behind front seats adjusted for a six-foot driver and passenger. Air vents on the back end of the center console also keep passengers comfortable.

Cargo room in the back end measures in around 22.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and an impressive 61.1 cubic feet with them folded down (60/40-split).

The power moonroof creates an airy feel.

Visibility
The A-pillars are thin and visibility all around is excellent. Visors extend and cover the length of the front side window glass. The side mirrors are heated and large, showing a lot of area.

The Around View Monitor projects a birds-eye view of the Rogue Sport on the infotainment display to make any parking situation a cinch.

Gauges and Controls
Rogue Sport’s gauges and controls are all easy to read and well-labeled. We commend Nissan for sticking with knobs, buttons, and switches for the critical infotainment and vehicle operation controls.

Infotainment
Rogue Sport features the identical NissanConnect system from Rogue. We appreciate the system’s fast response, clear graphics, and intuitive interface. Siri Eyes Free is included but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not.

Our test of the navigation system once again proves that Nissan’s voice entry system works very well. We like the ability to have extended or shortened prompts.

Bluetooth call quality was very good. USB, AUX, SiriusXM radio, and Bluetooth streaming inputs provide endless entertainment. Audio quality was very good.

We’d like to see more USB ports and wireless phone charging added in the near future.

Crash-Avoidance
Nissan didn’t skimp on safety technology; just like Rogue comes with a full suite of safety tech, so does Rogue Sport.

Included in the SL Premium package are Forward Emergency Braking, Blind Spot tWarning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and High Beam Assist. The Platinum package adds Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, and Pedestrian Detection to the Forward Emergency Braking.

The aforementioned Around View Monitor includes Moving Object Detection, which helped us several times in parking lots.

The adaptive cruise works smoothly and accelerates briskly, and didn’t brake too aggressively during rush hour traffic. It was refined and a good aid during daily commuting. Lane Departure Prevention brakes individual wheels rather than turn the wheel; it works well as it doesn’t lead to the “ping-pong” effect of other systems that actively rotate the steering wheel and can be annoying.

Nissan will be making Auto Emergency Braking standard for the 2018 model year.

Crash Test Results
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport has not been tested by the IIHS or NHTSA.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling 10
Braking 10
Powertrain and Fuel Economy 10
Noise 10
Headlights 10
Interior Fit and Finish 9
Seating 10
Visibility 10
Gauges and Controls 10
Infotainment 8
Crash-Avoidance 10
Total Score 97
Facts
Make: Nissan
Model: Rogue Sport
Trim Level: SL
Engine: 2.0L
Transmission: CVT
Options: SL Premium, Platinum
Base Price: $27,420
As-Tested Price: $31,365

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