2018 Nissan Rogue Sport Review – Interior and Exterior Changes

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport Review – Interior and Exterior Changes


The 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is the best crossover
for you if believe subcompact size doesn’t have to mean subpar comfort. Nissan introduced this little five-seater
for model-year 2017, and it’s back for ’18 with an important safety feature standard
instead of optional. Unchanged is the handsome styling and refined
manners that help it stand out in the crowded subcompact crossover segment. Its main audience continues to be young urbanites
abandoning cars for the versatility and image of an SUV. But must you be a millennial to appreciate
this crossover’s virtues – and accept its compromises? Let’s answer that question… [startup sound fx] I’m Chuck Giametta. Join me for a CarPreview video review of the
2018 Nissan Rogue Sport. [open / music] Leveraging the popularity of its Rogue compact
crossover, Nissan calls this subcompact crossover the Rogue Sport. It may as well call it the Rogue spittin’
image. As you can see, the Sport – here in Nitro
Lime — is essentially a Rogue scaled down for an even faster growing market segment. Where the Rogue competes with the likes of
the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, the Rogue Sport takes on the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V
and a slew of other diminutive crossovers. For some shoppers, these rivals will also
include Nissan’s own Kicks, introduced for 2018 to replace the eccentric Juke. The Kicks is slightly smaller and less expensive
than the Rogue Sport, but it carries a whiff of the flamboyant styling that defines many
of the Sport’s rivals. By comparison, the Rogue Sport stands out
as pretty conservative. It’s also a standout for the look and feel
of this interior, which would be at home in a vehicle costing lots more. There’s a reason for that. The Rogue Sport is actually an Americanized
version of the Nissan Qashqai. In Europe, the Qashqai competes with premium-class
crossovers from BMW and Audi. It’s so successful, Nissan insiders call
the Qashqai the cash cow.? Our version stresses affordability, with three
levels of trim outfitted and priced appropriately for this very attainable class. All three share a trendy flat-bottom steering
wheel – a leather-wrapped and heated wheel is optional on the SV and standard on the
SL. Every model also comes with Bluetooth connectivity
and satellite radio. The middle-of-the-line SV gets 17-inch alloy
wheels, mirrors with integrated turn signals, and conveniences like pushbutton ignition,
dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power driver’s seat. Exclusive to the top-line SL are 19-inch alloys,
leather upholstery, and an optional moonroof. Standard on the SL and optional on the SV
is a navigation system with a 7-inch dashboard screen. It supplants a tiny 5-inch screen and it’s
the only way to display a map because smartphone interfaces like Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto are not available. The big change for 2018 is inclusion of autonomous
emergency braking on all Rogue Sports. Last year, it was available only on the SL,
and only as an option. It can automatically slow or stop the crossover
to avoid a frontal collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian. That’s a laudable standard feature, but
you still have to pay extra for most other safety technology. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic detection
are available on the SV and SL in packages costing more than twenty-four-hundred dollars. And lane-maintaining automatic steering and
radar cruise control – along with LED headlamps – are exclusive to the SL’s twenty-eight-hundred-dollar
Premium Package. All Rogue Sports are again available with
a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but the only engine remains a four-cylinder
that links with a continuously variable automatic transmission, also known as a CVT. Horsepower and torque are middling for this
class but performance is pretty good around town. Part of the credit goes to the relatively
sporty calibrations of the CVT – Nissan even gives it simulated gear changes and a manual
mode. Still, you’ll need to floor the throttle
to pass quickly or merge with fast-moving traffic. When you do, there’s no escaping that annoying
engine drone characteristic of a CVT powertrain. Since Nissan calibrates this CVT for enhanced
performance, the Rouge Sport does not excel for fuel economy. EPA ratings are no better than average for
the class. In fact, they’re slightly below those of
the larger and more powerful Rogue. Far more satisfying is the way the Rogue Sport
rides and handles. We could ask for sharper steering, but otherwise
this crossover is comfortable and composed and, unlike some others in this class, doesn’t
feel small or lightweight. The Rogue Sport isn’t designed to be a handling
hooligan, but it does give you confidence to take turns with some spirit and unlike
lots of rivals, it tackles bumpy roads without being thrown off course or jarring your bones. A measure credit goes to the independent rear
suspension, technology that’s not universal in this class; the Kicks, for example, doesn’t
have one. Contributing to this sense of well-being is
a refreshingly rational cabin design and a high seating position on roomy front buckets. The rear bench is supportive and legroom’s
OK, if the front seats are less than halfway back. Nissan thoughtfully includes air vents, but
there’s no escaping narrow rear doorways that force you to twist your ankles to get
out. Cargo volume is among best in class, and SV
and SL models get Nissan’s nifty Divide-N-Hide cargo-management system. As for value, base prices are competitive,
although you’ll need the twenty-four-hundred-dollar Technology Package to equip the volume-selling
SV model with the extra safety features, navigation and things like heated mirrors, seats, and
steering wheel. That’s still not a bad buy, but it does
put you in the price range of larger compact crossovers. Still, the Rogue Sport is easy to rationalize,
thanks — we believe — to its Qashqai roots. With its clean styling and polished demeanor,
the Rogue Sport seems like the grownup of the compact crossover class. Still, it’s playful enough to justify the
Sport part of its name. For more on this and other cars, trucks and
SUVs, go to CarPreview.com, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel.


7 thoughts on “2018 Nissan Rogue Sport Review – Interior and Exterior Changes

  1. Nissan tends to offer heavier incentives on the Rogue, so it may be possible to get a comparably equipped one for the same or even less money than the Sport.

  2. Clear to see Nissan elected to call the Qashqai the Rogue Sport only in the US, Americans can’t pronounce anything properly, ugh. Embarrassing. You should have listened to every other review with the proper pronunciation before posting yours! Just saying.
    Otherwise great review.

  3. Was roaming a Nissan lot before getting stalked by a salesman the other day, all I can say is, why bother getting a sport if you basically can score the regular rogue with more goodies for roughly the same price and get a touch more room.

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