With a majority of American drivers now hooked on crossovers and SUVs, there seems to be an almost infinite number of ways to slice the market-share pie.
And that's where vehicles such as the 2019 Rogue Sport find a lane to wedge into Nissan showrooms.
A bit larger and more conservative than the aggressively styled Nissan Kicks, and a smidgen smaller (and less expensive) that a regular-size Rogue, the Rogue Sport fills a tweener spot between two adjacent SUV segments.
* Model: 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport
* Exterior color: Scarlet Ember
* Interior color: Charcoal
* Engine: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder
* Horsepower: 141 horsepower
* Transmission: CVT
* Fuel economy: 32 mpg highway, 25 mpg city
* Local Dealer: Nissan of Chattanooga East, Mountain View Nissan
* Price (as tested): $31,670
The trade-off in the step-down from the regular Rogue is mainly under the hood, where the Sport's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine makes just 141 horsepower. Consequently, the Rogue Sport feels sluggish in highway driving. The first time we gave our tester the spurs while merging onto Highway 27 in downtown Chattanooga, we were a bit taken aback by its lack of giddyup. (The larger Rogue makes 170 hp and feels noticeably more powerful.)
Still, once you adjust your expectations the Rogue Sport's tempo is not a big problem. And the 28 mpg combined city/highway fuel economy rating is enough to make any owner smile.
The Rogue Sport is a handsome SUV, with none of the gaudy body lines designers often use to flag the attention of millennial buyers. In fact, I'd say empty-nesters who don't need to carry a big brood or tow a trailer might be perfect customers for the Rogue Sport.
Rogue Sports are available locally at Nissan of Chattanooga East on Chapman Road, and Mountain View Nissan on South Market Street. Between the two stores, there are dozens of Rogue Sports in digital inventories this week.
WHAT IS IT?
The Rogue Sport is a five-passenger SUV with restrained styling and an upscale (for the class) interior that's a comfortable (if a bit underpowered) alternative to the regular Rogue, which lists for several thousand dollars more.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A base "S" trim Rogue Sport starts at $22,240 before options. Our tester, provided by Nissan for a multi-day test drive, is a top-trim SL model which begins at $29,310. With options, our tester has a bottom line MSRP of $31,670. Most locally advertised Rogue Sports are listed online with with generous discounts attached.
WHAT WE LIKED
The sophisticated LED headlight design, the copious 61-feet of cubic storage space (with the rear seat flat), driver assist technology that helps to keep you in your lane on the freeway, and the wallet-friendly fuel economy that maxes out at 32 mpg highway in front-wheel-drive Rogue Sports. Also, the stance of the Rogue, with its abundant road-clearance, is a plus.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Even a 10-to-15 horsepower bump would make the Rogue Sport a more practical choice for highway driving.
For young, urban drivers looking to maximize interior space and fuel economy in a small crossover, the Rogue Sport is an excellent choice.
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