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The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is shown in Caspian Blue Metallic. / Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy

The Rogue Sport, the smallest entry in Nissan's Rogue line-up, gets a face-lift for the 2020 model year.

To start the new decade, the Rogue Sport gets a dressed-up exterior with a new hood design, bumper, "V-motion" grille and LED lighting package. The result is a sharply-styled small SUV that looks a class-above with its crisp exterior lines, expressive fascia and two-tone interior.

The Rogue Sport is more about style than performance, a formula that works well for the segment. Rogue Sports are all powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 141 horsepower engine attached to a gear-less CVT transmission. The trade-off is excellent fuel economy, to the tune of 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg city.

The power-train is smooth but not bracing. As a practical matter for Chattanooga drivers, the Rogue Sport is better descending than climbing mountains, although it's competent both ways.

Rogue Sports are available locally at Nissan of Chattanooga East and Mountain View Nissan. Late this week, both dealerships had a good supply of Rogue Sports in digital inventory.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport

* Exterior color: Caspian Blue Metallic

* Interior color: Light Gray

* Engine: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder

* Horsepower: 141

* Transmission: CVT

* Fuel economy: 32 mpg highway, 25 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Nissan of Chattanooga East, Mountain View Nissan

* Price (as tested): $32,115

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The interior is shown in light gray leather. / Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy

 

WHAT IS IT?

The Nissan Rogue Sport is a small, five-passenger SUV with a normally-aspirated, four-cylinder engine. It's notable for its refined style and smooth ride, although highway acceleration is just adequate.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The Rogue Sport comes in three trim levels. The S starts at $23,500 the SV begins at $25,500 and the SL trim bases for $33,500. Our SL tester lists for $32,115, including options. We recommend the Premium Package ($2,280) which includes a moon-roof, LED headlights, memory seats, Bose sound system and fog lights.

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The 2020 Rogue sport gets a new hood, front bumper and V-motion grille. / Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy

 

WHAT WE LIKED

The Rogue Sport is a comfortable, good looking small SUV. For singles and small families, its compact dimensions are "just right." Plus, you can drive this SUV without spending a lot at the gas pump.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

A turbo-charged engine option would be nice for drivers that prefer a little more punch. Also, the CVT transmission is prone to droning.

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Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the 2020 Rogue Sport. / Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The Rogue Sport has an absorbent suspension and taut driving dynamics. For most commutes, it's a comfortable companion. Take care when acceleration is needed: The Rogue Sport needs a bit of a running start in some merging situations.

 

BOTTOM LINE

For may buyers, the Rogue Sports is a "just right" choice. Not to big, not to little. To go a bit smaller test drive the Nissan Kicks. For a little more space go with the bigger Rogue varieties.

Online: In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.


View other Test Drive stories by Mark Kennedy



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