Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Introduced to the US a decade ago in 2007 the Rogue is Nissan’s top selling vehicle and has helped the Japanese automaker claim the hearts and souls of millennials who focus on digital communication, fresh technology, trending fashion and a strong social identity. Since the compact SUV is versatile, savvy, stylish and innovative it only made since to add another characteristic to its persona. Yep, the Rogue is now fitter than ever with the introduction of the Sport!
An invite to test drive the new crossover in the heart of Nashville, TN presented keen insight on the consumer demographics Nissan is highlighting. For example, the city is going through a construction remix with an array of housing developments for singles and young couples that desire the inner city vibe. Along with these environs should come a flexible ride that adapts to its surroundings to simplify the total drive experience from parking and fuel mileage to connectivity with the inner world.
Starting at $21,420 for a Rogue Sport S FWD and increasing to $27,420 for the Rogue Sport SL AWD, there are three models to choose from in either FWD or AWD for either increment weather or spirited maneuverability. The misconception is that AWD is only necessary for cold weather states but I beg to differ. There is nothing like the traction from all four wheels for top performance or hauling.
Down in Tennessee Nissan put us up in SL variants of the Rogue Sport with defining color palettes such as Monarch Orange and Palatial Ruby. In addition to some of the standard features on the S like the Xtronic CVT transmission with a Sport Mode Shifter, auto off headlights with LED signature, Bluetooth hands-free text assistant and RearView Monitor, the SL adds the stylish 19” aluminum-alloy rims tucked in Bridgestone all-season rubber, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel (leather-wrapped), remote engine start and Around ViewMonitor with Moving Object Detection. The Rogue Sport provides the aesthetics needed for influential millennials as well as the safety weapons required to defend against busy, urban commutes. I am particularly fond of the progressive tailgate spoiler!
If you want to go over and beyond the amenities included in the MSRP then the $570 Platinum Package upgrade is must. The suite offers Intelligent Cruise Control for those extended highway road trips, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention and Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection since mobile devices seem to distract far greater than they need to, especially with younger drivers.
In comparison to the base Rogue, the Rogue Sport inherits a sportier front fascia with a wider lower grille, circular fog lights, slightly smaller proportions and the 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine to replace the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder. In this case the 2.0 produces a respectable 141-horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. Around winding, hilly country roads the vehicle held its own but faired even better by utilizing the manual shift mode for optimal acceleration. As well, the edgy, flat-bottom steering wheel with multi-functions was a bonus. But keep in mind the adjustments for proper positioning are manual.
“The combination of the new Rogue Sport and the immensely popular redesigned 2017 Rogue will appeal to a broad audience and offers a wide spectrum of features and price points for SUV buyers,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
Inside, the Rogue Sport is spacious and quite comfortable. I didn’t feel congested or ergonomically challenged. The nucleus of the little SUV is the 7” display which houses NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services and SiriusXM Traffic & Travel Link. In addition, NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM includes automatic collision notification, emergency call and stolen vehicle locator, remote lock/unlock, sound the horn, curfew alerts and speed alerts. Though, Nissan does need to add a few more USB ports for passengers.
As you can see the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is fundamentally courageous with modern offerings for today’s energetic and savvy customers.