NAIAS 2017: Say Hello to Your Next Rental Car, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
You know it. Nissan knows it.
Consumers are fleeing cars in favor of high-riding crossovers. And the Rogue Sport is another one.
Despite the name, Nissan’s newest utility is less Rogue Jr. and more overseas transplant. Nissan America adapted the Qashqai, available in global markets since 2006, with a new name to meet North American tastes (though not in Canada, where it’ll still use its Turkic nomenclature). The renaming ensures we can pronounce it (and Nissan can preserve its Star Wars connection). More importantly, it hitches the new crossover to Nissan’s best selling nameplate.
Rogue sales surged 15 percent to 330,000 units in the U.S. last year, representing nearly one out of four Nissans sold. With the Rogue Sport, Nissan slots a crossover between the successful Rogue and the aging Juke, and connects the new crossover to one of the most successful nameplates in Nissan history.
The 172-inch-long Rogue Sport is within a couple inches in overall length of the new Jeep Compass and Toyota C-HR, and neatly splits the difference between the 185-inch-long Rogue and the 162-inch-long Juke. It also shares more than just a striking visual resemblance to its larger stalemate thanks to a shared platform.
The two-row, five-passenger crossover gets a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter four (as opposed to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder equipped Rogue) mated to a Xtronic CVT transmission. As one might expect, this is a front-wheel-drive vehicle with optional all-wheel drive.
Nissan is going where the consumers are. In this case, that means slicing its crossover offerings thinner than fleet profit margins.
Assembled in Japan, the Rogue Sport will be available in familiar S, SV, and SL trim levels. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the Rogue Sport should arrive at dealers and rental lots this spring.
Twenty year auto industry professional. Currently CEO at Turbo International, the premier American manufacturer of OEM replacement turbochargers for the global aftermarket.
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