By on April 25, 2017

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport, Image: Nissan

Less cargo capacity, less horsepower, a lower entry price and … worse fuel economy? That’s the reality for buyers of the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport, also known as the Nissan Qashqai in Canadian and overseas markets.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its thirstiness rating for the slightly smaller compact crossover, which was tossed into the Nissan’s North American lineup to fill a narrow gap in the brand’s utility offerings, and some might find the official numbers disappointing.

As we just told you, the entry-level Rogue Sport retails for $2,400 less than the larger Rogue. That $22,380 MSRP buys a front-wheel-drive vehicle with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable transmission. Pretty standard fare for many vehicles in the segment.

In base trim, the Rogue and Rogue Sport boast the same coefficient of drag (0.33), with the smaller model’s curb weight ringing in at 3,225 pounds — 199 lbs less than the Rogue. At 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft, the smaller model makes 29 fewer horses and 28 fewer pounds-feet than its 2.5-liter sibling. Both models come equipped with a standard CVT.

While many believe that vehicle size dictates thirstiness, that’s obviously not the case. There’s a myriad of factors that can negatively impact fuel economy. In the Rogue Sport’s case, the combination of smaller engine and very slightly lower curb weight seems to have conspired to shave one mile per gallon from the rating of its more powerful brother.

The Rogue Sport carries a rating of 25 miles per gallon in the city, 32 on the highway, and 28 combined. In contrast, the larger, more powerful, and not all that much more expensive Rogue is rated at 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29 mpg combined. For the Rogue Sport, the figures place it below the larger base Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V, but above the Toyota RAV4.

Of course, because competitive pricing is Nissan’s forte, cross-shopping buyers are more likely to pay more attention to the numbers that come after “MSRP” than those after “EPA.”

[Image: Nissan]

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33 Comments on “The Thirst is Real: Nissan Rogue Sport Gets Worse Fuel Economy than Larger Rogue Sibling...”

  • avatar

    This reminds me when everyone ran to V6s in the late 70s early 80s only to find the bigger 8s got better mpgs. This situation is same but different where you would think the smaller vehicle gets the better mileage. Nope.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, it’s true when the powertrains aren’t horrendously underpowered. This thing weighs as much as a Camry, is a fair amount less aerodynamic, and has 141hp paired to a CVT. Not only is it gonna be inefficient, it’s gonna be *slow*. Like, Buick Encore slow.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Yeah, this won’t matter much to anybody. Norm has all his cars picked out already ;).

  • avatar

    Chevy has a similar problem with the Cruze hatchback getting better mileage than the Sonic, and the most fuel efficient version of the Cruze beating both the Spark and the Sonic. (At least for the automatic transmission models.).

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, the Cruze is using the new GM/SAIC Small Gasoline Engine while the Sonic soldiers on with the Opel Family 0 although they’re both 1.4T engines.

      The Sonic Turbo I briefly owned was competent, but the fuel economy was nothing to write home about. GM went hardcore about dropping weight from the second-generation Cruze, the first Cruze and Sonic were porkers for their segment. In fact, part of the reason I let go of the Sonic was that it had a GM big car ride and undesirable GM big car feel. I want my compacts to feel compact.

      • 0 avatar

        GM has the legitimate excuse that it’s new models and newer technology are getting better results. And to be fair, the differences are very marginal and may not even reflect real,world results.

        It does make you wonder why midsize car sales are so poor – the fuel efficiency of these cars are coming close to matching smaller cars, and the fire sale pricing must make them very competitive.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m leaning towards a CUV for my next car, but yeah, you’re absolutely right. Considering the discounts on a Sonata, it’s very hard to not think of one for my next car. You can get one absolutely loaded with a turbo for the same price as a CR-V with half the options.

        • 0 avatar

          Its not like the Focus outsells Fusion, or the Corolla outsells Camry.

          Midsize sedan sales are on a downward trend, but they still sell a lot of them.

        • 0 avatar

          My problem with modern sedans, and maybe I am the only old guy who lacks flexibility, is that the steeply raked A and C pillars make it harder to get in and out of either the front or rear seats. I can’t imagine it would be that easy to put a child in a car seat either, especially compared to a CUV.

  • avatar

    Waiting for the third Rogue Sport article in a row…that one will warn potential buyers that the Rogue Sport can cause major skin rash and constipation…and they’ll STILL sell 5-7k per month.

  • avatar

    We are at a point where compacts and subcompacts have about the same mpg. The compacts are able to get equal or better fuel economy due to more fuel-saving tech.

    Sure, companies could throw the kitchen sink of fuel saving tech at subcompacts, but the reality is that they also are much more budget vehicles and therefore you have competing objectives. Making it more fuel efficient costs more money, but then the vehicle would cost the same as the next size up. Its a balancing act.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the smallest Prius can’t achieve the HWY mpg of its larger siblings, mostly because of the less aerodynamic shape.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Someone got bored and ran back-to-back highway mileage tests on the gen3 Prius and the Prius C. The gen3 did better above 65mph, but the C was better below that. The difference was only 2-4 mpg either way.

  • avatar

    I test drove an older Megane-related Sentra with the 2.0L+CVT, it was not great but not terrible. I can’t imagine it being very well received in a heavier CUV with added weight/drag of AWD. Sticking the 2.5L out of the bigger Rogue would truly give them a bit more “Sport” to crow about in terms of acceleration versus the heavier larger sibling.

  • avatar



  • avatar

    Engines, like any other air pump, probably have some kind of efficiency island based around RPMs and load. I’m guessing the 2.5 in the Rogue spends its time mostly around the peak, while the 2.0 in the Rogue Sport is generally overloaded. Shorter cars have worse aerodynamics as well. The C-segment remains maximum car.

    • 0 avatar

      “The C-segment remains maximum car.”

      Within the sedan space, I contend that the D-segment (Camry et al) is the stronger overall value-play, although the latest Civic and Golf certainly make very strong cases for themselves (they are also generally priced well into D-segment turf)

      • 0 avatar

        “the latest Civic and Golf certainly make very strong cases for themselves”

        Walked around a beautiful new, glistening black Civic sedan just this morning and the only word that sums it up for me is “stately”.

        Had a similar eye-opener a couple weeks back watching a new Corolla immediately follow a jellybean Taurus through left turns in front of me.

        My, how they’ve grown.

        • 0 avatar

          OMP, I can say from very recent experience that you’d approve of the ride quality of the new Civic. Took a ride in a coworker’s ’17 EX through a patch of pavement that would not be out of place in the old country, and it was like riding through on a cloud, I could not believe it.

  • avatar

    Real world mileage will probably be worse as drivers mash the pedal to get what little go they can.

    • 0 avatar

      Probably a lot worse. Judging by how many of the current Rogue drivers operate their vehicles, real world MPG will be in the low teens. The A-hole percentage is high with this one.

  • avatar

    Remember that it’s EPA tests. Some maintain that stop/start systems actually get worse mpg in real life while greatly increasing engine wear.

    The truth about engine stop start systems | Auto Expert John Cadogan |

    I know that EPA tests greatly underestimate the mpg on my 6 sp manual car re: my real life experience.

  • avatar

    I looked a Saturn Vue and noticed the Outlook a much bigger SUV got better milage. Salesman said it was because it had variable timing.

  • avatar

    So the Rogue Sport’s EPA ratings are identical to those of a full-time AWD Subaru Outback with 30 more horses. Go figure.

  • avatar

    Another vehicle to allow Nissan to buy market share.

  • avatar

    “Of course, because competitive pricing is Nissan’s forte, cross-shopping buyers are more likely to pay more attention to the numbers that come after “MSRP” than those after “EPA.”

    Its not just the MSRP, in my experience no other dealerships are nearly as aggressive with pricing as Nissan is. They make deals and move metal much more vigorously than competitors.

    A price you thought was impossible before you walked in the door is pretty appealing when you are shopping similarly placed vehicles. Enough to make certain characteristics and merits of cross shopped vehicles fade into the background. I like cars, but like money more at this point in my life. Travel soccer, dance, swim team, etc don’t come cheap.

  • avatar

    Sure. Because we all know how accurate EPA ratings are.

  • avatar

    “Of course, because competitive pricing is Nissan’s forte, cross-shopping buyers are more likely to pay more attention to the numbers that come after “MSRP” than those after “EPA.””

    And if I know Nissan customers, they’ll be even *more* interested in numbers that come after “Only 72 low, low, monthly payments of “

  • avatar

    Or, as Jeremy Clarkson calls it, the Nissan Kumquat.

    He didn’t want to try to pronounce Quarashi, and I don’t blame him.

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