2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Puts Its Best Face Forward

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2020 nissan rogue sport puts its best face forward

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Nissan revealed its plans to slot the North American version of its Qashqai crossover between the Juke and Rogue. While the company ultimately decided to call the model the “Rogue Sport” in the United States, replacing the Juke with the Kicks shortly thereafter, the rest of the plan went off without a hitch.

There was just one itty-bitty problem — the North American crossover was based on a model that debuted globally in 2013.

At the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan has once again decided to give North America the rest of the world’s leftovers. The Qashqai received a mid-life facelift in 2017 and now so will the Rogue Sport. Fortunately, both versions of the crossover should remain worthy of reasonable praise, as the changes help bring the model visually closer to the rest of Nissan’s fleet and further away from looking like a utility version of the 2004 Pontiac Sunfire.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport receives a new (for this market) front end, updated tail lamps, and some new equipment options. While the automaker claims the new exterior design should help “provide a greater separation” from the bigger Rogue, we think the opposite is true. The inclusion of the brand’s Vmotion grille actually makes the pair look extremely similar in photos.

However, face-to-face encounters won’t hold any confusion. The Sport is substantially shorter than the Rouge and bit longer than the Kicks — which it doesn’t resemble quite so closely. Regardless, we like the “new design” and are glad to see it making its way here.

In addition to the company’s ubiquitous grille, the crossover also receives a new hood, bumper, and daytime running lights. Nissan is also offering new 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and two new colors (Nitro Lime Metallic and Monarch Orange Metallic) as optional extras.

Trims will be split into thirds (S, SV, and SL) with even the base model Rogue Sport S receiving Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 for the 2020 model year. That includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and high beam assist. Shoppers also can opt for Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system, which is basically Nissan’s take on adaptive cruise control with some lane keeping.

All versions of the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport will continue sourcing their power from a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four engine slotted up to an Xtronic CVT. That means it’s still really slow (60 mph can take upwards of 10 seconds). But this isn’t a segment known for its blistering quarter-mile times. In fact, most of the praise thrown at the Rogue Sport revolves around its surprising level of comfort, which Nissan doesn’t seem to have tampered with.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport should start arriving on dealer lots in the fall. Pricing should be nearly identical to the 2019 model year, with base versions showing up right around $23,000 after destination fees.

[Images: Nissan]

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2 of 27 comments
  • Maroon Maroon on Feb 08, 2019

    It just seems like they mailed it in with the engine. Ford and Honda can get ~160hp out of two liters of displacement. What about a small turbo? I know they'll sell a zillion, but to me gotta have more pah than that.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Feb 11, 2019

    This class of car---the compact-length, subcompact-width CUV---is really built for Europe, and is selling up a storm over there. I've driven a few of them on long road trips in their native habitat, including a Nissan Qashqai (aka Rogues Sport) diesel automatic in the UK and a Fiat 500x diesel manual in Spain. The Qashqai was surprisingly relaxing to drive; the 500x was surprisingly good to drive. I've driven the same cars in the US, and, well, no dice. For one thing, narrow cars mean narrow seats, and the tradeoff isn't worth it when you don't have to contend with country lanes. For another, the US-spec gas engines are as slow as the diesels, without the benefit of their fuel economy. I can see the Rogue Sport helping Nissan sell regular Rogues though.

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