By on February 7, 2019

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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27 Comments on “2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Puts Its Best Face Forward...”

  • avatar

    I’m glad this car exists so I know who to avoid.

    • 0 avatar
      open country

      Nearly spit out my coffee, haha.

      If you want to decrease your likelihood of an accident, just stay far away from the 3 year old Altima with scuffs on all corners and a “Drive Time” license plate frame.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    A few years ago I drove a Qashqai when I was in Corsica. It was the mid-00’s version sized a tad larger than a Rouge but smaller than a Murano. It was quite capable on the rough rural roads there with the full time AWD.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    They advertise these pieces of underwhelming rubbish on TV in Canada all the time. “The power of an SUV” is one of the lines.

    You’d have to be a typical Nissan customer, oblivious to the world in general, to fall for that line. The power of an SUV? Let’s all have a belly-laugh!

    So devoid of power is this thing that Motor Trend found it incapable of spinning the wheels to get out of two inches of sand. It just sat there and mooed and had to be towed.

    People who buy these Qashqai/Rogue Sports get exactly what they deserve. Nothing useful whatsoever.

  • avatar

    But will we still get a manual in Canada?

  • avatar

    Too bad, it would be nice ride with manual transmission

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Nissan fills an important niche with these products.
    The Rogue and its offshoots are generally relatively quiet, stable, provide the requisite high ride height and ground clearance and generally are less expensive, yet slightly larger than their competitions offerings.

    And based on sales figures, the public obviously agrees.

  • avatar

    like the greenhouse.

    They havnt “GM ed” the “C to D” pillar area. (IE- looks like there is a window there from the outside. but from the drivers seat. HA HA HA you are BLIND!)

    • 0 avatar

      I m wrong.

      Tiny window.

      Buy I did like the taller windows.

      And I guess, that is what i m anal about. I need to see out of my frigging car.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I’m stuck in a loaner 2016 Cadillac ATS this week. Not only is there no back-up camera, but there’s also no blind spot as well, and between the gun slit windows and thick C pillar it’s always a Hail Mary changing lanes. The mirrors aren’t that big. Not sure why a “premium” brand is selling a car without a camera or BSD…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’d say the industry as a whole is pretty responsible for that trend, not just GM. But if I had to pick a worst-offender, it would probably be Toyota, especially with the Lexus models.

      It also makes the Kia Sportage endearing. It doesn’t even *pretend* to have quarter-panel side windows.

  • avatar

    I work part time at a local hotel in the parking lot, just in the actual parking done.
    I see so many Nissan Rogues (most of them painted the insidious gray metallic).
    Never driven one but that front grill is just a complete eyesore for me.

  • avatar

    “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.”

    What’s so “sporty” about that? Nope

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I actually think the Rogue Sport wears handsome, athletic proportions—especially as compared to its more-upright Rogue big brother. It’s definitely the sweet-spot between the dorky-looking Kicks and the big Rogue.

  • avatar

    After the RAV4 the Rogue is the best selling vehicle in its class. Nissan’s has a styling edge over Toyota.

  • avatar

    When will Nissan feed us the leftover Navarra? Frontier is older than a fruitcake.

  • avatar

    The stupidly driven vehicle in the traffic pattern is always a Rogue. Not a prius, or Grand Marquis, or a vape propelled slammed something….nope, a Rogue. Bonus points for tinted windows and those huge chrome bash bars…

  • avatar

    I still have trouble differentiating between the various Nissan crossovers. I can only tell the difference when various models are sitting next to each other. Even then, I couldn’t tell you which size belongs to which nameplate.

    It’s like Nissan took the smallest one (whatever that is) and just kept pumping various amounts of air into it to make it bigger and bigger.

    I know the grille / front end is supposed to show some corporate identity, but this is getting ridiculous.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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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