By Larry Lark / Herald Special Sections Writer
It’s time to go Rogue! Many people already have, as the Rogue passed Altima as Nissan’s top-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year.
My tester was the Rogue Sport SL AWD, to be exact. Which is an extension of the Rogue lineup. It comes in S, SV and SL trim levels – each with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
“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. “While we expect Rogue to continue to appeal to owners with young families, Rogue Sport fills a need for singles and couples who want more space and versatility than the average sedan for everyday urban use and social activities.”
The Sport, which seats five adults, was just big enough to accommodate four golf bags in its rear cargo hold on a recent trip to Suncadia and Rope Rider Golf Course. The interior, while not expansive, again, was big enough.
And the Rogue more than made up the difference with comfortable leather seating, power moonroof, navigation, rear-view camera, dual-zone climate control and a premium sound system that plays compact discs, iPods via USB port, satellite radio or via you phone and available apps.
Every Rogue Sport comes equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, DOHC,16-valve inline four-cylinder engine rated at 141 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 147 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine features a direct-injection gas system, twin CVTC (continuously variable valve timing control) on both intake and exhaust, and an 11.2:1 compression ratio. The engine is matched with an Xtronic automatic transmission with standard Eco Mode switch.
There was plenty of power, even with the Rogue loaded down and climbing grade ascending Snoqualmie Pass. It also provided great visibility and nimble handling around sometimes thick traffic.
Rogue Sport also performed well off-road, meeting the challenge of potholes, switchbacks and steep hills near Oso to tour a “Hot Property” home for review. I secretly wished the dirt had been rain-soaked, but oh well.
Behind the 60/40 second-row seat is up to 22.9 cu. ft. of cargo space (up to 61.1 cu. ft. with the second-row seat folded down), accessible through the wide rear door. The new Rogue Sport also offers the innovative Divide-N-Hide Cargo System (SV and SL grades). Included as standard on all grades are a cargo area cover and six luggage hooks (four floor, two side).
Rogue Sport, like Rogue, also offers an extensive list of advanced Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield technologies. The list includes available radar-based blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, forward emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-departure prevention. Forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection is also available.
Add Rogue to the list of compact SUVs worthy of your consideration. I would advise doing your due diligence, test-driving several, and choosing the manufacturer that best meets your family’s specific wants and needs.
Base Price: $27,420
Price As Driven: $31,105
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealership.