With smaller exterior dimensions, a 200-lb (91-kg) mass reduction and unique chassis tuning, the 2017 Rogue Sport crossover utility is a variant of Nissan’s top-selling U.S. model. Called the Qashqai in Canada and other markets, the vehicle is based on Nissan's CMF-CD platform.
“For ride, handling, steering, NVH and quality, the Rogue Sport is close to a circle on a spider chart; it’s a very well-rounded vehicle,” said Bruce Robinson, Senior Project Engineer for Vehicle Performance Development-CBU at the Nissan Technical Center North America in Stanfield, Arizona.
The Rogue Sport's primary engineering work was done in Japan and suspension tuning and steering calibrations were handled by Robinson's NTCNA team. They changed the base tuning that came from Japan.
"We wanted a little bit lighter steering effort for parking and city driving and a more on-center, stiffer steering feel for highway driving,” Robinson told Automotive Engineering at an April media ride-and-drive program in Nashville, TN. Rogue Sport features electric power steering with a Sport mode that's not offered on the conventional Rogue.
Rogue Sport is approximately 200-lb lighter than Rogue, due in part to the vehicle's smaller body. Its 104.2-in (2647 mm) wheelbase, 172.4-in (4379 mm) length, 72.3-in (1836 mm) width, and 62.5-in (1588 mm) height for the front-drive model make for a more compact vehicle. Both Rogues ride on the same Common Module Family platform and are available with FWD or all-wheel drive.
A 2.0-L inline 4-cylinder (MR20DE) delivers a claimed 141 hp (105 kW) at 6000 rpm and 147 lb·ft at 4400 rpm. That same engine powers the hybrid-electric Rogue, which uses a 30 kW (40 hp) electric machine for a combined system rating of 176 hp (131 kW). Rogue Sport’s engine mates with a JATCO-supplied Xtronic CVT with eco mode switch and sport-mode shifter.
Smaller exterior dimensions on Rogue Sport mean reduced cargo space versus the Rogue and its available third-row seating. With second row seat upright, Rogue Sport has up to 22.9 ft3 of stow space, compared to Rogue’s 32 ft3. With second row seat folded, Rogue Sport has up to 61.1 ft3 of storage versus Rogue’s 70 ft3.
Rogue Sport goes on sale in the U.S. on May 17 in three trim levels with a $21,420 MSRP for the base FWD model. The base AWD model is $22,770.