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2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Review

  • Good safety tech
  • Low price
  • Pleasant styling
  • Far from sporty
  • Slow acceleration
  • Cramped back seat
  • All 2020 Nissan Rogue Sports come with active safety gear and smartphone integration, so the best value may be the cheapest model.
The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is a good value, but it’s light on performance.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is a handsome, value-oriented crossover SUV equipped with an unusual amount of features designed to keep. While not sporty as its name would imply, its combination of features, value, and style warrant a rating of 5.2 out of 10 overall.

That rating will change once the 2020 Rogue Sport is crash tested. 

For 2020, the Rogue Sport has new bumper and wheel designs and its S, SV, and SL trim levels now include standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high-beam headlights. Adaptive cruise control is an option on higher trims.

The new front and rear fascias, sharper LED daytime running lights, and new wheel designs up to 19 inches in diameter are joined by orange and lime green paint hues.

In a betrayal of its name, the Rogue Sport isn’t particularly sporty, featuring a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 141 horsepower with either front- or all-wheel-drive. The only transmission available is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and at 27 mpg combined, the Rogue Sport is not as frugal as its modest power might suggest

Slotting between the smaller Kicks and the larger Rogue, the Rogue Sport is best for two people up front with decent cargo room in the back. The second row is cramped, but suitable for children on a regular basis. The front seats are comfortable for extended periods of time but lack power adjustment on all but the top trim.
Last year, the Nissan Rogue Sport managed only four stars overall in the federal government government’s test, largely due to its four-star frontal and rollover crash ratings. Since 2020 results haven’t yet been released, we’ll reserve judgement, but the addition of standard active tech is a positive.

At around $24,000 to start and including a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the Rogue Sport is well-equipped in comparison to competitors. Topping out at over $30,000, the Rogue Sport SL adds leather upholstery, power seats, heated front seats, navigation, premium audio, a surround-view camera, and more, and a power moonroof and LED headlights can be had for an additional cost.

Though somewhat of a wallflower, styling tweaks make the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport sharper.

Nissan plays it safe and sleek with the design of the 2020 Rogue Sport, which doesn’t stand out but has pleasant enough proportions. We give it 5 out of 10 for styling.

Sharp LED running lights and big wheels can work wonders for a design, and the 2020 refresh of the Rogue Sport proves this. The V-shaped grille is a handsome signature, and fully-loaded in SL trim with 19-inch wheels makes this pint-sized economy crossover look almost luxury-worthy. Then again, it should for about $30,000.

Upon closer inspection however, especially inside, this car’s budget positioning is more obvious. Its dashboard is plain and light on style.

Though its name may imply otherwise, there’s nothing particularly sporty about the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport fails to deliver on the latter half of its name in the performance department. For its lack of grunt and noisy engine and transmission combination, we give it 3 out of 10. 

All Rogue Sport models are powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 141 hp and 147 pound-feet of torque mated to a CVT.

Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is optional, but even with the extra grip of two more driven wheels, the Rogue Sport is nobody’s idea of “swift.” On the highway, the CVT makes for passing maneuvers that are noisy and tedious, but in urban driving the Rogue Sport is decently peppy.

Most models wear 17-inch wheels deliver a soft ride, and while they look cool, the top-tier 19-inch wheels are just too much rim and too little tire for this small vehicles. Fully-equipped SL models are too harsh in the ride department for our tastes.

At just 7.4-inches of ground clearance, this is no off-roader, but none in the segment can claim to be a trail-basher minus the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and the Subaru Crosstrek.

Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport offers more space than a comparable sedan, just not necessarily in the passenger department.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport offers decent cargo room but is best suited for two adults and their children. We give it 6 out of 10 for comfort and quality, with points above average for its decently spacious cargo area and comfy front seats and one dialed back for its cramped second row.

Nissan makes some of the best front seats in the business, and the Rogue Sport is no exception. Whether cloth- or leather-adorned, the Rogue Sport is plenty comfortable for the front two occupants on long drives, though power-adjustable and heated seats are only available at the top of the range.

The rear seat, however, only offers 33 inches of legroom, making it suitable only for shorter adults or children over longer distances. With 20 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat, the Rogue Sport can hall more stuff than the average midsize sedan, and 53 cubes with the rear seats folded flat is nothing to shake a stick at.

In SV and SL trims, the Rogue Sport include a system that allows the load floor to be divided to store small objects. Hardly life-changing stuff, but it is handy for storing items prone to rolling around the cargo area after grocery trips.

Though its sheet metal is sharp, the Rogue Sport leaves something to be desired in the material quality department, with cheap plastics and hollow surfaces throughout. There’s not much improvement in stepping up the trim ladder either, so skip the Rogue SL in favor of lower trims unless you must have leather.

While updated scores haven’t been released, the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport has a checkered crash test history.

Full data is not available for the updated model yet, but what we can learn from the 2020 Nissan Rogue’s crash tests last year doesn’t look good. Without full information we can’t give it a score yet, but the addition of active safety technology as standard is a good sign.

The refreshed Rogue Sport hasn’t been smashed against any walls just yet, but in 2019 the federal government gave it only four stars overall, while the IIHS has never fully tested the Rogue Sport. Thankfully, Nissan has added active safety technology as standard this year, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Adaptive cruise control is also available on upper tier models but not the base Rogue Sport S and is not included in its otherwise extensive list of now-standard features.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is well-equipped across the range for the price and made even better thanks to new standard features.

While pricing data hasn’t been released, the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport offers solid standard features for a price that should start around $24,000. That’s enough to warrant 7 out of 10 on our scale thanks to its safety gear and smartphone integration.

The Rogue Sport is available in S, SV, and SL, and both price and standard features climb as you move up the range. Base S models have 16-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, cloth upholstery, and a (nearly) full suite of active safety tech. Larger 17-inch wheels are available as an option, and all-wheel-drive costs $1,350 extra on every trim level.

The SV model adds a few additional comforts, while the top-tier SL tacks on leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, premium audio, 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition, a surround-view camera, satellite navigation, and dual-zone climate control for a fully-loaded price of over $30,000 with all-wheel drive.
We suggest skipping the SL and opting for an S or SV with all-wheel drive, as the base and mid-tier models are well-equipped and offer increased ride comfort thanks to smaller wheels at a price less than $30,000.

While Nissan’s infotainment system is more sluggish than competitors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility make the experience better, and the Rogue Sport worth considering as they are standard equipment.

Fuel Economy
The 2020 Nissan Rogue is reasonably frugal.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport hasn’t hit dealers just yet, so fuel economy testing is incomplete. If the numbers are similar to 2019, however, expect slightly above-average economy compared to rivals. For now, we rate it at 5 out of 10 with the plan to update this as soon as it’s tested by the EPA.

Last year, the front-wheel-drive Rogue Sport managed 25 mpg city, 32 highway, and 28 combined from its frugal inline-4 and CVT, which is slightly less than the Subaru Crosstrek and about on-par with the Ford EcoSport. All-wheel-drive drops those figures to 24/30/27 mpg, but the Rogue Sport uses regular gasoline so the annual fuel cost is a relatively low $1,450-$1,500.

View my Flipboard Magazine.



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