2018 Nissan Rogue Sport

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport Review

A roomy cabin and impressive cargo space make it a good choice if utility is a priority.
6.8 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

With increased demand for crossovers, Nissan has parlayed the success of its larger Rogue into the smaller 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport. It seats five passengers, offers good cargo space, and has a lower profile and sleeker look than its counterpart. Alongside competitors such as the Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3, the Rogue Sport offers innovative tech and driver assistance features to help it stand out.

Despite its size and entry-level spot in Nissan's SUV lineup, the 2018 Rogue Sport offers a lot of cargo capacity for the class, plus available safety features that include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and a surround-view camera. Few other subcompacts can be so roundly equipped.

But while its virtues are impressive, the Rogue Sport is outrun — literally — by its faster Honda and Mazda rivals, and it also struggles to deliver the refinement of other competitors. Overall, we think the Rogue Sport is a good choice if utility is a priority, but it's worth considering some of the more well-rounded choices in the class.



What's new for 2018

Some features are shuffled between trims, and the power liftgate is no longer available. Otherwise, the Nissan Rogue Sport carries over into 2018 unchanged.

We recommend

The SV sits in the middle of the Rogue Sport model range and it's the one we recommend. It comes with an upgraded sound system, dual-zone climate control and push-button start, but can also be equipped with extras such as a 7-inch touchscreen, a surround-view parking camera system, and navigation. Instead of the SL's larger 19-inch wheels, the SV comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, which improve ride quality.



Trim levels & features

The new 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV with three trim levels: S, SV and SL. The S trim is pretty basic but SV and SL get some desirable upgrades. All Rogue Sport trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (141 horsepower, 147 pound-feet of torque) and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is optional.

Note that standard equipment for the Rogue Sport can vary slightly depending on when it was built. The following information is for the so-called 2018.5 Rogue Sport; Rogue Sports built earlier in the model year lack some of the driver safety aids that Nissan added as standard equipment to the 2018.5.

Standard feature highlights for the S include 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats that slide and recline, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 5-inch infotainment display, Siri Eyes Free iPhone control, and a four-speaker CD player with a USB input and satellite radio. Also included is blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning with automatic braking.

The Rogue Sport's SV trim adds a few creature comforts and upgrades such as 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, a cargo management system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver's seat and a six-speaker audio system.

The top-of-the-line SL trim includes 19-inch wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, remote start, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen, a surround-view camera system, NissanConnect emergency and convenience telematics, and a navigation system.

Seventeen-inch wheels are available for base models via the S Appearance package, and most of the SL's standard features, such as heated seats and upgraded navigation/multimedia, are optional for SV trims in the SV Technology package.

The SL Premium package adds a sunroof, LED headlights, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a Nissan Rogue Sport SV (2.0L inline-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall6.8 / 10

Driving

6.5 / 10

Acceleration5.0 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering6.0 / 10
Handling7.0 / 10
Drivability6.5 / 10

Comfort

6.5 / 10

Seat comfort6.5 / 10
Ride comfort6.5 / 10
Noise & vibration6.0 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Driving position7.0 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage6.5 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

7.0 / 10

Audio & navigation6.5 / 10
Smartphone integration6.5 / 10
Driver aids8.0 / 10
Voice control7.0 / 10

Driving6.5

Don't expect a sporty driving experience with the incongruously named Rogue Sport. This is one of the slowest vehicles in its class. Around turns, it is stable but does little to inspire driver enthusiasm.

Acceleration5.0

Passing maneuvers require a lot of planning. Acceleration is a long, arduous process even when the accelerator is pressed to the floor. Other compact crossovers are slow, but this is one of the most lethargic we've tested. Zero to 60 mph takes 10.2 seconds.

Braking7.5

Sound, predictable braking. The pedal effort is just right, and the brakes respond intuitively around town. Braking performance at our test track was decent, with the Rogue Sport stopping from 60 mph in 115 feet.

Steering6.0

There's little joy in this vague and lifeless steering even if it is a bit tighter than the standard Rogue. The steering weight is on the heavy side with a slow return to center and an artificial feel. Plus, the flat-bottom steering wheel is a strange choice in a subcompact crossover.

Handling7.0

Handling is tidy and acceptable, but don't be fooled by its Sport badge. It's relatively flat through corners and has modest limits; the all-season tires squeal readily on curvy roads. It has good maneuverability in traffic and tight quarters due to its smaller-than-Rogue size.

Drivability6.5

The continuously variable automatic transmission makes for smooth progress (no shift shock). There's still some elastic-like lag and rpm variability, as with all CVTs, but it's better than past efforts. The modest power means that getting onto the highway takes a lot of throttle input and planning.

Comfort6.5

A mixed bag of good attributes and areas that could be better. Ride quality is decent until the pavement gets bumpy. Climate control is effective, but the midlevel SV seats don't distinguish themselves. Engine noise is more prominent than we'd like, though the cabin otherwise filters out noise well.

Seat comfort6.5

Despite adjustable lumbar support, the front seats' flat and overly soft bottom cushions aren't cut out for long trips. The side bolsters do a good job of holding you in place through corners, but we suggest the higher trim level SL's well-padded seats if given the choice.

Ride comfort6.5

The standard 17-inch wheels allow for a lot of tire sidewall, which absorbs some small road imperfections, but the Rogue Sport's stiff suspension translates into a rough ride over most city streets. Highway ride comfort is acceptable for the class but stiff compared to the standard Rogue.

Noise & vibration6.0

Road and wind noise is reasonably well-suppressed, but engine noise is prominent when merging onto the highway. The six-speaker audio system rattled significantly at 70 percent of max volume.

Climate control7.5

Air conditioning is very cold in the Rogue Sport. Setting the system to 74 degrees feels like more like 68 degrees. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on the midlevel SV trim as are rear center-console vents. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are optional.

Interior7.5

The cabin is roomy and easy to get into and out of, and the fundamentals work well. Forward visibility is solid and the front seat spacious. Four adults can fit with surprising ease, though as with much of the competition, backseat legroom is limited.

Ease of use7.0

The easy-to-see controls on the dashboard mean you can execute infotainment commands with relative simplicity if you rely on the dashboard. The steering wheel buttons, however, are small and hard to see, so they'll take some additional getting used to.

Getting in/getting out7.0

Thanks to relatively tall doors and a low step-over height, you can slide in and out of the front or the back seat with minimal head-duck. This is a strength of the subcompact crossover class and an area where the Rogue Sport does well.

Driving position7.0

The tilt-and-telescoping wheel might be positioned a bit low for some drivers, but it's not a deal-breaker. The six-way power-adjustable driver's seat has good range for the driver. Whatever your position, the dashboard controls seem far away.

Roominess8.0

On par with the Honda HR-V, the Rogue Sport has generous headroom in both the front and rear seat. As per class averages, legroom is limited but still roomy enough for adults in all four main seating positions.

Visibility7.5

A large windshield, low dashboard and relatively small dashboard pillars afford good forward visibility. The tall windows allow for wide visibility and blind-spot warning (optional) works well.

Quality6.5

Most of the interior plastics are hard but aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, when you look a bit closer, the glossy piano-black trim looks slightly cheap and collects dust and smudges easily. But the cabin felt well-assembled, and there were no noticeable rattles or squeaks.

Utility7.5

The Rogue Sport has above-average cargo space, especially when the back seat is folded. Cabin storage is about average, with the usual assortment of bins and cubbies. Car seats are accommodated at the outboard positions, though the front seats need to move forward for rearward-facing car seats.

Small-item storage6.5

Two cupholders in front are complemented by skinny, long door pockets and a medium-size center console. Rear-seat door storage is a little smaller than we'd like, almost too small for a small water bottle.

Cargo space8.0

There's more cargo space in the Rogue Sport than what you'll find in other pint-size crossovers. With rear seats down, it offers 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space. Behind the rear seats, the Rogue Sport has 19.9 cubic feet.

Child safety seat accommodation

Two sets of lower LATCH points and three upper tether points on the back of the seats are standard for the class, as is the relatively limited space for child seats. Two relatively compact seats will fit well, but putting in three or installing larger infant seats will be tough.

Technology7.0

The Rogue Sport's available driver aids help it score high in this category. The 360-degree camera and rear cross-traffic alert systems are rare at this price point. But device integration, audio quality and center-screen resolution are weak links in the system.

Audio & navigation6.5

Audio controls are relatively simple and include two tactile knobs that control volume and track scrolling. The optional six-speaker stereo distorts sound at an unreasonably low volume. Nav gives good audio directions, but the screen is small, low-res and distant. Reading the map is tough.

Smartphone integration6.5

In subcompact SUV territory, you won't find many vehicles that offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the Rogue Sport is no exception. Our test car was equipped with Siri Eyes Free, and it worked well. Only one USB port limits the number of devices that can charge or connect at one time.

Driver aids8.0

he Rogue Sport's surround-view camera, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert systems are rare in the subcompact SUV class, and all worked well in our testing.

Voice control7.0

NissanConnect voice controls (optional) allow for commands that change radio stations, select songs via iPod, or find a navigation destination. In our tests, controls were relatively simple in structure and understood our voice commands without many repeated attempts.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.