2014 Nissan Rogue: Hard To Find Sport Mode
April 9, 2014
This is the "sport" mode button in our 2014 Nissan Rogue. It's buried on the left side of the steering wheel along with a half dozen other auxiliary controls. Seems like an odd placement for a control like this. It's almost as if Nissan doesn't want you to know it's there.
Like most sport buttons, it's designed to give the vehicle a livelier feel by adjusting the throttle settings and transmission shift points. Because of that, it also reduces the fuel mileage, so I can see why Nissan might want to keep it a secret.
Since the Rogue has a Continuously Variable Transmission with no gears, I was curious how much difference it would make. Turns out, it's subtle but noticeable. The throttle definitely reacts more quickly to inputs, but it's not overly jumpy. As far as the transmission goes, the Rogue's CVT simulates gear changes to make it feel more natural, so in sport mode it merely changes its simulated shift points.
It's most noticeable when getting on the freeway under full throttle for an extended period of time. Like a standard automatic, the Rogue's CVT merely holds its simulated gears longer to wring the most out of the four-cylinder engine. It's actually quite effective as it gets up to highway speeds quickly. I definitely prefer the feel in sport mode, although the tradeoff in fuel mileage might not be enough of a tradeoff.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 2,324 miles