Confirming previous reports, Nissan is bringing its European-market Qashqai crossover to the United States, but it’s ditching that hard-to-pronounce name. Say hello to the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.
While Rogue Sport is certainly easier to say than Qashqai, the renaming may also lead to a bit of confusion. The Rogue Sport looks very similar to the current Rogue, although it is somewhat smaller. It’s about a foot shorter than the Rogue, and 5 inches lower. However, the Rogue Sport is almost as wide as the Rogue, and its wheelbase is just 2.3 inches shorter.
The result is a crossover that’s a bit more compact than the non-Sport Rogue, but still decently practical, unlike the smaller Nissan Juke, which is more of a glorified subcompact hatchback. Nissan won’t discuss pricing, but Rogue Sport may fall somewhere between those two models. Whereas the larger Rogue is available in a three-row, seven-seat configuration, the Rogue Sport will be a five-seater only.
The sole powertrain option in the 2017 Rogue Sport is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, hooked to one of Nissan’s continuously-variable transmissions. It produces 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. The Sport rides on the same Common Modular Family platform as the larger Rogue, but perhaps carrying less bulk around will enliven the driving experience a bit more.
Like the exterior, the Rogue Sport’s interior closely follows the template of its big sibling. Notable standard features include Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free voice controls, a SiriusXM satellite radio receiver, a rearview camera, and Nissan’s Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant. An upgraded infotainment system with app suite and navigation, as well as remote engine start, are among the available options.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport debuts this week at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and goes on sale in the spring. We’ll find out if Nissan’s name game pays off then.