Let’s face facts: The Juke features some of the most controversial automotive styling cues since the Murano CrossCabriolet emerged in all its seafoam green glory a few years back. People either find the CUV to be adorable or are repulsed by its oddly sculpted front fascia and bubbly body. Fortunately, Nissan has just offered an alternative by unveiling a miniature version of the best-selling Rogue crossover at the North American International Auto Show.
Referred to as the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport, this downsized CUV crossover is “designed to expand the audience for Nissan’s top-selling Rogue crossover when it goes on sale this spring.” Known around the world as the Qashqai, this American version will be an important addition to the growing Rogue lineup.
Michael Bunce, vice president for Product Planning at Nissan North America says that because of its smaller dimensions and sporty maneuverability, “It’s ideal for singles or couples without kids – or empty nesters – who want a sportier vehicle and can live with a little less cargo capacity than the current Rogue offers.”
Featuring a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and a 12.1-inch shorter overall length than the full-size model, the Sport favors agility over volume. It’s also almost 5.5 inches shorter than the regular Rogue, has 2 inches less front row headroom, and cuts 4.5 inches of legroom and 5.2 inches of hip space from the second row.
Nissan has outfitted the Rogue Sport with what it calls an array of “helpful city adventure features,” and with up to 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space once the second row seat gets folded, storage shouldn’t be a problem here. Equip one with Nissan’s clever Divide-N-Hide Cargo System, and making room for life’s accouterments becomes even more of a cinch in this CUV.
Safety wise, the Rogue Sport can be outfitted with the automaker’s useful Around View Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD), and comes standard with many of the stability and braking systems found on other models in the lineup. Tack on the optional Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield technology suite and buyers get things like Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Forward Emergency Braking.
For now, this chassis will be offered with one powertrain combination only: A 141 horsepower 2.0-liter direct injected four-cylinder engine with an Xtronic transmission to generate 147 pound-feet of torque. We’d like to see the 215 horsepower motor out of the NISMO Juke RS as an option in the Rogue Sport, and remain optimistic that if buyer interest is high enough a performance version could someday emerge.
Appearance, All-Weather, Premium, and Platinum packages will also be available in order to allow buyers the ability to customize their rides, and with options like power moonroofs, 19-inch alloy wheels, and LED headlamps at the ready, the curb appeal of this crossover is undeniable. Slated to go on sale at dealers nationwide this spring, Nissan predicts that all S, SV, and SL models will catch on with buyers due to the overwhelming success of full-size Rogue.