The Nissan Rogue Sport is back for another model year, standing in as the brand’s smaller and sportier sibling to the popular Rogue. Hoping to appeal to a different set of drivers, the smaller 2020 Rogue Sport is supposed to stand out in the subcompact SUV segment as a zippier, more entertaining to drive option. But what the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport gets right may not be enough to cover up what it got wrong.
The best part about the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport? It’s got serious style
Without even needing to look under the hood, one thing can certain about the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport: it looks great. According to Motor1, the 2020 “Rogue Sport is a good-looking machine.” Its exterior styling includes a V-shaped front grille, angular headlights, and great accents that give it an aggressive and sporty appearance. Nissan also updated the Rogue Sport’s wheel arches and back end for a more modern look.
On the inside, the Rogue Sport’s design is not just nicely finished, but versatile as well. Although smaller than the compact Rogue, every inch of space is designed thoughtfully. There are 60/40 split-folding seats in the rear, as well as “Divide-N-Hide” panels in the cargo area that allow for “tiered loading.”
Additional standard features on the inside include a capable 7-inch touchscreen and infotainment system, as well as an array of convenience features like Bluetooth compatibility and voice recognition.
The new Nissan Rogue Sport looks nice, but here’s what’s wrong with it
Most experts agreed that looking at the Nissan Rogue Sport is pleasant, but driving it may not be as nice. The same Motor1 experts chastise Nissan for the model’s “bland driving dynamics,” especially considering the sporty purpose of the SUV. Its four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) provide “zero excitement whatsoever.”
Aside from being bland and not that fun to drive, its acceleration is also relatively depressing. According to Edmunds, acceleration in the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is a “concern,” leaving it a little less zippy than it should be. And while Nissan certainly spent time on the look of the interior, the model’s ride comfort can be “unduly harsh,” with “not-so-supportive” seats.
But the downsides don’t stop there. The price of the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport isn’t just slacking among the competition, but downright confusing. According to U.S. News, the new Rogue Sport comes with “above average prices for the class,” with the base model starting out at around $23,000.
Prices for the all-wheel-drive variant and also the top trim, start out at around $29,000. Of course, additional packages and options bring the possible cost up to more than $32,000.
Is the 2020 model’s style enough to make it a good buy?
The Rogue Sport’s styling isn’t the only benefit to owning one. In addition to looking great, it comes with features you’d expect from the Nissan brand. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking and lane departure prevention. Additional features like adaptive cruise control and lane-centering come standard in upper trims. The subcompact SUV also comes with Nissan’s impressive warranty.
But the very reason you may want the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is the very reason you should stay away from it. It’s meant to appeal to younger drivers that want a fun, exciting vehicle that’s still versatile enough for the daily grind. Unfortunately for Nissan, the Rogue Sport nails the “sporty” look, but not the “sporty” drive.
With a less-than-powerful engine, uncomfortable ride, poor acceleration, and a hefty price tag on top of it all, this subcompact SUV may become Nissan’s least desirable vehicle of the year.