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2020 Nissan Rogue Sport

$23,240 - $29,800
Price Range (MSRP)
Nissan Rogue Sport

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Review: Compact Capabilities At A Subcompact Price

by Morgan Carter

It is unusual for a manufacturer to present two vehicles that compete within the same segment, which makes the Nissan Rogue Sport a bit of a novelty. While it still falls within the subcompact category, it's a bit larger than the Nissan Kicks and benefits from quite a few elements drawn from the larger Rogue with which it shares a platform. Unfortunately, the powertrain is not among those benefits, with the Rogue Sport being powered by an only adequate four-cylinder engine that develops 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. But while rivals like the Hyundai Kona or Honda HR-V might have a bit more spring in their step, they can't offer as spacious a cabin or as much cargo capacity as the 'tweener Rogue Sport. It may cost a bit more than the average subcompact, but Nissan's unorthodox crossover is certainly worth your consideration.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Changes: What’s the difference vs 2019 Rogue Sport?

Six years into its current generation, the 2020 Rogue Sport undergoes minor changes for the new year. The hood, bumper, and V-Motion grille have all been updated, and the lighting elements have been redesigned to match those on the Rogue Sport's international counterpart, the Qashqai. Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver aids now comes standard across the range, as do the LED daytime running lights. Standard and available features have also been revised across the Rogue Sport trim levels.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious interior
  • High trunk capacity
  • Plenty of standard driver-assistance features
  • Available ProPilot Assist
  • Comprehensive and easy-to-use infotainment
  • Underwhelming powertrain
  • Best features only available on the top trim
  • Higher starting price than rivals

Rogue Sport Exterior

For the new year, the Nissan subcompact received a mild makeover to give it a more aggressive overall appearance. The hood has been completely redesigned with more graceful curves, while the front bumper juts out boldly. The V-Motion grille has also been touched up, and the head- and taillights have been redesigned to match those found on the international Nissan Qashqai. LED daytime running lights are also standard across the range. The base S trim gets 16-inch steel wheels, while the SV gets 17-inch alloys, and the SL gets the largest 19-inch alloys.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Front View Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Rear View Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Front Angle View Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

As a subcompact, the Rogue Sport doesn't have overly imposing dimensions, with an overall length of 172.8 inches and a diminutive 104.2-inch wheelbase. Still, it's a bit larger than some rivals like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul. It's also quite a bit heavier, weighing in at between 3,343 and 3,487 lbs, where the Kona starts at 2,890 lbs and the Soul at 2,802 lbs. While the Sport may be shorter than the regular Rogue, it's the same width at 72.3 inches. The Nissan Rogue Sport is also relatively tall at 62.5 inches high on the S model, while the other two trims stand 63.4 inches high.

Exterior Colors

The color palette for the SUV consists of nine colors across the three trims. The standard options include Magnetic Black Pearl and Glacier White, while the metallic options comprise Nitro Lime, Caspian Blue, Gun, and Brilliant Silver. The SV and SL can't be dressed in Glacier White, but they get Pearl White Tricoat in its stead. The premium paint palette is unlocked by paying an additional $395 and consists of Scarlet Ember Tintcoat and Monarch Orange Metallic, both of which are well worth the premium.

  • Nitro Lime Metallic
  • Magnetic Black Pearl
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Glacier White
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat
  • Monarch Orange Metallic
  • Caspian Blue Metallic
  • Pearl White Tricoat

Rogue Sport Performance

Subcompact SUVs are not generally known for their high-performance values, but Nissan's offering is so far from being athletic that tacking on the Sport name tag is almost laughable. Only 141 hp and 147 lb-ft are provided by the four-cylinder engine, and even when this is directed to all four wheels, instead of the standard front wheels, the Rogue Sport still takes almost ten seconds to work its way up to 60 mph from a standstill. The small crossover is certainly not designed to be a heavy hauler, but the manufacturer claims that it can safely tow up to 1,100 lbs. This is a bit lower than rivals like the Kia Soul, which can tow 1,200 lbs of braked weight.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Front Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Wheel Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Badge Nissan

Engine and Transmission

Only one engine is offered to power the Nissan Rogue Sport. The 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine develops 141 hp and 147 lb-ft for the front wheels as standard, although all-wheel-drive is available at every trim level. The powertrain comes mated to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Overall, the SUV has enough power to get around, but not with any degree of haste. Acceleration times are slow and the CVT isn't very assertive at higher speeds, as it struggles to find the correct power band for gaining speed when already on the move, so passing or merging on the highway will rely on patience and the goodwill of other drivers.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Sport title tagged on to the end of the Rogue's nameplate can be a bit misleading. This is not a crossover designed for thrill-seekers. The powertrain isn't truly underpowered, but the moment you apply any real pressure to the gas pedal, it runs out of steam. However, around town, you will seldom feel the need to draw on more than half of the engine's potential, so the average driver will probably never feel that the SUV is lacking. This changes on the highway, though.

Much like the powertrain, the steering seems designed with a focus on town driving. It is light and perhaps a bit too responsive at times, but this is ideal for quick maneuvers around congested city streets or packed parking lots. There is a little feedback, but you will still be thankful for the excellent visibility of the high seats to help you see exactly where the edges of the SUV are.

So long as you drive the Rogue Sport with a modicum of restraint, it should remain well-mannered on the road. Body lean is well-controlled, for the most part. Try to push the crossover's limits, however, and you will discover it suffers from excessive understeer. Most road abrasions are handled quite well by the suspension, but it's just a pity you can't option smaller wheels on the upper trims, as the 19-inch alloys hurt ride quality quite a bit.

Rogue Sport Gas Mileage

Despite its smaller size and lower weight, the Rogue Sport doesn't get the kind of fuel efficiency we would expect, with the larger Rogue achieving better figures. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the Rogue Sport gets 25/32/28 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. Upgrading to the all-wheel drivetrain sees those figures dip slightly to 24/30/27 mpg. By comparison, rival subcompacts like the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona get 28/34/30 mpg and 28/32/30 mpg, respectively, in FWD configuration. Equipped with a 14.5-gallon tank, the Nissan crossover can travel for up to 406 miles before needing to refuel.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 25/32 mpg
* 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport S FWD

Rogue Sport Interior

The interior of the Rogue Sport is perhaps its strongest selling point. The styling is muted but sophisticated, with a more traditional approach to design. The extra few inches in the exterior dimensions translate to an eminently spacious cabin for the segment, with more passenger and cargo space than almost any rival subcompact. And while not many comfort or convenience features come standard, they can be optioned on, while the standard safety suite is quite extensive as is. The controls are laid out in a user-friendly way, but the infotainment can be a bit tricky to learn at first.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Dashboard Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Central Console Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Door Handle Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Passenger space inside Nissan's subcompact crossover is among the best in the class, with competitive front headroom and unrivaled front legroom. The rear seats are just as generous with headroom, but legroom is quite a bit more restricted. Most adults should be able to fit in either row without too much trouble, but the rear seats would be better suited to those of smaller stature. The driver's seat offers six directions of manual adjustment as standard, although an eight-way power seat with lumbar support is standard on the upper trims. The front seats also get heating on the top-tier SL. The driver's seat is positioned quite high for a crossover, providing a commanding view of the road, while the abundance of standard and available driver-assistance features cover any possible shortcomings. Getting in and out of the SUV is extremely easy thanks to its low step-in height, but the higher seats mean you will have to pull yourself up a bit.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior of the Nissan Rogue Sport is well-made, and the choice of materials is far from low-grade. The entry-level S trim comes upholstered in cloth as standard, with Charcoal being the only color offered. This is upgraded to premium cloth on the SV, and Light Gray is added to the palette. The SV also gets access to the optional leatherette upholstery, which comes as part of the $2,580 Technology Package, but the color options are not expanded any further. The top-tier SL gets exclusive access to genuine leather upholstery, also in your choice of Charcoal or Light Gray. Additionally, color choices are restricted by certain exterior paint choices.

Rogue Sport Trunk and Cargo Space

While the Rogue Sport doesn't lead the segment when it comes to cargo capacity, it is certainly neck-and-neck with the best of the subcompacts. This can be accredited to the slightly larger dimensions of the crossover and its close relation to the more capable Rogue. Behind the rear seats on the base S, there is 22.9 cubic feet of space, while the upper trims get 20 cubic feet. If you can't fit your weekly grocery shopping in the trunk, you clearly have enough money to spare to afford a larger SUV. Still, this area can be expanded by folding the rear seats down in a 60/40 split, providing 61.1 cubic feet on the S and 53.3 cubic feet on the upper trims.

Small-item storage is pretty run-of-the-mill, with four cupholders and four bottle holders provided throughout the cabin. A passenger-side glove compartment comes standard and there is a storage bin within the center armrest. There are no bins or trays around the center console, but the door pockets are pretty generous.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Rear Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Side View Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Rear Bumper Nissan

Rogue Sport Infotainment and Features

Features

As a more affordable crossover, the Nissan Rogue Sport can seem relatively sparsely equipped, but it still gets more than you might expect. Even the base S model gets the complete Safety Shield 360 safety suite, which comprises forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, automatic rear braking, intelligent lane intervention, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The comfort and convenience features are a bit more spartan, though, with only air conditioning, cruise control, and a six-way manual driver's seat coming standard. There is a 12-volt power outlet and six cargo tie-downs are provided in the trunk as well. The mid-tier SV upgrades to an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, while adding dual-zone climate control and keyless ignition. The almost-luxurious SL gets upgraded adaptive cruise control and Nissan's patented ProPilot Assist. Comfort is improved by the heated seats and remote engine start, while a surround-view camera, traffic sign recognition, and a driver alertness system bolster the safety suite. Optional upgrades include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory, and a power sliding moonroof.

Infotainment

The infotainment suite on the subcompact SUV is pretty basic, but that also makes it relatively easy to navigate, once you get used to its unorthodox menu system. Still, the graphics are a bit dated and the screen is somewhat on the small side. The seven-inch touchscreen is supplemented by hard buttons to either side of the screen, and it comes equipped with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM as standard. The sound system comprises a four-speaker setup with standard AM/FM stereo, but a USB port and auxiliary input are available to connect your devices. The SV trim upgrades the sound system with an additional two speakers, while the top-tier SL enhances the touchscreen interface with additional software like built-in navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, and NissanConnect services, which includes Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. An eight-speaker Bose premium audio system can be optioned on the SL model.

Rogue Sport Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power has not given the 2020 Rogue Sport a dependability rating, but the 2019 score of 80 out of 100 should carry over unchanged. No recalls have been issued for the 2020 model, but the 2019 model was recalled for a faulty back-up camera that could increase the risk of crashing. Nissan offers a 36,000-mile/36-month limited warranty on new purchases, while the powertrain is covered for 60,000 miles/60 months.

Rogue Sport Safety

The NHTSA has only tested the 2020 Rogue Sport for rollover crashes, for which it received the same four-star rating that it did in 2019. The IIHS awards the subcompact a score of Good in three of its crash tests: small overlap front: driver-side, moderate overlap front, and side.

Key Safety Features

The standard safety offering on the Rogue Sport is quite extensive, especially now that Safety Shield 360 comes standard on every trim. Basic features include ABS, EBD, stability control, traction control, hill start assist, and eight airbags: dual front, front knee, front side, and side curtain. As mentioned, Safety Shield 360 comes standard and comprises blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision avoidance, automatic rear braking, pedestrian detection, and lane keeping assist. A rearview camera and rear sonar also come standard, while a surround-view camera, traffic sign detection, and a driver alertness system are all available.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport a good SUV?

There is a lot to like about the Rogue Sport, but it isn't all rainbows and sunshine. The subcompact is a bit bigger than its segment sibling, the Nissan Kicks, which gives it a more spacious interior, both for passengers and cargo. Only select rivals like the Kia Soul can boast a higher trunk capacity, but they lack the more upscale interior and comprehensive list of available features that can be found on the Nissan Rogue Sport.

Plenty of advanced safety features come standard on Nissan's subcompact, such as forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. It also gets the basic infotainment features you would expect, such as smartphone integration and available navigation. But all these semi-luxurious features come at a cost. Most people look to subcompacts for their excellent value, and while the Rogue Sport certainly does offer quite a fair number of features for a relatively reasonable price, it is still a lot more expensive than some rival subcompacts, like the $5k-cheaper Kia Soul. It also doesn't get particularly impressive mileage figures for the segment, and its handling dynamics are a mixed bag.

The Nissan Rogue Sport is an adequate performer in the segment, with some really standout features, but those who want the best deal for their limited money might be better served looking at some of the more affordable options on the market.

What's the Price of the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport?

The Nissan Rogue Sport has a higher starting price with its base model than most segment rivals; the S starts at $23,240, where the leading competitors try to stick around the $20k mark. Upgrading to the mid-tier SV is a modest step up in price to $24,750, while the top-of-the-range SL is quite a bit more expensive with its $28,450 price tag. All-wheel-drive can be added to any of the three trims for an additional cost of $1,350. These prices are MSRP and don't include tax, registration, licensing, or Nissan's $1,095 destination charge.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Models

The Nissan Rogue Sport range comprises three distinct trim levels: the S, SV, and SL. However, every trim comes with the same engine: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 141 hp and 147 lb-ft. Regulated by a continuously variable transmission, this power is transmitted to the front wheels on every model, although an all-wheel drivetrain is available.

The entry-level S model rides on 16-inch wheels and comes equipped with automatic halogen headlights and LED daytime running lights. Standard features include cruise control, a rearview camera, rear sonar, a five-inch driver information display, and Safety Shield 360, which includes forward collision avoidance, automatic reverse braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane keeping assist. The interior is upholstered in cloth and the driver's seat can be manually adjusted in six directions. A seven-inch touchscreen comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, and a four-speaker sound system.

The wheels are upgraded to 17-inch alloys on the SV, and roof rails are installed as standard. The interior comes upholstered in premium cloth and an eight-way power driver's seat with two-way lumbar is provided. Dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and a six-speaker sound system are all standard features.

The top-tier SL gets the largest 19-inch alloy wheels as well as a premium leather interior with heated front seats, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving is a standard feature, which works in concert with the adaptive cruise control. A surround-view camera, a driver alertness system, and traffic sign recognition expand the safety offering, while remote engine start improves convenience. Navigation and SiriusXM Traffic are installed on the infotainment suite, along with NissanConnect Services.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$22,340
SV
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,140
SL
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,060
See All 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

As a subcompact SUV, the Rogue Sport doesn't offer a plethora of customization options. Nevertheless, several packages and standalone accessories are available. The Technology Package ($2,580) for the SV trim adds fog lights, a driver alertness system, and a surround-view camera, while the interior is upholstered in leatherette and the front seats and steering wheel gain heating. The driver's seat also gets memory functions and remote engine start improves convenience. The Premium Package ($2,280) for the SL sees LED headlights replace the standard fare, with supplementary fog lights installed underneath. A power sliding moonroof is installed in the roof and a Bose premium sound system improves the infotainment. A four-way passenger seat is made available, the driver's seat gets memory functions, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is equipped. Notable standalone options include dual rear USB ports ($80), illuminated kick plates ($410), and roof rail crossbars ($355), although the latter is not offered on the S.

What Nissan Rogue Sport Model Should I Buy?

Despite being slightly more expensive than class-leading rivals, the Nissan Rogue Sport is still a highly affordable crossover, with even the top-tier SL coming in below $30k. So, unless you are truly strapped for cash, we would suggest aiming for the top to get the premium features and options that are only available to the SL, such as the handy surround-view camera, the high-tech ProPilot Assist system, and the available power moonroof if you want an extra splash of panache. If you can't afford the $5k price hike over the base S model, you can still feel confident in your and your family's safety thanks to Safety Shield 360 coming standard on every model, and the base infotainment suite featuring all the essentials, too.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Comparisons

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Nissan
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Honda

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport vs Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is the compact sibling to the subcompact Rogue Sport. As such, it's bigger and better in just about every way. Under the hood of the larger SUV is another four-cylinder engine, but it develops 170 hp and 175 lb-ft, giving the Rogue a bit more kick than its family member. Surprisingly enough, this powertrain is also more fuel-efficient, getting 26/33/29 mpg in its front-wheel-drive guise. Add to this the much larger cargo capacity of 39.3 - 70 cubic feet, and the more utilitarian vehicle seems obvious. Yes, you do have to pay more for the larger Rogue, with a starting MSRP of $25,300, but it's a minor price hike for so much extra everything. There are certainly better compact SUVs out there, but between these two crossovers, the larger Rogue is better value for money.

See Nissan Rogue Review

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport vs Honda HR-V

A year older than the Nissan Rogue Sport, the Honda HR-V is still going strong in the market. Similarly powered, with a four-cylinder engine developing 141 hp and 127 lb-ft, the HR-V is about $2k cheaper than Nissan SUV. Don't let this fool you into thinking it is lower-quality, though. The Honda crossover is well-appointed, especially at the higher trim levels, where it still manages to remain below the $30k mark. It doesn't get smartphone integration on the entry-level trim, which is a bit unfortunate, but the HR-V offers quite a bit more cargo space and it gets a few more miles to the gallon than the Rogue Sport at 28/34/30 mpg with front-wheel-drive. To be honest, this is a fairly close match-up, and the winner will most likely come down to personal taste and brand loyalty. We, however, feel the HR-V is more practical for less money.

See Honda HR-V Review

Nissan Rogue Sport Popular Comparisons