Good thing it still has two more small crossovers to pick up the sales slack.
Nissan brought its popular Qashqai crossover from Europe to the US market for the 2017 model year, but since the Japanese automaker didn't think Americans could pronounce the name (pronounced cash-kai), it was changed to Rogue Sport. We thought when Nissan announced an all-new Qashqai last year that the same upgrades would trickle across the Atlantic for the 2023 Nissan Rogue Sport. But we were wrong.
Automotive News obtained a dealer letter saying that Rogue Sport production will end in December of this year. "With the all-new Rogue and recently redesigned Kicks, we will continue to cover this part of [the] market effectively," says Nissan Vice President Scott Shirley in the document.
In the time since it introduced the Rogue Sport as a sub-compact option below the hot-selling Rogue, Nissan also started selling the Kicks, an even smaller sub-compact model with a lower starting price. Since Rogue Sport sales are counted with the larger Rogue, it's impossible to tell by what margin the Kicks outsells it. Nissan sold 82,960 units of the Kicks through 2021 compared to 285,602 Rogues (Rogue and Rogue Sport). The Kicks starts at just $19,990, while the Rogue Sport is significantly pricier at $24,960. The Rogue Sport does produce more power (141 horsepower versus 122 hp), but its platform is old, especially compared to the new Rogue.
By kicking the Rogue Sport to the curb, Nissan can focus on higher-selling, more profitable models. "We are also able to invest more resources in our current vehicle lifecycles and next-generation products," Shirley said.
According to a Nissan dealer (who wanted to remain anonymous), the Kicks will fill the role left by the Rogue Sport. "We can get more bang for our buck with the Kicks, especially since it's going all-wheel-drive," the dealer said. This is news to us, since the current Kicks is only available with front-wheel-drive. The addition will supposedly come with a full redesign in 2024, which will make the Kicks longer and wider. By making the Kicks larger and adding AWD, Nissan will make the Rogue Sport irrelevant in the lineup.
While we aren't sad to see the Rogue Sport go, it's a shame because the updated Qashqai looks fairly impressive. It uses a tiny 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with mild-hybrid assist, producing up to 156 hosrsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Alternatively, Nissan sells the Qashqai with its e-Power system, which uses a 1.5-liter gas engine to charge up the batteries in a series hybrid setup. Total output is a healthy 187 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, e-Power has been a non-starter in the US market.
Nissan says Rogue Sport sales will last through 2023 until all available inventory is sold. The Maxima sedan is also on the chopping block and the Titan pickup truck could be next.