The answer is C). And also D), a Nissan subcompact crossover. For Americans, however, it was rebranded as the 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport because, well, that apparently was just easier for us. Do you think a tribe in Iran wonders why a car was named after it? They should ask the Touareg.
The Qashqai has been a hit overseas for years, especially in Great Britain, but it first came to our shores a few months ago, when our John Beltz Snyder did our first drive review. He liked it. We’ve had a couple of opportunities to drive a Rogue Sport since then. Here’s what’s it’s like to spend more time in it:
Managing Editor Greg Rasa: During a week with the Rogue Sport, I rediscovered a simple pleasure that had been lost in the big-SUV era — the ability to fit in a parking space with ample room on all sides. No squeezing, just open the door and step on out.
The cargo area, at 22.9 cubic feet behind the second row (that’s 16.4 cubic feet less than the Rogue), is average for this class. It held plenty of grocery bags, and it has a couple of nifty under-floor “divide and hide” compartments.
This car makes just 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm from its 2.0-liter four. And it has a CVT. So the “Sport” moniker pertains to nothing performance-related, just its diminutive size and zippy color choices like Monarch Orange or Nitro Lime. But the car drives … fine. It’s nimble enough. Acceleration is sufficient to get you to the grocery store and back. The cabin is quiet. Steering is light but not lifeless, and a sport setting gives it a little more heft.
Indicated mileage was just 18 mpg in a week of city driving, far below its EPA ratings of 24 city, 30 highway and 27 combined. But winter ambient temperatures were a factor.
If a subcompact crossover is your heart’s desire, you’ve got many choices. The Rogue Sport is nice-looking and not-bad-driving. You’d want to cross-shop it against the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Niro and NHTSA-only-knows how many others, and our Car Comparison tool is a great way to do that.
Contributing Editor James Riswick: First, a word about the regular, non-Sport Nissan Rogue. It makes a terrific first impression. It looks a bit more stylish than more utilitarian rivals. The attractive cabin has materials that look and feel good. There’s so much space inside that they even managed to shoehorn in a third-row seat. Pricing is also competitive, and fuel economy is among the class best. Furthermore, people like “Star Wars.”
At the same time, the Rogue Sport benefits from comparable good looks and basically the exact same cabin design and quality. Sure, it’s not as big as the regular Rogue, but it’s not that small, either. For those who don’t really need max cargo and passenger space, I’m a firm believer that this Rogue Sport would be a much better choice than its big brother. It makes a similar first impression, but its second, 13th and 40th impressions are much stronger.