The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport more than just a familiar name slapped on a new lunchbox and placed on a lower, more budget-friendly shelf. At its core, it’s a re-think of what a certain slice of sport-utility customers might be looking for in a versatile commuter, and one that seeks to carve out new territory for the automaker rather than simply chip away at the existing Rogue buyer base.
They’re smaller than the segment leaders, which may still be viewed as “compacts” but in some cases have now grown enough to qualify as mid-size utilties. Those include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan’s own Rogue, which now offers a nominal third-row seat.
Qashqai’s target audience – namely, city-dwelling youthful singles and couples – likely won’t often need the AWD Lock. But whether in the city or the open road, Qashqai is an attractive, nice-to-drive package. And regardless of the u-challenged name, this CUV has plenty of “u” where it matters.
Nissan builds the Rogue Sport in Kyushu, Japan, but don’t be surprised if sales grow to a large enough volume for the automaker to decide to move production to Mexico or the U.S.