Most safety features. Last year, Nissan added its Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assist features as standard equipment. The package includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic rear braking.
For an affordable subcompact crossover, seeing all of these features as standard equipment is surprising. A lot of competitors require consumers to move up to higher trim levels to get advanced driver-assist features.
Nissan also offers something that other subcompact SUVs can’t match with its semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist system. The system handles most of the steering, braking, and accelerating on highways. Other notable available safety features include traffic sign recognition, a surround-view camera, and a driver drowsiness monitor.
Great value. The Rogue Sport is only available in three trim levels – S, SV, and SL – but the base S trim comes with more than enough for the majority of consumers. The amount of tech features the Rogue Sport S comes with is impressive, especially given its starting price tag.
Despite starting at $25,110 including destination, the Rogue Sport S comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, four audio speakers, voice recognition, and satellite radio. For the subcompact class, this is a strong list of standard features.
The Honda HR-V comes with a 5-inch display and doesn’t come with smartphone compatibility as standard. The Subaru Crosstrek comes with a smaller 6.5-inch screen and doesn’t come with satellite radio.
Sporty in name only. The Rogue Sport may have “sport” in its name, but the subcompact SUV is hardly what we’d call sporty. The SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower. On its own, the engine makes less power than the majority of its competitors, and the continuously variable automatic transmission that it’s paired to saps any fun from the engine. Around town, the Rogue Sport’s powertrain is adequate, while on the highway, the SUV feels woefully underpowered.
When it comes to ride quality, the Rogue Sport is composed, but other subcompact SUVs are sportier and more comfortable. Opting for the SL trim brings massive 19-inch wheels that further diminish the subcompact SUV’s ride quality.
Spacious cargo, but tight seats. In the subcompact class, the Rogue Sport offers some of the most cargo capacity. The vehicle can hold 22.9 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats and a total of 61.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. SV and SL trim levels can’t hold as much cargo, having 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 53.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. A nifty Divide-N-Hide cargo system allows owners to stash items beneath the cargo floor for added versatility.
While the Rogue Sport offers a spacious cargo area, the subcompact SUV has just 33.4 inches of rear legroom. That’s some of the least of any subcompact SUV in the segment, making it one of the tighter options in the class. Compared to the HR-V, the Rogue Sport is down 6.3 inches when it comes to rear legroom.
Final thoughts. The 2021 Nissan Rogue Sport offers more tech and safety features than a lot of its competitors while featuring a sporty design. It’s a good combination for the majority of consumers, which are looking for a safe, high-riding vehicle with a good amount of cargo space.
The lackluster powertrain and cramped set of rear seats stop the Rogue Sport from being anything more than just a value option. The subcompact SUV doesn’t do enough to stand out in this cramped class, which makes it tough to recommend.
Sporty and luxurious, the Mazda CX-30 is one of our top choices in the subcompact segment. It comes with more tech features than the Rogue Sport, a larger interior, a more upscale design, and a more powerful engine. The Hyundai Kona is another favorite, boasting peppy handling, powerful engines, and a quirky design.
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