Nissan has been selling the Qashqai subcompact crossover for several years in other parts of the world. Now it's coming stateside, but it won't retain the global name, which is difficult to pronounce and spell. Instead, it will borrow the well-known and profitable moniker from its larger sibling, the Rogue, with the word "Sport" tagged onto it. Nissan is marketing the Rogue Sport as slightly smaller and sportier than the family-friendly Rogue, which is its best-selling US nameplate. The smaller part is not up for debate. The Sport is a foot shorter in overall length with a 2.3-inch squatter wheelbase. It's 5.6 inches shorter in height, and at just over five feet tall, one can see right over the thing while standing next to it. Total cargo space is down by 8.9 cubic feet, with most of that coming from behind the second row of seats. Front legroom is virtually unchanged, but rear legroom is down by 4.5 inches in the Sport. It's marketed toward younger, more urban buyers compared to the Rogue – generally, people with no children who are looking for "just enough space," Nissan says. It's definitely compact, especially when you behold it from the outside. In the driver's seat we get the sense we're in a bigger vehicle thanks to the upright position and a beltline that doesn't creep too high. The front row feels spacious, and had we not seen the car from outside beforehand, we could've been fooled into believing we were sitting in a CUV from the next segment up in size. Even with the moonroof, headroom feels ample. As for the rear seat, there are no illusions there. It's a bit more cramped, particularly when it comes to legroom, but it seems a perfectly comfortable place to ride around town for an evening, if not for an extended road trip. The "sportier" part of the equation is arguable, especially considering the Rogue Sport has a smaller engine than the Rogue. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor produces a modest 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Even less sporty, that power is sent to the wheels through a CVT. Despite feeling like a larger vehicle, it definitely drives like a smaller car. With its target market in mind, the Rogue Sport is designed more for urban duty than the suburban lifestyle of the larger Rogue. It's maneuverable and at home on Nashville's narrow and crowded streets. We were impressed with the Rogue Sport's ability to navigate a tightly packed garage with the help of an outside bystander. It's a little hard to see the corners of the car, which adds to the illusion of size. To make the most of its tight packaging in a confined space, the Around View Monitor camera system is available (it's standard in the SL) making helpful bystanders obsolete. While it is still as wide as the larger Rogue, we found that the Rogue Sport's shorter length and wheelbase made it easier to get into tighter parking spaces, even …
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|MPG||25 City / 32 Hwy|
|Transmission||Xtronic 2-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||170 @ 6000 rpm|
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