Is there that big of a difference between a subcompact and a compact SUV? Do we need the subcompact segment, to begin with? Drivers are typically drawn to these small-scale options, primarily if they are used to driving a small sedan and do not want to worry about maneuvering something big around town. For some, compact SUVs are still too large, which makes the subcompact SUV just a slight step up from a sedan and thus more appealing to this demographic.
Plenty of automakers have decided to offer both options to their customers, and one of them is Nissan with its Rogue and Rogue Sport models. Unfortunately, the Rogue Sport did not seem to hit the mark with travelers across the nation since it only spent a few years on the market, but the question is, do drivers miss it? A Nissan Rogue for sale can be found on every Nissan lot in existence, but can it offer what the Rogue Sport was able to provide, and was Nissan too quick to pull it from its lineup? There are so many questions to ponder, and here is one more. Does Nissan need a new Rogue Sport to contest the subcompact segment, or is the Rogue enough?
Why Drivers Love the Rogue
You will notice plenty of Rogue models coasting past you on the streets, and for a good reason—it is one of the most versatile, practical, and easygoing compact SUVs in the industry. It is built to handle anything approaching you on the road while offering a comfortable and spacious experience inside. New Rogues showcase a rugged design that drivers gravitate to, with a smooth and controlled ride quality, easy handling thanks to its small size, and innovative tech and safety features designed for today’s busy travelers. It is the total package that everyone from commuters to families, adventurers to road trippers turn to when their everyday drive is on the line.
Since launching for the 2008 model year, the Rogue has captivated its audience. It has proven to be a confident travel companion over the years and keeps improving with age. The 2023 Rogue, for instance, provides drivers with a lively ride thanks to its VC-Turbo engine, which makes 201 horsepower, and it also prioritizes efficiency, able to get up to 37 mpg on the highway. This makes it ideal for frequent commuters stuck in rush hour traffic daily. It also offers an outstanding all-wheel drive system for those who yearn to get out, explore, and navigate through bad weather, making this compact SUV well-versed in taking on any driving condition.
Families love the Rogue due to its durable design and advanced safety features. It is also LATCH compatible to help secure car seats, with enough room in its cargo hold to accommodate gear space up to 74.1 cu. Ft. Inside, it is incredibly cozy, with available genuine leather appointments, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a panoramic sunroof, and more exquisite features as you move up the trim levels. It also showcases some of the best tech on the market, including ProPILOT Assist, which is Nissan’s version of semi-autonomous driving tech to make the drive easier than ever. It is Motortrend’s #1 Compact SUV for 2023, it has received the Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award for the past nine years, and it has earned five stars in NHTSA safety testing, making it one of the best SUVs on the market for drivers everywhere.
Downsides of the Rogue
With all the good associated with the Rogue, is it possible that there are any downsides to this spectacular compact SUV? Well, the Rogue is not for everybody, especially those who desire an even smaller vehicle like the Rogue Sport. Although it is skilled at delivering a controlled and refined ride, it is not the fastest off the line, but you will need to consider its demographic. Chances are, those driving a Rogue are not in it for the excitement factor. They want a safe, reliable, and easy-to-handle vehicle that will deliver them from Point A to Point B without issue, precisely what they get in this Nissan favorite.
You will also notice that with all the added comfort features found in top-level trims, it comes with a price, especially its upscale Platinum model. Of course, this is common across the industry. After all, the more you want in your vehicle, the more you will have to be willing to pay. Ultimately, the Rogue is like any other vehicle on the market in terms of its price structure.
What the Rogue Sport Brought to the Ride
Launched in 2017, the Rogue Sport confidently bounded onto the scene, offering a smaller version of an American favorite. It took everything drivers loved about the Rogue and shrunk it down into a subcompact SUV, perfect for those who wanted a vehicle they could easily drive around packed city streets and busy interstates. It was small and great on gas, with its last model year in production getting up to 32 mpg on the highway. It could also easily offer enough space for passengers and gear with a flexible cargo area configured in several ways to handle whatever was being loaded within its confines.
Like its big brother, the Rogue Sport offered serious tech to enhance the drive, including semi-autonomous driving capabilities, which is uncommon in this segment. It also provided drivers with a 7-inch touchscreen display, smartphone integration, door-to-door navigation, Amazon and Google assistance, and more desirable tech for the drive. It was effortless to drive, loaded with top-notch features, and pleasantly spacious inside, which appealed to those interested in a small SUV that could easily navigate their commute.
Downsides of the Rogue Sport
The Rogue Sport seemed to have the makings of a successful SUV; however, it was not added back into Nissan’s lineup for the 2023 model year. It is assumed that the Rogue Sport did not have as much of its own attitude to lend to the ride. Sure, it was smaller than the Rogue and easy to handle, but all its other features were exactly the same as the Rogue’s, if not worse. For example, the Rogue can get up to 37 mpg on the highway, whereas the Sport can only get up to 32 mpg. Sure, this is not that big of a difference, but if you are interested in a subcompact SUV, wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy a bit more efficiency than a compact option can offer?
Everyone knows that the subcompact segment is smaller than the compact segment, which can cause issues with cargo volume. The Rogue Sport can only accommodate up to 61.1 cu. Ft. of gear, but if you spend just a little more money, you can take advantage of the Rogue’s 74.1 cu. Ft. capacity. Speaking of money, the Rogue Sport was not even that much more affordable, with a starting price for its 2022 model coming in just under $25K, whereas the 2023 Rogue comes in just under $28K. With fewer MPGs, disappointing cargo volume, and less space and comfort on board, the Rogue Sport did not offer what drivers sought in their everyday vehicle.
Does the Subcompact Segment Need the Rogue Sport?
Of course, the decision is not up to us as drivers. Still, if you look at it on paper, the Rogue can offer travelers interested in a small SUV a skilled and capable ride with plenty of room on board for an affordable price. It is not much bigger than the Rogue Sport, yet it offers much more in fuel efficiency, ride quality, cargo volume, and innovation. For those searching for a small-size vehicle to take them everywhere they need to go, it is fair to say that the Rogue can offer this with no need for a smaller version in the mix to compete in the subcompact segment. Now, if the Rogue Sport would come back onto the scene with a more fuel-efficient engine, towing capability, and a lower sticker price, maybe it would have a better chance of competing in a segment saturated with better-suited options.