Consumers do not always buy vehicles in the same segments. From price to fuel economy to design, there are many reasons why you should consider two different sized vehicles. An unconventional rival to our longtime Nissan Rogue is its little brother, the smaller Rogue Sport. But is the Baby Rogue Sport as competent and well-rounded as our Rogue?
The Rogue is 10.2 inches longer than the Rogue Sport, allowing for an additional 5.1 inches of rear legroom, making it more adult-friendly. More noticeable than the legroom, however, is the Rogue’s increased cargo space. Both SUVs feel roomy enough for passengers, but unlike its smaller brother, the Rogue can easily haul weekend luggage for the whole family.
It’s no secret that the villain is a bit slow. Even the passengers in our long-running Rogue notice it, and fret over its slow, groaning acceleration as we pull onto the freeway. It takes 8.4 seconds to hit 60mph, a reasonable if unimpressive time for the segment. The slow initial power delivery and the engine sound further reinforce the impression of inertia. For more responsiveness, opt for the 2022 Rogue, which replaces our model’s 181-hp 2.5-liter I-4 with a new 201-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3.
Don’t let the name fool you – the Rogue Sport (pictured below in white) isn’t a more athletic alternative. 40 hp less than our 2021 Rogue, it also suffers from slow acceleration, taking 9.8 seconds to hit 60 mph.
Smaller doesn’t mean more efficient either. The larger Rogue wins the fuel economy contest. Most trims get an EPA-rated 26/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined with FWD and 25/32/28 mpg with AWD (the 2022 model is even more efficient, putting in 30/37/33 mpg in front-wheel drive form and up to 28/35/31 mpg with AWD). Meanwhile, the Rogue Sport tops out at 25/32/28mpg and 24/30/27mpg, respectively.
Both crossovers have key standard driver assistance features like Blind Spot Warner, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning, as well as notably useful upgrades like a 360-degree camera system and ProPilot advanced driver assistance systems. But the Rogue has a few extras: a larger standard touchscreen, an available 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and a heads-up display. While these options are nice to have, we feel fine without them on our long-term device.
Surprisingly, pricing isn’t a huge differentiator between the SUVs. For 2022, the Rogue SV with volume trim starts at $30,135, about $2,500 more than the $27,625 Rogue Sport SV, and this smaller SUV won’t have quite as many desirable features. The smaller and less expensive kicks might work for some Nissan SUV buyers, but this entry-level SUV lacks AWD availability.
The Rogue outperforms its little brother in most areas. In that case, we recommend opting for the Rogue’s roomy interior, more modern cabin, and better performance.
|2021 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Specs|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$33,530|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.5 L / 181 hp / 181 lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont variable auto|
|TARGET WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,571 pounds (58/42%)|
|length x width x height||183.0 x 72.4 x 66.5 inches|
|QUARTER MILE||16.5 sec at 85.8mph|
|BRAKES, 60-0 MPH||120 feet|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.84g (average)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.8 sec at 0.60 g (average)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||25/32/28mpg|
More on our long-term Nissan Rogue SV 2021: