Slightly smaller, but just as satisfying
It was produced in 2007 for the 2008 model year.
There were many of us in the global automotive media who thought its name and loopy exterior styling were so wayward, it would not be on sale for long.
We were wrong. It is a bestseller in the United States and sells quite well in many other parts of the world.
The Nissan Rogue answered real mass consumer wants and needs in a way no other crossover, SUV, wagon or van did at the time.
With modest downsizing and subtle cosmetic changes for 2017, the Nissan Rogue continues to smartly answer those needs and wants.
First of all, it fits that thing called lifestyle — financially and operationally. That especially is true of the new-for-2017 model driven for this column: the Nissan Rogue Sport, with expected-to-be-popular SV trim.
Equipped with advanced electronic safety and other desirable items, the Rogue Sport SV accommodates many wallets at an overall transaction price — the final consumer purchase cost — of $27,660.
The Rogue Sport shows that Nissan is paying attention to current reality and the implication that reality has for future automotive sales.
For example, the average transaction price of new vehicles sold in the United States is $34,800. Faced with stagnant wages and rising costs for other purchases — consider medical — many consumers are having a hard time supporting that car bill. Their automotive financial struggles are leading to the birth and growth of lower-priced used-car enterprises nationwide.
Traditional vehicle manufacturers, particularly those making and selling new cars and trucks for and to the masses, realize what is happening. But they are in a bit of a fix, especially the purveyors of luxury automobiles, who always have been dealing with a relatively minuscule but wealthy consumer base.
Put it this way: The global automotive industry historically has been fed by new technology, desires for rapid and safe transportation, and consumer notions of prestige.
Nowadays, rapid advances in technology are rendering traditional notions of prestige useless, bloated and somewhat silly.
Consider the new Rogue Sport. In the SV trim, it has much of the equipment and technology found in more expensive compact crossoverutility vehicles. It certainly has all of the build quality in terms of fit and finish.
It is a tad smaller than previous Rogue models. But the Rogue Sport seats five, enough for a small family, instead of accommodating seven, enough for a small bus.
It fits nicely in the city — in both parking around and moving through congested urban traffic. Equipped with a 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder gasoline engine, it does well on the highway, delivering a maximum 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque at a fuel-consumption cost of 30 miles per gallon.
It won’t please everyone. Nor is it designed or engineered to do so. It is made for the commoner who just wants to roll. I like it.
The Rogue Sport shows that Nissan is paying attention to reality and its implications.