Slightly smaller, but just as sat­is­fy­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - CARS THE CAR PAGES - War­ren Brown war­ren.brown@wash­

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.


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