Nissan looks to be trimming the fat, as yet another one of its models hits the chopping block for next year. This time around it’s the Rouge Sport, confirmed by a rep for the company to Car and Driver.
If you read between the lines, the confirmation of the death of the Rogue Sport from Nissan’s lineup is almost a dig at the model: “As part of our Nissan NEXT plan, which is focused on prioritizing our core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, production of Rogue Sport for the U.S. will end after the 2022 model year.” Damn.
The Rogue Sport was a model that continued the weird automotive tradition of applying “Sport” to a model and not having it have anything to do with anything sporty. Sport=Smaller. Nissan’s Rogue Sport was introduced for the 2018 model year and was an attempt by Nissan to get more volume for the brand. It was essentially an Americanized version of the European Qashqai and slotted between the smaller Juke and regular Rogue. And it was cheapish. MSRP for a base 2018 Rogue Sport S was just over $21,000. And we all know how Nissan likes to attract the credit-challenged crowd.
As I mentioned before — sport meant smaller for Rogue. There has never been anything sporty about this thing. The sole engine choice for the last five years has been a gutless 141 horsepower I4 paired to a CVT. But hey, you can option it with AWD!
As the years went on the Rogue Sport started to make even less sense than its original intention. All while the regular Rogue received a much-needed redesign, Nissan axed the Juke, and that was replaced by another small crossover, the Kicks which has been a thing in South America. The pricing of the Rogue Sport also went up, which didn’t help solidify its purpose either, starting at $26,000 for a base model (including destination), overlapping the Kicks on price, while being smaller in comparison.
We’ll likely never know whether or not Nissan’s volume plan worked, thanks to the brand grouping the Rogue Sport’s sales numbers with the regular Rogue. It likely doesn’t matter though, as I’m sure no one, including Nissan, is going to miss it.