Since it takes a lot of time and money to develop a car from the ground up, every model is typically on sale from five to seven years before it undergoes a full redesign. At the halfway mark, automakers often update the car in some way, typically making changes to aspects of the car they didn't get quite right the first time. For instance, Honda gave the refreshed 2019 Pilot a more intuitive infotainment system and made the nine-speed transmission a bit smoother.
At this year's Chicago Auto Show, Nissan pulled the wraps off a refresh of its small SUV, the Rogue Sport. Based on our experience with the previous iteration, there are some trouble spots that could use addressing, such as driving experience and ride quality. However, the most significant change in the pipe is that Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite of safety features will now come standard on every Rogue Sport (no new features have been added). That's certainly a bonus for shoppers looking for a safe, affordable SUV but not a panacea.
Beyond that, the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport debuts later this year with a new grille, front bumper and wheels, along with restyled taillights.
The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport's new bumper makes the central grille area look larger (though the space below the emblem is mostly black plastic) yet at the same time reduces the size of the lower airdam. LED running lights slice through new faux air inlets, while redesigned foglights are better integrated and take up less space than before. The new 19-inch wheels look sharp but won't help alleviate the Rogue Sport's choppy ride quality.
Likewise, the carryover powertrain won't address the Rogue Sport's lack of motivation. The mandatory 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine continues to put out a modest 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, and the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) doesn't help matters. In our last instrumented test of the Rogue Sport, it needed 10.2 seconds to hit 60 mph from rest, making it one of the slowest vehicles of its kind.
One thing we've always liked about the Rogue Sport is its robust list of available advanced safety features. Last year, the Safety Shield 360 suite — consisting of forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, automatic front and rear emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert — was introduced on the midlevel SV trim. These features are now standard on even the base 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport S.
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Release Date and Price
The lightly refreshed 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport will arrive in dealerships this fall. Like last year's model, it will be available in S, SV and SL trims. Official pricing has not yet been announced, but we don't expect the price of SV and SL models to change much. Due to the additional safety features, the S will likely be slightly more expensive than its current base price of $23,235 (including destination).