Nissan built on the popularity of its Rogue crossover by bringing us the Rogue Sport, and it's a big hit with buyers. So, let's see whether the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is as good as its sales suggest it must be by comparing it to the Honda HR-V in a head-to-head comparison.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport vs Honda HR-V
Which SUV Has the Best Looks? Nissan Rogue Sport
While there's an indisputable similarity to the larger Rogue, the Rogue Sport certainly lives up to the sport billing of its name from every angle, other than perhaps the front, with unique body panels for this model. If you like the Rogue but want something a little smaller and sportier, the Rogue Sport fits the bill.
The styling of the Honda HR-V makes it a bit hard to see who Honda is trying to appeal to, even though they say they want younger buyers. Perhaps a riff on Nissan's unique and edgy Juke, the HR-V can't capture the confidence of that model or, say, the Kia Soul. Instead, the HR-V feels like it's not quite sure who it's supposed to be--a tall wagon, a short SUV, a wide hatchback--and as a result lacks the sporty confidence of the Rogue Sport.
Which SUV Makes the Most of the Interior? Honda HR-V
Compact crossover are, well, compact. That said, you'll find plenty of leg and head room in the front, but things are a little tight in the back. However, the Nissan is quieter than it has any right to be at this sort of price, and the all-black interior is quite practical. The quality of materials is mixed, but that's to be expected in this class.
The Honda HR-V is considered to be one of the roomier vehicles in its class, but apart from a bit more rear leg room, you'll notice very little difference to the Rogue Sport's interior dimensions. The materials inside the cabin are also a mixed bag, like the Nissan. What the HR-V does have is the Magic Seat, Honda's brilliant invention to make the very most of its small cabins. That alone gives it some edge over the Rogue Sport, since you can do more with the seats you have.
Which SUV Has the Most Power? Nissan Rogue Sport
Apparently it's an industry trend to only offer a single engine in vehicles of this type, which makes it no surprise that Nissan has followed suit. The engine in question is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit developing 141 horsepower, exclusively mated to a CVT transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all trim levels offer the option of all-wheel drive to buyers.
As you might expect, the HR-V also comes with a single engine across all trim levels. This time it's a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, a larger version of the 1.5 found in the Fit subcompact hatch. The HR-V's engine develops the same horsepower as the Rogue Sport's engine, but offers considerably less torque.
Which SUV Saves the Most at the Pump? Honda HR-V
Front-wheel drive versions of the Nissan are rated by the EPA at 25 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined, which isn't bad at all really. And stepping up to all-wheel drive doesn't hurt too much as those ratings come in at 24/30/27 mpg.
Even though the revised testing procedure has dropped the fuel economy ratings of the Honda, it still takes this final round with EPA ratings for front-drive models of 28 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined.
Learn More about the Nissan Rogue Sport
If we look at these two in terms of raw data, you won't find a huge amount separating them--a testament to how competitive the market is. But it's the truly intangible things that make the most of the driving experience, and that's what sets the 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport apart as well. The 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is so much more likable and desirable, which is why it's our winner here.