The Rogue Sport was positioned as a conquest model to lure new and younger customers when it launched in the U.S. in 2017.
“We’re predicting that the Rogue Sport will deliver 70 percent conquest sales,” Christian Meunier, Nissan North America’s then senior vice president of sales & marketing and operations, told Automotive News during the New York auto show.
But rumors of the Rogue Sport’s demise began circulating barely two years later. The crossover has failed to find its niche between the entry-level Kicks and the higher-volume Rogue.
As the Rogue moved slightly upscale, a gap between it and the more entry-level Rogue Sport has widened, AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani said.
“Meanwhile, the popularity of the Kicks and its lower price has put pressure on Rogue Sport sales, squeezing it out of the lineup,” Fiorani said.
Ditching the Rogue Sport will allow Nissan to invest more into the subcompact Kicks, according to a dealer who requested he not be identified.
“We can get more bang for our buck with the Kicks, especially since it’s going all-wheel drive,” the dealer said.
The Kicks is set for a redesign in early 2024 that would make it longer and wider, shrinking the size difference between the two crossovers. Dealers describe the new Kicks as being more aggressive and “SUV-like.”
Meanwhile, the Rogue received its redesign last year, including a new platform and a revamped look.
“Rogue Sport used to at least look the same, just a little bit smaller,” the source. “With the redesign, the Rogue is a completely different car.”