When Nissan invites you to spend a nice, scenic drive through winding country roads in the new Nissan Rogue Sport, to stay at an elegant historic inn known for its spa, to dine in the picturesque restaurant, to enjoy a complimentary spa treatment, and then follow it all up with a few stops at antique stores and wineries, you know exactly who you’re going to invite.
Oh wait, is that not what you were thinking?
To be fair, I asked my husband first but it was a Sunday night and he was stuck in meetings on Monday morning so I took the next best person: my 10 year old son, Evan.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m more than happy to take a girlfriend or even go by myself but when I mentioned the trip to Evan, including all the details mentioned above, he was all in. I’m not sure if he was too excited about the car trip itself but he really wanted to see Connecticut. And when I mentioned I’d probably be attending a more adult dinner, I asked if he would be interested in staying in and ordering room service.
FYI – if you have a 10 year old, all they need to be happy is a room service menu, a working TV, and the wifi password.
Want to see our road trip? Here it is, in less than 3 minutes.
But we weren’t really the stars of this trip. It was the car and the scenery and I owe it to you to show you both.
Where our Rogue Trip took us – from Washington, DC to Washington, CT
We were spending a weekend in National Harbor and had the opportunity to test out the new Nissan Rogue Sport for an overnight road trip (or Rogue trip, get it?) to Washington, CT. Driving and traveling? Yes, please!
We hit traffic. We got grumpy. We took too many bathroom breaks but we FINALLY arrived 90 minutes later than expected. But can you be upset when this is waiting at the end of the drive?
We made it all the way up to our room on the third floor and we were both giddy with the size, decor, and historic luxury of the room. In fact, you can see our balcony in the top right of this photo. Yes, we had a balcony but it was the view that took our breath away.
After spending about two minutes enjoying the view, I had to get changed for our dinner. I supervised as Evan put on his big boy pants and ordered room service all by himself. He was so giddy that we were both giggling hysterically by the time he hung up the phone!
I’d like to say the pictures don’t do it justice but they actually do. It was beautiful. And a perfect start to our New England morning where we got ready to learn about this car we had spent many, many hours in. After exploring the gardens, pool, spa, and Chef’s garden, we headed back to the main house where the parking lot was flocked with other Nissan Rogue Sports.
Why the Nissan Rogue Sport isn’t just another Nissan Rogue
The parking lot was full of Nissan Rogue Sports that other writers had driven to Connecticut for the same event. (For the record, I drove the furthest so I think I should get extra kudos). Luckily, Nissan thought to bring a Nissan Rogue (not Sport) for comparison. They’re very similar and yet noticeable different.
Aesthetically, the Rogue Sport looks, well, sportier. The grill is more compact and streamlined on the Sport.
But the rear looks like a totally different car.
Dare I say it? I like the looks of the Rogue Sport much better. But it’s not just looks that count. It’s what’s on the inside (didn’t your mother teach you that?)
From the driver’s seat, you won’t notice much of a difference. The dashboard and available features are virtually identical. And driving it is not too dissimilar. The Rogue sports a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine which gives you 170hp. The smaller Sport has a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine giving you a bit less at 141hp.
The interior, as you might expect, is smaller as well. The Rogue offers 39.3 ft³ of cargo space with the seats up and 70 ft³ with seats down. The Rogue Sport offers 22.9 ft³ with the seast up and 61.1 ft³ with seats down.
And you’ll lose a little legroom in the rear as well.
But the Rogue Sport isn’t trying to measure up to the Rogue. It’s intended to compete with a smaller class of SUVs and I think it’s a perfect market for Nissan to enter. They know it too. The Rogue Sport is already selling successfully overseas as a Qashqai (a name considered for the U.S. but quickly abandoned when it was determined most people wouldn’t know how to say it – do you?).
Oh, and did I mention it comes it the same cool colors as the Nissan Rogue except for this one. The Nitro Lime is a Rogue Sport exclusive and it was my favorite!
Nothing left to do but drive… home
Armed with all of our new Rogue Sport knowledge, we headed our in our Palatial Ruby Nissan Rogue Sport SV (it comes in S, SV, and SL trims) but not before a little New England fun.
First, we found a white steepled church. It wasn’t hard!
Then we headed to nearby Woodbury, known as the antiques capital of Connecticut. Believe it or no, Evan wanted to go antiquing. He’s definitely an old soul! So we scouted the shops up and down the main street avoiding anything that had the word “fine” in it and found this place.
We loved sifting through the two levels of antiques and finally bought Evan an old, carved walking stick. It’s his thing right now and I’m happy to indulge. After that, we hit the road. We hit almost no traffic and made it home in time to reflect on the trip.
“I had so much fun in Connecticut,” he told me. I’m not really sure which part was so much fun but I’m thrilled that we made another summer memory together.
More about the Nissan Rogue Sport
If you’re looking for a more traditional review of the Nissan Rogue Sport, check out my video review.