2017 Nissan Rogue Sport: Fundamentally Courageous

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Introduced to the US a decade ago in 2007 the Rogue is Nissan’s top selling vehicle and has helped the Japanese automaker claim the hearts and souls of millennials who focus on digital communication, fresh technology, trending fashion and a strong social identity. Since the compact SUV is versatile, savvy, stylish and innovative it only made since to add another characteristic to its persona. Yep, the Rogue is now fitter than ever with the introduction of the Sport!

An invite to test drive the new crossover in the heart of Nashville, TN presented keen insight on the consumer demographics Nissan is highlighting. For example, the city is going through a construction remix with an array of housing developments for singles and young couples that desire the inner city vibe. Along with these environs should come a flexible ride that adapts to its surroundings to simplify the total drive experience from parking and fuel mileage to connectivity with the inner world.

Starting at $21,420 for a Rogue Sport S FWD and increasing to $27,420 for the Rogue Sport SL AWD, there are three models to choose from in either FWD or AWD for either increment weather or spirited maneuverability. The misconception is that AWD is only necessary for cold weather states but I beg to differ. There is nothing like the traction from all four wheels for top performance or hauling.

Down in Tennessee Nissan put us up in SL variants of the Rogue Sport with defining color palettes such as Monarch Orange and Palatial Ruby. In addition to some of the standard features on the S like the Xtronic CVT transmission with a Sport Mode Shifter, auto off headlights with LED signature, Bluetooth hands-free text assistant and RearView Monitor, the SL adds the stylish 19” aluminum-alloy rims tucked in Bridgestone all-season rubber, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel (leather-wrapped), remote engine start and Around ViewMonitor with Moving Object Detection. The Rogue Sport provides the aesthetics needed for influential millennials as well as the safety weapons required to defend against busy, urban commutes. I am particularly fond of the progressive tailgate spoiler!

If you want to go over and beyond the amenities included in the MSRP then the $570 Platinum Package upgrade is must. The suite offers Intelligent Cruise Control for those extended highway road trips, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention and Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection since mobile devices seem to distract far greater than they need to, especially with younger drivers.

In comparison to the base Rogue, the Rogue Sport inherits a sportier front fascia with a wider lower grille, circular fog lights, slightly smaller proportions and the 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine to replace the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder. In this case the 2.0 produces a respectable 141-horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. Around winding, hilly country roads the vehicle held its own but faired even better by utilizing the manual shift mode for optimal acceleration. As well, the edgy, flat-bottom steering wheel with multi-functions was a bonus. But keep in mind the adjustments for proper positioning are manual.

“The combination of the new Rogue Sport and the immensely popular redesigned 2017 Rogue will appeal to a broad audience and offers a wide spectrum of features and price points for SUV buyers,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

Inside, the Rogue Sport is spacious and quite comfortable. I didn’t feel congested or ergonomically challenged. The nucleus of the little SUV is the 7” display which houses NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services and SiriusXM Traffic & Travel Link. In addition, NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM includes automatic collision notification, emergency call and stolen vehicle locator, remote lock/unlock, sound the horn, curfew alerts and speed alerts. Though, Nissan does need to add a few more USB ports for passengers.

As you can see the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is fundamentally courageous with modern offerings for today’s energetic and savvy customers.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas: Active, On-The-Go Family Style

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The Volkswagen Atlas is a big midsize SUV with three full rows of seating for seven passengers to accommodate the typical American family looking for a cavernous cabin and plenty of utility, flexibility, technology and comfort. It represents as VW’s largest production vehicle and joins a small but adventurous family of German SUVs including the Tiguan and Touareg. [Read more…]

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD: A Proper Off-Road Wagon

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I had a great time exploring the superior off-road and grand on-road capabilities of the new 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD in Arizona last week. The luxury wagon is properly designed and thoroughly engineered. Its physicality is defined by rugged hardware, outstanding go-anywhere capabilities and advanced technology systems for both safety adherence and driver assistance obligations. [Read more…]

The Automotive Lifestyle of Navdy Head-Up Display

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Today’s society is infused with an inordinate amount of digital technology, cloud-based connectivity, advanced telematics, and mobile apps to help reduce the clutter of confusion in both your social life and the workplace. Yet, it is often challenging and most often confusing narrowing down the choice of devices and innovations that will align with your specific, behavioral needs. From meeting friends at obscure locations or navigating your vehicle through intense traffic on unknown roads there is always a need for simplification. Well, welcome to the world of Navdy, a portable Head-up Display and corresponding smartphone app to keep you on point! [Read more…]

2017 MINI Cooper Countryman: Versatile Impact

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The burgeoning love affair with the MINI brand continues with enthusiasm as more hits are released and prior generations are updated with powerful impacts on consumer perception. MINI owners are proud and dedicated and marvel at the warmth, friendliness and brilliance their vehicles offer during every drive. Never do you tire of the monotony of the same old thing because never does your pride and joy ever seem to grow old. And now there is more to rejoice with the introduction of the 2017 MINI Cooper Countryman, the biggest and most versatile MINI to date. [Read more…]

2018 Toyota C-HR: Coupe High-Rider Enters the Stage

By Kimatni D. Rawlins

To experience what Toyota dubs their Coupe High-Rider Fit Fathers ventured to the diversity of Austin where the eclectic vibe is more like Portland and Venice Beach than Texas. The all-new 2018 C-HR CUV fulfills a niche market that clamors for value, fuel efficiency, and daring designs. Entering the stage this April newcomers will be introduced to an array of technological standard features presented in two renditions: the $22,500 C-HR XLE and the $24,350 C-HR XLE Premium. [Read more…]

2017 Jeep Compass: Small Impact

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Branded after its big brother Jeep Grand Cherokee the all-new Compass compact SUV is rough, rugged and raw; well, at least on the outside. Step inside and the small wonder continues to surprise with modern gadgetry, telematics, and advanced safety features. Jeep lifers expect their utilities to handle active lifestyle adventures with aplomb whether on domestic grounds or international terrain. Although small, the Detroit native is as multi-purpose as a Victorinox Swiss Army knife with one exception to the rule; it’s an All-American. [Read more…]

2017 BMW 5 Series: Yesterday a Vision, Today a Reality

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s always a seminal moment when presented with test drive opportunities of a BMW sport sedan while voyaging the beautiful coast of California for days at a time. Recently this exact scenario manifested which allowed me to journey from Silicon Valley to north of San Pablo Bay in Napa Valley behind the wheel of an Alpine White 2017 BMW 540i Sedan with the M Sport Package. Its 3-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine was both efficient and robust and vehicle handling impeccable, especially if you opt for the $3,200 Dynamic Handling Package. But the main storyline here is the implementation of an array of digital, autonomous, and connected technology systems such as Remote Control Parking which permits the operator to park the Bimmer using the key fob while standing outside the vehicle! Amazing. [Read more…]

2017 Kia Niro: A New Hybrid Hero

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I’m sure by now most of you have seen the Melissa McCarthy ad spot with Kia’s new hybrid crossover dubbed “Hero’s Journey” where the comedic actress attempts to the save the eco-friendly attributes of the planet while using the vehicle’s key features. Whether you find it amusing or not the underlying theme is that Kia has introduced another green machine to the marketplace for individuals looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With an introductory price of $22,890, fuel economy of 52 city MPG, and a 595-mile range the Niro FE may just be my new hybrid hero! [Read more…]

2017-BMW-X4-M40i X-Rated Fun

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Well, I must say BMW’s sport activity vehicle was delivered at the right time for a week full of family fun, daily team rituals, and weekend competitions. The girls had four games including basketball and soccer and practice everyday except Friday. From swapping out kids, teammates, gear, and food the BMW X4 M40i had an eventful time with my unit. Compact outside, larger inside, quick as cats, and full of technology, the X4 is very fitting for vigorous clans on the go. [Read more…]