The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is smaller, lower to the ground and sportier than its Nissan Rogue sibling. Nissan is aiming squarely at younger drivers with the Rogue Sport, but parents should like two other things about this new SUV: it has a lower price than the Rogue and it is expected to do well in safety tests.

The 2017 Rogue has been popular with car buyers, and has spearheaded a big surge at Nissan, which was the fastest growing auto brand in the U.S. last year. The Rogue is Nissan’s biggest seller.

There’s little doubt the Rogue Sport – available in S, SV and SL trims – is tailored to younger drivers living an active lifestyle. If the Rogue is for young families, the Rogue Sport is for students, young singles or couples. And of course, Nissan would like to see Rogue Sport buyers step up into Rogues, Muranos or even Armadas as their families grow.

The Rogue Sport is more than a foot shorter and nearly 6 inches lower to the ground than the Rogue. It’s also more affordable than the Rogue, which makes it appealing to millennials.

The Rogue Sport base trim starts at $21,420 and the top of the lineup with AWD starts at $27,420. Nissan says the Rogue Sport’s primary demographic is “youthful singles and couples” in their 20s and 30s.

The Rogue Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that develops 141 horsepower and 147 lb.-ft. of torque. Nissan does as good a job as anyone with CVT transmissions, and the one in the Rogue Sport is no exception. I’d prefer a regular, stepped automatic or a manual, but there is no denying the fuel economy advantage of CVTs.

My test 2017 Rogue Sport SL with AWD was EPA rated at 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 24 mpg in the city. With front-wheel drive, the Rogue Sport promises to take you 32 highway miles or 25 city miles on a gallon of gasoline.

The interior or the 5-passenger Rogue Sport is well thought out, with good materials and a generous amenity sheet. Even the base S trim has SiriusXM Satellite Radio, AM/FM/CD, USB connectivity, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth phone and audio, and a rearview camera.

The SV trim adds dual-zone air, an intelligent key, automatic headlights, a roof rack, illuminated vanity mirrors and LED turn signal indicators on the outside mirrors.

The SL adds heated leather front seats, remote start, NissanConnect with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services, a 7-inch touch screen, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, heated mirrors and a heated steering wheel. Nissan/Infiniti also pioneered the around-view monitor systems that nearly every carmaker is using today, and puts one in the Rogue Sport SL trim.

Just five option packages are available: an S appearance package, an SV all-weather package, a premium package on SV and SL, and an SL platinum package.

On the road, I found the Rogue Sport was nimble and surefooted if not quick. It just felt like the little SUV was planted on the road, even when I pushed it into the corners. I drove the Rogue Sport for a half-day at its launch earlier this year, but after a recent week-long test drive, I became even more of a fan.

The Rogue Sport has a full complement of advanced air bags and a range of standard and optional safety technologies like blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention.

Still no word on safety testing of the Rogue Sport from the government or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the 2017 Rogue was a “Top Safety Pick Plus,” which is the highest IIHS ranking possible. The Rogue won the top score of “good” in every category.

Look for the Rogue Sport to also do well when safety tests are completed.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL AWD

Engine:

2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

141/147 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

CVT

Price:

$27,420 plus freight ($31,240 as tested)

Mileage estimates:

24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/27 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

435 miles