DETROIT – Nissan is set to debut a small CUV today at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

But rather than riding on a B-segment platform, the Rogue Sport is a shrunken version of the automaker’s existing C-segment CUV, the Rogue, essentially an American version of Nissan's compact CUV from Europe and Canada, the Qashqai.

The new variant is 12.1 ins. (307 mm) shorter than the existing Rogue, and with a 2.3-in. (58-mm) shorter wheelbase, making the Rogue Sport bigger than subcompact Brazilian Kicks CUV Nissan has been studying for the U.S. "Today, we're calling Rogue Sport a compact crossover," Michael Bunce, vice president-product planning for Nissan North America, tells media Sunday morning at a pre-show event in Detroit.

Bunce, who says sales of the two models will be reported together, expects the 2-CUV lineup to appeal to a broad audience and promises a wide spectrum of features and price points.

Rogue sales rose 14.9% in 2016, ending the year with 329,904 deliveries and topping the Altima midsize sedan to become Nissan’s No.1-selling U.S. model.

The Rogue also was the third-best-selling C-segment CUV in the U.S. last year behind the Honda CR-V (357,335) and Toyota RAV4 (352,139), WardsAuto data shows.

Nissan sees the “nimble, fun-to-drive” Rogue Sport as appealing to singles and couples, vs. the young families that buy the midsize Rogue.

The Rogue Sport has a maximum 61.1-cu.-ft. (1.7-cu.-m) of room behind the first row and 22.9 cu.-ft. (0.6 cu.-m) behind the second row. The first figure exceeds the same measurement in both Subaru’s XV Crosstrek, the No.1-selling Japanese model in WardsAuto’s Small CUV segment last year, and Honda’s HR-V, but the latter figure trails the HR-V’s 24.3 cu.-ft. (0.7-cu.-m) of cargo volume with its second-row seat raised.

Nissan’s existing small CUV the Juke, a model oriented more toward style than utility, has just 10.5 cu.-ft. (0.3 cu.-m) of space behind its second row. "We will keep Juke in the lineup for now," Bunce says. "The Juke is a very niche vehicle. It's really been very strong for us."

The Rogue Sport carries the Rogue’s divide-and-hide cargo system, which uses a configurable, removable panel to do as the name suggests, in SV and SL grades. All Rogue Sport grades come standard with a cargo-area cover and six luggage hooks.

Nissan says its gliding wing interior design is present inside the Rogue Sport, “providing spatial symmetry with a sense of togetherness (and) combining a wide-open feeling with areas for personal space.”

Standard is a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 4-way adjustable front-passenger seat, as well as a 60/40 split second-row seat with a center armrest. A 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is available, as are heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Leather seating is standard on the SL grade Rogue Sport.

A 7-in. (18-cm) touchscreen is available, as is a navigation system packaged with the NissanConnect infotainment system.

Available safety technologies include blindspot warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and AroundView Monitor.

Key exterior design features of the Rogue Sport include large fenders and “a wheel-oriented stance,” as well as a large rear opening, boomerang-shaped LED taillights and body-color bumpers and outside mirrors.

The new small CUV is powered by Nissan’s 2.0L gasoline-direct-injected 4-cyl. engine from the Qashqai. The mill has twin continuously variable timing control and makes 141 hp and 147 lb.-ft. (199 Nm) of torque in the Rogue Sport.

The engine is paired with Jatco’s Xtronic CVT and has a standard eco mode switch for more fuel-efficient driving. No fuel-economy figures were given by Nissan in pre-NAIAS materials.

Nissan cites the Rogue Sport’s independent, multilink rear suspension as an advantage over competitors such as the HR-V and Chevy Trax that use a rear torsion beam. “We believe that buyers coming into this segment, usually as first-time (CUV) owners, still want to enjoy driving excitement and feel a connection to the road.”

The Rogue Sport’s front suspension is an independent-strut design.

Nissan will offer three grades of the Rogue Sport when the vehicle goes on sale this spring: S, SV and SL, as well as a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive models.

The Rogue Sport is assembled in Kyushu, Japan.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com