Idi Amin was a Ugandan military officer and served as the country’s president from 1971-79, a fantastically interesting and tyrannical reign.
In 1971, Amin led a coup to overthrow Prime Minister Milton Obote who had named Amin Commander of the Army six years earlier. Obote had abolished opposing political parties and jailed political rivals following a failed assassination attempt in 1969, but things weren’t better under Amin.
Amin named himself President following the coup, implemented military rule in the country, instituted tribunals over civil law, and subjected cabinet members to military castigation.
He ordered the expropriation of Asian and European businesses, a striking blow to the country’s declining economy. He also expunged over 100,000 Asians, both passport holders and non-citizens.
Adding to the tyranny, members of ethnic groups, local officials, students, foreign nationals and others were slaughtered, the estimated number killed as high as 500,000.
Now you may be wondering why I am giving a history lesson about a tyrannical leader in a car review, and it comes down to Amin’s self-appointed title — His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."
Beyond the claim that someone could be lord of all the animals, including mosquitos and gastrointestinal bacteria, I’m guessing, let’s look at Amin’s other arbitrary titles. He bestowed a doctorate of law to himself. He did not receive the Distinguished Service Order title or earn the Military Cross and made up the medal of “Victorious Cross.”
These titular titles brings me to the 2018 Rogue Sport.
The sport designation comes with certain expectations, one of the most critical being notable engine output. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean a snarling V12 under the hood of an Italian supercar, it could be a peppy four-cylinder in a sedan or a lively three-cylinder hybrid in a small hatchback.
The sport connotation certainly doesn’t include the Rouge Sport’s power plant.
The Sport comes with a 2.0-liter inline four with 141 horsepower and 147 torques, which would be very sporty in a go-kart, but not a 3,400-pound crossover.
The Rogue is woefully underpowered, and not just for vigorous driving. You need ridiculously great gaps in traffic to merge onto highways or at intersections.
Adding to the annoyance of the lethargic engine is its noise, which is constant. The Sport’s engine is like me waking up to my alarm clock — a lot of grunts and moans but no real movement.
But the truth is, there are plenty of people out there who won’t mind the Rogue’s motor. That is made evident by the fact the Rogue has become Nissan’s best-selling car/SUV. By June of this year, Rogue sales had already surpassed that of total 2017 sales at 215,212 units shifted in the U.S.
So clearly the majority of these buyers aren’t turned off by the engine, so what is the Rouge Sport’s appeal?
The Sport shares the same platform as the standard Rogue (adding to the confusion over the designation), but comes with added safety features and a smaller wheelbase and overall length.
Nissan says the exterior styling starts with “emotional geometry.” I have no idea what that means, but the Sport does don subdued good looks with a wide stance and updated grill.
The interior styling is functional and visually pleasing. The Sport version I tested came with the optional Technology Package ($2,240). The add-ons include heated front seats, intelligent climate control, leather wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, navigation, Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor and intelligent cruise control — which controls speed, distance from the car ahead and adjusts speeds while approaching corners.
The front-wheel drive SV trim I tested has a rather comfortable ride, but does suffer from a noticeable dose of body roll in the corners.
The Sport’s brakes are quite touchy, meaning I just about sent myself through the windshield on my first jaunt in the Rogue. I did adjust to the feel, but any quick movements to the left pedal sent the car lurching forward.
Nissan says the Rogue is good for those with young families, and there is enough room for three small kids in the rear 60/40 split seats. The rear also comes with LATCH systems for car seats.
The cargo area comes with ample room for a grocery run and diaper bags with 29-cubic feet of cargo space. On SV and SL trims, the Sport adds more cargo space under the rear deck with its Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor.
Perhaps the biggest selling point that has made the Rogue a sales success is the price tag — it is quite affordable for the amenities offered.
Base Sport FWD models start at just over $22,000 while the top SL trim with AWD adds $6,000 to the cost. The FWD SV I tested with the technology package and cargo area protection came in at $27,410.
Overall, the Rogue Sport is a decent daily driver, good for a budding family and is affordable even with some added creature comforts and safety features.
But someone needs to conduct a coup on whoever stuck that lethargic engine under its hood.
I volunteer myself, and once the deed is done, feel free to refer to me by my new title — His Chubbiness, Emotional Geometer for Life, Left Lane Doctor Joe Parker, M3, ST, V12, Lord of All the Bridge Abutments of the Highway and Ted Kennedy’s Cars in the Seas and Vanquisher of the British Empire Because Jaguar Hasn’t Approved Me for Press Fleet Usage in Appen Media Group in General and Left Lane in Particular.