At a Glance
The Nissan Rogue enjoyed a successful couple of years for sale at Canadian dealerships, and racked up numerous awards and accolades in the process. Nissan’s replacement for the X-Trail, Rogue launched for model year 2008 to compete with machinery like the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V with an eye for sportiness, unique style and technology. Rogue stands out in its segment with a smooth and efficiency-enhancing CVT transmission, sporty steering and handling, and unique looks.
All models got a 2.5 L, 170 horsepower four-cylinder engine with a Continually Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle-shift. Front wheel drive was standard, and four-wheel drive was optional. Rogue’s AWD system featured automatic operation, though a lock mode could be selected by the driver for low-traction situations.
Trim designations include S for a basic Rogue units, and SL for higher-end models. AWD, not surprisingly, denotes the presence of the AWD system on either trim level.
Feature content included premium audio systems, a sunroof, push-button start, Bluetooth, heated leather seating, and a voice-memo recorder, which is sort of neato.
Rogue owners typically rave about a comfortable ride, plenty of features for the money and the machine’s unique design. In one online forum, virtually all owners listed fuel economy under the Pros section for the Rogue. That’s a pleasant surprise in a crossover SUV – and should mean shoppers can expect respectable real-world mileage. Sporty handling and all-weather traction round out the list of owner-stated positives.
Numerous Rogue drivers complain of limited rearward visibility which translates into difficulty parking, as well as a small and busy instrument cluster. Some owners wish for a quieter ride and more headroom, too.
Check 1: The Transmission
When test driving a used Rogue, be sure to travel at parking-lot speeds with the stereo and climate control fan off, listening for any strange noises from the transmission. Clicking, grinding, grumbling and popping sounds should not be considered normal, and have been reported by several owners ahead of an in-warranty transmission replacement. This is not a wide-spread issue, though shoppers are advised to have any unwelcome sounds they hear investigated by a Nissan mechanic.
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Check 2: The Tires and Brakes
Be sure to note the condition of the used Rogue’s tires and brakes before agreeing to purchase, too. Tires and brakes wear out over time, and the rate at which this occurs is largely a function of driving styles, locale, quality of the parts, and so on. Still, assume the seller is trying to pass an expensive tire replacement and brake job on to you until you confirm otherwise. Some owners have reported issues with front brakes, possibly including a heavy front-end vibration caused by warped rotors. Ensure the Rogue you’re considering stops straight, smoothly, and noiselessly with light, moderate and heavy pedal application.
Check 3: Water Leaks
Press your hand into the carpeting under the front floor mats in each footwell. You’re feeling for signs of moisture or dampness, which could be caused by a leaky sunroof drain-tube. Moisture in or beneath the carpeting can cause mould, rust and other issues. Further, check the cargo area, and the storage area beneath it, for signs of unwanted moisture and rust, possibly caused by a leaky hatch seal.
Check 4: Electronics
With available GPS navigation, push-button start, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and automatic climate control, the Rogue has plenty of high end electronics that could result in high-end repair bills if they’re not working properly. Solution? Plan to spend a few minutes playing with everything in the Rogue that runs on electricity, confirming proper operation. Pay close attention to the steering-wheel controls, navigation system, Bluetooth and keyless engine start button, if equipped. Shoppers are also advised to pair a Bluetooth phone and make a call or two, confirming that the in-car microphone is working properly.
The Nissan Rogue is loved for fuel-efficient performance and handling with only a small sampling of issues – mostly with electrical and transmission systems. Thorough inspection on your test drive should reveal most common issues.
autoTRADER.ca Owner Review
2008 Nissan Rogue: “Awesome ! This SUV has been amazing, especially in the snow. It’s been well-serviced and worry free. I had an Altima in the past and found that excellent fuel economy to be almost the same. I have also had Nissan Pathfinder in the past and I found this 10x better on gas and still with lots of space. Overall a great ride on all aspects!”
by GreatSUV1243 on autoTRADER.ca 0/18/2013
2010 Nissan Rogue: “Great comfort and reliability! The Rogue has outperformed any other SUV I've owned. Comfort is fantastic...drivers power seat makes getting omfortable a breeze. Cargo space is a bit limited but the fold down seats help, ESP the 60/40 rear seat. Handles well esp on snow and ice. Fuel economy is to be expected in this class but the CVT engine helps a lot.”
by Nissangirl on autoTRADER.ca 01/14/2013
Autos.ca Review Quotes and Links
2008 Nissan Rogue: “Gas mileage over the week was stellar. I averaged 9.6L/100km: better than some small cars, better than any small SUV I have driven, and much better than anything with a V6. The Rogue had enough power, day-to-day, returned amazing fuel economy, and it gets you from A to B in comfort – if you are the right body type.”
- James Bergeron/Autos.ca
2012 Nissan Rogue: “It is really too bad that the drivetrain and interior nuances of the Rogue weighed it down so much, since its chassis, exterior styling and rear seat comfort all scored well with the judges and placed it respectably mid-pack in those categories.”
- Jonathan Yarkony/Autos.ca