By KBB.com Editors
With gas prices rising in recent years and consumers looking towards more cost-effective transportation, it is no surprise that so many automakers have joined the small-crossover party, offering SUV-like vehicles with much more agreeable fuel economy. This year Nissan decided to throw its hat into the ring, introducing the aggressively-styled and nimble Rogue. The base model is comparatively bare (to meet its under-$20,000 price-point), but the long list of available features, including Bluetooth and all-wheel drive, means that the Rogue can be customized to suit just about any lifestyle. The Rogue stands to compete in a rapidly growing segment, against the likes of the established and successful Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and the redesigned Saturn VUE. With competitors like these and a lack of an available V6, the Rogue's price and fuel economy may be its best selling points.
The 2008 Nissan Rogue starts just under $20,000 – slightly less than any other four-cylinder crossover – and offers Bluetooth and fuel economy that bests category-leading offerings from Toyota and Honda.
If having a V6 powertrain or in-dash navigation are at the top of your list, you will have to look elsewhere, as the Rogue does not offer either. The Ford Escape, Saturn VUE, Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 may be better options.
The 2008 Nissan Rogue – based on the same platform as the Sentra – is the automaker's first foray into fuel-efficient small-crossover territory. With the base S model starting just under $20,000, it is also Nissan's most affordable SUV and makes use of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and smooth Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to offer segment-impressive fuel economy.
Driving Impressions In the SL all-wheel-drive (AWD) version that we tested, acceleration with the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) was smooth and consistent. With this "gearless" transmission, the car maintained an even...and very smooth pace down the road, although, during harder acceleration, such as in passing and through some hilly areas, the engine could easily be heard. Winding, curving back-country roads were easy to negotiate, thanks to the electric power-assisted steering, and the suspension kept body roll well under control. The "Intuitive" AWD (as Nissan calls it), distributes the driving torque between the front and rear wheels as needed, and would be particularly helpful in areas of bad weather and slippery conditions. Also beneficial in such conditions is the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with traction control, which helps keep the vehicle headed the direction the driver intends and thus reduces the chances of losing control on slick surfaces.
Sizeable Glove Box
The Rogue's glove compartment is generously sized and can fit up to 34 CDs, a nice feature for those who can't travel without large music collections. Additionally, a removable partition allows you to customize the space to fit a myriad of items.
Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Nissan is one of the few automakers to still embrace and refine CVT technology, and this second-generation transmission is incredibly smooth and gives the Rogue decent performance as well as good fuel economy.
The interior is simple yet effective, with most of the necessary controls within easy reach of the driver. Cruise control buttons are repeated on the steering wheel as an added convenience, although a few control functions are located somewhat awkwardly. Storage space is abundant, with perhaps the most useful interior feature being the oversized glove compartment that can swallow half a cubic foot of just about anything. Fitting into what Nissan calls "stealth ultra-functionality," a hidden cargo compartment in the rear, with plastic lining and mesh dividers, can store wet and dirty items out of sight, great for small things that might otherwise roll around loose.Exterior
Built on the same platform as the new Sentra, the front of the 2008 Nissan Rogue S is graced by a body-colored bumper and grille flanked on either side by halogen headlights and topped with a low-swept hood and windshield. Looking lean and muscular, the sides extend over the wheel wells and the taillights wrap around to the rear liftgate. The overall effect gives the vehicle the look of Nissan's larger Murano SUV in miniature. Opting for the more upscale SL trim will add 17-inch alloy wheels (the base Rogue has 16-inch steel wheels), roof rails, body-colored outside mirrors, stainless steel exhaust and rear privacy glass.
The base 2008 Nissan Rogue S has numerous convenient standard features, including steering wheel-mounted buttons for cruise control, four-way manually-adjustable front seats, an auxiliary input jack and power windows, locks and mirrors. The SL trim adds rear air ducts, two 12-volt power outlets and a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat. Storage space in both models is abundant, with a cavernous glove compartment and removable partition to help organize random stuff, and a large center console that could swallow a tissue box or small purse. For occupant protection, the Rogue has front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, along with a rollover sensor.
To keep the base Rogue below the $20,000 mark, many desirable features are sold as packaged options (and mostly on the SL trim), including a leather steering wheel, shift knob and seats, roof-rail crossbars, fog lights, an auto-dimming mirror, Bluetooth, xenon headlights and remote-sensing start and entry. An additional tray for the center console is available to increase its organizing capabilities. Options to upgrade the audio system include a Bose 7-speaker system and Nd Richbass subwoofer, six-disc CD/MP3 player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and XM Satellite Radio. Only the SL trim level is available with the comprehensive Premium Package (which includes paddle shifters for the CVT) and the optional power glass moonroof. The all-wheel-drive system and a portable Garmin navigation unit are available on both trim levels.
The 2008 Nissan Rogue is offered in S and SL trims and both are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine matched to an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is well-suited for everyday driving. A manual mode is offered on the SL trim, along with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. For those who need a vehicle that can tackle a variety of driving conditions and road surfaces, choosing all-wheel drive results in only minimal reductions in fuel economy.
2.5-liter in-line 4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
175 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 (FWD), 21/26 (AWD)
By Mine on Monday, April 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Seals on doors aren't very good. Let a lot of road noise in while driving. Can always hear the wind outside the car and the tires are loud. Don't care for the center console between the front bucket seats. Would prefer to be able to open the front windows when the window locks are engaged. Large blind spot between the small windows toward the back of the car and the passenger windows in the rear. Front bumper paint has always been discolored."
By jj on Friday, April 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "back up camera in mirror."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"When the snow was sandy over the weeks, my Honda couldn't drive in the snow. Constantly getting hung up. But my rouge with the push button AWD took me through any condition. Love that...."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By yorkie49 on Saturday, March 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nissan innovations"
Cons: "The seats are harsh in a long trip"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My wife and I are a Nissan customers since we change from Honda's to Nissan, I just sold my 2005 Altima with 60000 and we are looking to upgrade her car depending on what can of a deal can we get"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Cinderella on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "I loved all of my nissan vehicles..kept going back"
Cons: "I loved this vehicle until the event of CVT trans."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have been a Nissan customer for many years...1985, 1997, 2008....I don't plan to buy another Nissan unless the problem with the CVT transmission is fixed. I had to have transmission replaced at 38,500 miles, and again at 115,232 miles...at which time I was told 'you won't get another transmission'! I was not happy to hear this since the problem is with the CVT trans. and not any fault with my driving. I have driven for over 40 years and NEVER had to have anything done to a transmission except occasional fluid."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By joecjet on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very stylish exterior, comfortable interior"
Cons: "Poor paint quality, noisy drive train, gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We purchased our Rogue new, and loved the car at first. The first issue we found is the GPS is worthless. We constantly get lost and the worst part is sometimes it does not correct and you are real lost. Secondly, the paint is very inferior. My wifes 2008 work car, and my 2006 Jeep has less paint chips than this Rogue with 6,300 miles. Next, after the first "dealer" oil change, the motor gradually got real loud. I checked the oil and it was full. I took it back to tell them. They said the noise was normal for a CVT powered car. I asked what oil they used and they told me bulk oil. I changed it with my usual oil Pennzoil platinum and used a new Nissan filter. Made no difference ? We were religiously getting 25.4mpg. Since the noise issue, we're down to 19.7 or lower. My wife had 2 occurrences, one when she tried to go from a off ramp onto a interstate highway she pushed on the gas, the engine revved, but the car wasn't moving. She drifted off the road, called the dealer for road side assistance. They told her to shut the car off for a couple minutes, restart it and if it still wouldn't move call back. She did so, started the car and it went. She drove straight to the dealer. They checked for codes, found none,and said they couldn't duplicate the problem. The second occurrence happened in a parking garage. She stopped on a up ramp waiting her turn to get her ticket. She took her foot off the brake and pushed on the gas. The car started drifting backward. She had to shut the car off, waited a minute, started it and it went. All the while people behind her blowing horns. I have never had this happen to me, but she drives it more.This car has gotten SO loud engine wise it drowns out the radio. Any load on the engine causes it. Set the cruise on a level road and it's smooth. Pass a car or go up a grade and you'll need ear plugs. We like how the car looks, and how comfortable the interior is, but we will never own another Nissan. I might add, we got a loaner Rogue from the dealer when ours was in for service and it did not sound like ours. I mentioned that to the service manager on returning it. He said that's because it is new under 1,000 miles. It will sound like yours in a couple more thousand miles ?"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Gina on Thursday, February 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, good gas mileage, color"
Cons: "no bluetooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned this vehicle for about two years and I am very happy with all aspects. Gas milage is as stated and can get up to 32 mpg if i keep it between 65 and 70 on the freeway. I get alot of compliments on the Cayenne Red color which is what brought my attention to the car in the first place. Only thing it is lacking is bluetooth which was added the next year(2013). But I have adjusted or use a headset. Ride is very comfortable and nimble in turns. Very happy overall"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful