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2008 Nissan Rogue

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2008 Nissan Rogue Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's Significant About This Car?

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 the Rogue
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.

2008 Nissan Rogue Details
Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

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2008 Nissan Rogue Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 372 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

defective CVT transmissions in all Nissans

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "interior and drive are good when it runs"

Cons: "CVT is garbage and should be recalled"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"until the transmission died I was happy with this vehicle. after my transmission died I found out about ALL the problems with the cvt. nissan only offers a rebuilt with a ONE YEAR waranty! This should have been recalled, never buy a nissan with cvt!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Disappointed in Nissan

By on Monday, April 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great size"

Cons: "unreliable, few cup holders, transmission problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Nissan makes bad crossover vehicles and refuses to recall. This vehicle, like the Murano have a long history of transmission issues and Nissan charges their customers for every penny of repair. It has been giving me transmission and electrical issues for many months, even after spending $2300 for my 100,000 mile service. I do not feel safe in this car. I had high hopes. Going with Honda or any other dependable brand from here on out."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Good all around small SUV

By on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "roomy, good for family, good for winter"

Cons: "its an SUV, no GPS, black fabric shows every speck"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this used from a friend who kept it immaculate and had an extra vehicle when my old Volvo finally died. It was not what I was looking for but I couldn't give up a great condition used vehicle with an extended warranty. I have been driving this car for 8 months now and I can't complain. It has gone through a mild upstate NY winter but did wonderfully on snowy roads when we had them. I drove it on a 120+ mile round trip today and it is great on the highway. Nice and quiet. I wish it had a built in GPS but my phone works quite well in that department. I live on a mountain and drive up a hill every day and this conquers my hill like a champ. My mechanic says he won't see me for a very long time other than for oil changes with this vehicle (very unlike my old Volvo-never again!). I take that as a big thumbs up! We also drove this down to south carolina last year with our little dog in tow and there was plenty of space for everyone and everything. Great family car! My only complaint? Rear visibility but this is improved with the back up cameras. Please use them!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

DO NOT BUY!!!

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I wish that I would have read reviews prior to purchasing my Rogue. I have replaced the transmission and radiator. My vehicle was not under warranty so this was all out of pocket. I am now having trouble with the AWD which is absolutely worthless. I have owned numerous vehicles over the years and this is the most trouble I have ever experienced. This is not a reliable vehicle and I would not recommend it. At this point I would not recommend Nissan."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best Mid-size sport utility ever.

By on Friday, January 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It was suggested to me by a friend that I should look a the Rogue. I had seen them but never investigated them or drove one. It was terrific!! Now after four years it is all of the above and more. I will purchase another Rogue when the time comes."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

love this car, fun to drive

By on Thursday, December 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, good sound system"

Cons: "blind spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"a lightweight body with great pick-up. hit the pedal and you're off. I call her my red bullet. reliable too, I never had a mechanical issue in three years. heating and air system warms quickly in winter, gas mileage is good, this model is worth the money."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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