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Sportiness and style in a crossover

The XC90 was Volvo’s shot at machines like the Mercedes ML, Audi Q7 andAcura MDX. A premium four-wheel drive SUV, it boasted uniquely ruggedstyling, available V8 power, and a long-lived reputation for safety andoccupant protection.

Nissan’s replacement for the XTrail, Rogue competes with machinery like the Ford Escape, Dodge Nitro and Honda CR-V with an eye for sportiness and style.

All Rogue models got a 2.5-litre, 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 and a “lock” mode for low-traction situations.

Trim designations include “S” for a more basic Rogue, and “SL” for higher-end models. AWD, not surprisingly, denotes the presence of the AWD system on either trim level.

What Owners Like

Rogue owners typically rave about a comfortable ride, plenty of features for the money and the machine’s unique design. Most also claim to experience great fuel mileage. Sporty handling and all-weather traction round out the list of owner-stated positives.

What Owners Dislike

Numerous Rogue drivers complain of limited rearward visibility that translates into difficulty parking, as well as a small and “busy” instrument cluster. Some owners wish for a quieter ride and more headroom, too.

Common Issues

When test driving a 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.

In some cases, a computer reprogramming may solve the CVT noise problem. In either case, if the transmission in the Rogue you’re considering is making any strange noises, be sure to have it checked out.

An inspection by a Nissan-trained mechanic is advised for any used Rogue ahead of purchase.

A full check of all cabin electronics is advised, as is a check of the carpeting in the wheelwells and cargo area for potential water leaks from the sunroof drain tubes or hatch seal, respectively.

The Verdict

A used Rogue will likely provide owners with satisfying fuel economy, all-season performance and driving dynamics — though shoppers should seek out a clean bill of health for the CVT transmission from a Nissan mechanic before purchase.

A newer model with plenty of factory warranty remaining is the safest bet.

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