We bought our 2008 Rogue S AWD new from the dealership. Nice looking, fun to drive, great safety features, and the AWD is fantastic. Never had to be towed. I noticed the transmission had a slight high pitch whine when it was new - going up steep hills. I thought it was just normal for a CVT. Then as time went on (about 20,000 miles) the transmission developed a loud high pitch whine going up steep hills - especially in the summer heat. At 30,503 miles the dealer replaced the transmission fluid because of my complaints about the CVT noise. Nissan has replaced 2 CVT transmissions so far.
Power, AWD, safety features.
The CVT transmission is very sensitive to heat. If you go up hills, or 70 MPH, or carry a lot of weight, expect the transmission to go into "fail safe" mode.
The car's computer will suddenly reduce the car's power - to protect the transmission. If the CVT transmission has a high pitch whine, and it does not go into fail safe, expect the transmission to fail soon. Unfortunately, if you are passing on a two lane road, this is most likely time that the CVT will go into fail safe mode. As just happened to me and my family, my Rogue went into fail safe while I was passing, the power was suddenly drastically reduced, and it nearly caused a head-on collision. Consider a transmission oil cooler.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.