2009 Nissan Rogue SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Nissan Rogue SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Rogue Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Nissan Rogue

  • The 2009 Nissan Rogue is a comfortable, convenient and fun-to-drive compact crossover, but it lacks cargo space and rear-seat versatility.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Carlike driving manners, smooth ride, well-crafted interior, comfortable front seating, first-rate braking, excellent optional Bose audio.

  • Cons

    Lacks the cargo room and versatility of competing crossovers, ill-suited transmission, poor rearward visibility.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Nissan Rogue is largely unchanged from last year.

Full 2009 Nissan Rogue Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Nissan Rogue is largely unchanged from last year.


Inevitably, the march of technology and necessity shrinks the size of everything. Imagine trying to carry around seven days' worth of music before the iPod. In keeping with this theme comes the 2009 Nissan Rogue -- a kind of mini Murano. Though based on the economy-minded Sentra, the Rogue manages to better its parent in terms of drivability, appearance and practicality.

Compared to other compact crossovers, the Rogue stands out thanks to its carlike manners and well-crafted interior. The competent four-cylinder engine produces enough oomph to keep up with the pack, but unfortunately, power is run through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan has utilized a CVT with great success in the V6-powered Altima and Maxima, and presumably the thinking here must have been to smooth out an already decent ride with a gearbox that eliminates shifting. The end result, however, is an odd elastic feeling in the driveline. Even stranger, transitioning to and from the gas pedal while on the highway creates a seesaw effect, with rising and falling engine revs.

Even with the transmission annoyances and limited rearward visibility, the 2009 Nissan Rogue is still a stylish, viable alternative to the top small crossovers. While the family-friendly Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have more cargo room and creature comforts, the Rogue is a good choice for those who need less utility and are more prone to city commuting. Taking this into account, the Rogue is more in direct competition with the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-7, Saturn Vue and Volkswagen Tiguan. We suggest comparing all of these models to the Rogue before deciding.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Nissan Rogue is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in two trim levels, both available with either front- or all-wheel drive. The S trim level is the base model, and it comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, a tilting steering wheel, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry and a four-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary jack. No options are available for the S trim level.

The more luxuriously appointed SL trim level includes everything from the S model and gains a few more options and conveniences, including 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, tinted windows, a fold-down front passenger seat, a dual-level tray for the center console and a trip computer.

Options for the SL trim level are consolidated into larger bundles. The Premium Package includes foglights, a foldable cargo organizer, a cargo cover, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker Bose audio system with a six-CD/MP3 changer, satellite radio and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. All-wheel-drive SL models equipped with this package also receive xenon headlights and manual shift control for the transmission. The SL's Leather Package, as you'd expect, includes leather upholstery plus heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated side mirrors, a six-way power driver seat, a one-touch up/down driver window and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A sunroof is available as a stand-alone option.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2009 Nissan Rogues are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission is a CVT that, depending on the model, drives either all four wheels or just the fronts. In our testing, the AWD Rogue SL took 9.2 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is comparable to other four-cylinder compact crossovers.

Likewise, fuel economy is similar to that of the competition. The front-wheel-drive Rogue has an EPA estimate of 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. The AWD variant drops slightly to 21/26/23 mpg.


For the entire Rogue lineup, standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. All of this protection earned the Rogue an almost perfect crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In front-impact tests, protection for the driver earned a top five-star rating and front passenger protection earned four stars. Front and rear side-impact tests resulted in a five-star rating. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Rogue received a "Good" rating (the best rating possible) in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Nissan Rogue is comfortable, intuitive and well-built with top-notch materials. The cabin is thoughtfully laid out with controls that are properly placed and effortlessly operated. Though lacking numerous storage compartments, the Rogue makes up for it with a substantial center console bin, a massive glovebox and a clever under-floor organizer.

Seating comfort, both front and rear, is as good as it gets -- even when stacked up against the venerable Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. But unlike those of competing crossovers, the Rogue's rear seats don't recline or slide forward or backward. There is also no center armrest. However, they do fold flat when more cargo space is needed. With the rear seats upright, storage is limited to 28.9 cubic feet. With the seats stowed, the space jumps to 57.9 cubes, but is still significantly smaller than the competition.

Driving Impressions

Much of the appeal of small crossovers stems from their carlike driving manners, and the 2009 Nissan Rogue delivers. Road bumps and imperfections are gobbled up with ease thanks to the suspension's long travel. The Rogue is stable at highway speeds, and short stopping distances add to the confidence one feels when driving. Steering is likewise direct and well-tuned, despite being slightly vague in terms of feedback to the driver.

The main detraction from an otherwise successful execution is the aforementioned CVT. The consequent lazy throttle response, yo-yo-like engine revving and moaning engine note gives drivers the impression that they're in a much slower vehicle. The SL trim's manual shift mode with paddle shifters rectifies this situation somewhat by allowing the driver to select among six simulated "gear" ratios.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2009 rogue sl

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue SL 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Bought this car for my daughter 6 months ago. It was a one owner with 95,000 miles and a good service history. Have been very pleased with the car. No CVT issues that others have mentioned but it does seem to be an issue on some cars. Better value that the RAV 4 and CRV I looked at. The Rogue interior is considerably more classy and it is quieter inside. All routine maintenance was done before I bought the car (brakes, belts, fluids) so I didn't expect to have any issues and haven't. I drove the car for a few weeks and averaged 27 mpg on back roads with a few stop lights and signs. Pretty good for an AWD SUV and 10 mpg better than my Mazda CX-9.

Dont buy a cvt nissan

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue S 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The car is fine. Its a bit loud, not very powerful. On one had compared to its peers the interior it is well built. The transmission failed a few years ago, the dealer replaced it under warranty with no issues. Now, about 60k miles later the transmission is failing again, it sounds like a truck, the issues are well documented and the dealer tells me it is normal. Refusing to do anything to resolve the issue. After owning the car for 4 years there are many other vehicles I would purchase over the Nissan Rogue. Initially, I really like what Nissan is about, ride quality, reliability, etc. But I will not purchase another one. Search the net for CVT reviews before you buy.

Rogue can compete with rav

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue SL 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

As said above this car can easily compete with a RAV-4 or CRV. I drove my 09 Rogue SL AWD for 85,000 miles without a problem. As with everycar I own.owned I only use Mobil 1 for oil changes at longer intervals than book recommends for the car. Dealer did all my oil changes and maintenance and cost was overall less than expected. Just changed brakes and rotors all the way around with high quality as they old ones started to "wobble" at 83K miles. I averaged 24mpg with mixed driving. I had long highway drives (72 mph) at 29 mpg but also ones at 23 mpg. City driving is less than stated mpg, but overall a great comfy ride. This car is a great all around CUV that will grow on you.

Make the "wobbling" stop!!!!

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue SL 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I just bought a used 2009 Rogue less than a month ago and have had nothing but problems. The car was supposed to be "certified" as well. It has been at the dealer shop longer than I have actually been able to drive it. There were 6 issues with it, all have supposedly been resolved, except for one...the wobbling while driving 30-45 mph! Today I drove with the service manager, he informed me that it was normal and it was the torque conversion being engaged. I just can't buy that answer! It's annoying! He also said he has told over 600 people the same answer because they come in with the same complaint. Does anyone else have this issue???? I can't find ANYONE online complaining about it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car!and a must own

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue SL 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have to say after reading some of the other reviews I laugh at what people find as annoying...Claiming there AWD doesn't work when they don't lock it? Or the fact that they think the car is a 4X4. Nissan/Infiniti AWD is one of the best in the world and as a long time Infiniti owner of the M class X series I love there AWD and I live in snow country.We purchased this for my fiance as a baby is on the way and wanted a great MPG Cross over.We look at the Infiniti Cross over but my Fiance didn't like any of the looks and felt it had to many gadgets. So we went with the SL AWD Rogue and she loves it! Great MPG love the CVT tranny fun on highway and holds well in the snow for the high RMPS.

82000 miles of frustration

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Rogue SL 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This car has been nothing but problems after 41000 miles. Brake rotors keep warping replace and or surface every 10000 miles, and no I don't ride the brakes. Transmission replaced 62000 miles and at 80000 whining again!. Frustrating rattle under front end after a front seal was replaced. Dealer couldn't locate. A.C just went out coming home from Las Vegas. Back seat rattles from latch. Nissan Consumer relationship doesn't care. CVT transmission is junk.

Talk About The 2009 Rogue

2009 Nissan Rogue Discussions See all Started By

Test drove a 2008 Rogue today, and really liked it! I'll more than likely eventually purchase one. However, does anybody know when the 09 Rogues will hit the lot? Would it be worth waiting till the 09...

I purchased a new 2009 Rogue from the dealer in July 2010. It now has about 3,000 mi. on it. When I've been driving it on logging roads with the AWD lock on, it will automatically disengage after a fe...

vehicle in front of us. We have a 2009 Nissan Rogue. This happened 2 months after we bought it. Now we are fighting with insurance and Nissan Canada to read the black box to find out what actually ha...

Read more about the 2009 Nissan Rogue

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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