Used Guide: 2014-20 Nissan Rogue

5 tips to shop smarter for a used Nissan Rogue

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A barber I used to visit regularly had a Nissan Rogue and loved to talk about it. In the same heavy Italian accent as some of my great uncles (also barbers), he pronounced it his Nissan “Rug”, but I knew exactly what he meant.

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My barber and his wife loved their Nissan Rogue for a smooth ride, a safe feel in the snow, and an easy time seeing out, all the way around, thanks to tall windows and good outward sight lines. Time and again, however, he told me how his favourite feature was the power tailgate.

In summation: a smooth and competent crossover with features you’ll come to enjoy. This is representative of the ownership experience of owners of the previous-generation Nissan Rogue, which launched for model-year 2014 and was just recently replaced by a new-for-2021 model. 

The second-generation Rogue ran four-cylinder power, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and either front- or all-wheel drive. Look for 170 horsepower, alongside a wide range of safety and connectivity tech, including an advanced body motion control system that uses the Rogue’s brakes to help smooth out the ride and handling. Some earlier models from this generation even offered three seating rows.

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Those considering a 2014-2020 Nissan Rogue should consider some important facts, tips, and information ahead of their purchase, to help them make a more informed test-drive and purchase decision. We’ll dig into those below.

Owners’ Community

Like many cars, the Nissan Rogue has an online community of owners that share stories, experiences, and information with one another. Here’s a valuable resource for used Nissan Rogue shoppers, which compiles a list of common questions, answers and issues reported and organized by the owners’ community.

Consider browsing these articles, or joining the forum to learn more about the Nissan Rogue from its owners’ community. Many owners are happy to share tips and experiences with perspective shoppers.

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2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist
2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist Photo by Graeme Fletcher

Transmission

Numerous Nissan Rogue owners from this generation have reported transmission trouble, and this generation saw both recalls and lawsuits surrounding transmission-related problems. Some owners had transmissions replaced under warranty, or corrected with updated parts or software.

Though many Nissan Rogue owners have enjoyed trouble-free transmission operation, shoppers should treat this part of the machine as a possible trouble area and exercise caution before they buy.

On your test-drive, be on the lookout for whining noises, sluggish performance, or difficulty achieving or maintaining a highway cruising speed. Poor throttle response is a key trouble sign, as are unwanted noises or driveline-related ‘clunks’ during the operation of the vehicle.

Thankfully, these signs of transmission trouble are easy to detect.

Ensuring that the vehicle you’re considering was consistently and continually serviced exclusively in a dealer setting for its entire life can add further peace of mind to your purchase decision, as can extended warranty coverage.

During ownership, remember to only have the transmission serviced by a qualified technician in a dealer setting. Do-it-yourself maintenance to this type of transmission has proven catastrophic for more than one owner.

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2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist
2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist Photo by Graeme Fletcher

Air Conditioning

Perform an air conditioner stress-test on any used Nissan Rogue you’re considering from this generation. This can reveal potential trouble signs reported by some owners and tip you off to potential problems or necessary repairs.

Start by making your test-drive, and getting the vehicle’s engine nice and warm. When you return from driving, park the Rogue, but leave the engine running. Next, blast the air conditioner to the maximum fan speed and lowest temperature setting. Working the climate controls, systematically check each vent and outlet, to confirm the presence of a continual stream of steady, cold air.

After checking each vent, increase the temperature about 50 percent, and check each vent again, confirming that warmer air is now supplied by each. Any difficulty in achieving the expected temperature, or any sudden failure of the air conditioner to cool the cabin, are signs of system trouble that’s best checked out by a technician before you buy.

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Note that in some cases, problems like this are caused by electronic malfunctions that may be dealt with during routine dealer servicing.

2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist
2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist Photo by Graeme Fletcher

Safety Systems and Displays

The Nissan Rogue you’re considering may be equipped with advanced safety features that rely on a network of sensors and cameras, as well as on-board displays, to alert drivers of hazards in their driving environment.

Some owners have reported issues with these components, which may result in warning lights, system crashes, or malfunctioning warnings and displays. Most have not.

If a safety system is experiencing trouble, you may notice a warning light in the instrument cluster, or an error message advising that the system is not available. If that’s the case, have the vehicle checked before you buy, and never attempt to reset safety-system trouble by disconnecting and reconnecting the vehicle’s battery.

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2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist

Sunroof Rattles 

Some Rogue owners have reported trouble from the sunroof, related mostly to squeaks, rattles and malfunctions during operation. Most have not. 

In some cases, lubrication and adjustment fixes the trouble. In others, sunroof hardware and structures need to be replaced, possibly at great expense if out of warranty.

Be sure to quiet the Rogue’s cabin on your test-drive and listen for signs of sunroof trouble with the roof in various positions. If you notice any, consider factoring it into your pricing negotiations.

2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist
2019 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum with ProPilot Assist Photo by Graeme Fletcher

Final Thought

These tips are designed to help test-driving shoppers more easily identify possible trouble areas reported by some owners. An attentive test-drive and shopping process that focuses on the areas above can help you find a first-class example of a second-hand Nissan Rogue.

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