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Nissan’s top two SUVs, the Rogue and Pathfinder, have been consumer favorites for years. However, a recent study shows these popular Nissan SUVs have a younger sibling that owners find more satisfying. We’ll review the sales figures for all three and look at the surprising results of the newest member of the Nissan family.

Nissan reports 147,745 units sold year-to-date for the 2023 Nissan Rogue. It is the perfect example of a small SUV, combining comfort, elegance, and adaptability. Consumers have taken a shine to its sophisticated styling, cutting-edge technological features, and fuel economy, making it a popular pick for an urban-friendly yet competent crossover.

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, on the other hand, exemplifies the spirit of adventure and family-oriented practicality, with 42,773 units sold. It is a midsize, three-row SUV known for its spacious interior and strong towing capacity. It’s also known for its smooth ride and good fuel economy. The 2023 model has a Rugged Creek trim that’s designed for off-roading. However, a recent study contradicts these sales figures.

Owners rate another Nissan SUV higher

The J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study analyzes new-vehicle owners’ experiences with their vehicle after 90 days, focusing on design, performance, safety, usability, comfort, and perceived quality. The study measures over 40 vehicle attributes in 10 experience groups.

The 2023 U.S. APEAL Study is based on responses from 84,555 owners of new 2023 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded from February through May 2023, based on vehicles registered from November 2022 through February 2023.

Surprisingly, the two winners in the Nissan category were the Ariya and the Titan. The Ariya and the Kia EV6 tied for the top spot in the compact SUV category.

In the Nissan sales report, the Ariya only sold 5,195 units, which is surprising considering the reported customer satisfaction in the APEAL study. Let’s examine why the Ariya scored better in the J.D. Power study.

Is the Ariya a good SUV?

The 2023 Nissan Ariya is the automaker’s first all-electric crossover SUV, offering powerful acceleration and smooth operation. It is a fully electric vehicle with an all-electric drivetrain. It comes in four core models, including two-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive versions, and offers 63 kWh or 87 kWh of usable battery capacity. The Ariya features Nissan’s advanced all-wheel control technology, e-4ORCE, which optimizes power output and braking performance for smoothness and stability. 

The Ariya offers intelligent driving, including ProPILOT Assist, which helps drivers stay centered in their lane and navigate highway traffic. The vehicle also includes ProPILOT Park, which guides the vehicle into parking spots when activated. The Ariya also has wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, and SiriusXM with 360L, a premium audio entertainment platform.

The connectivity display interface features a 12.3-inch instrument monitor and a 12.3-inch center display, providing easy access to important vehicle information. The Ariya is the first Nissan model with remote software upgrades, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable driving experience.

The Ariya hasn’t been around long, but it has left an impression on consumers. For consumers looking to replace the Leaf, the Ariya should be considered as it is very similar to the Leaf, with the added benefit of better style, more room, and more features. If the APEAL study is accurate, the Ariya might dethrone the Pathfinder and the Rogue as the go-to Nissan SUV.