Crossover & Midsize

Never Buy a Nissan Rogue From This Model Year

The Nissan Rogue is a popular family SUV and one of Nissan’s best-selling vehicles in its arsenal. But popularity doesn’t always mean quality. Is the Nissan Rogue a reliable vehicle, or is it bound to give you heartache? Are all Nissan Rogues created equal, or do certain model years stand out above the rest? Here’s the one model year you should stay away from at all costs, as well as the potential costs of investing in a Nissan Rogue.

The worst Nissan Rogue model year you could buy

The Nissan Rogue on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Nissan Rogue | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

After compiling all problems reported by owners for the Nissan Rogue, CarComplaints.com gives us a model year comparison to help see where the Rogue excels and where it doesn’t. After looking at the model year comparison of the Nissan Rogue, one thing is certain: there are a lot of complaints.

But the Rogue which earned Car Complaints’ infamous badge of “Worst Model Year” is the 2013 Rogue. Not only ranked as the worst based “on several factors such as repair cost and average mileage when problems occur,” but the 2013 Nissan Rogue also received the most complaints out of any model year. With 169 total complaints, the 2013 Rogue receives the most owner complaints by far.

The numbers don’t lie: the Nissan Rogue’s biggest problems

The 2013 Nissan Rogue’s 169 complaints are divided into several problem categories, but its most-reported problem category is also considered the biggest problem category of all Rogue model years. There are 80 complaints regarding the 2013 model’s transmission, with 55 people complaining of loss of acceleration, 12 of transmission failure, and a few complaints of whining, whistling, and an improperly-working transmission.

There are 32 complaints listed in the body/paint problems category for the 2013 Rogue and 15 complaints in the engine category. Owners report problems with chipping or peeling paint, excessive rusting, and more. Most problems reported in the engine category are also associated with the transmission, with a total of 7 owners reporting their engine has no power or problems accelerating.

Car Complaints lists transmission problems as the Nissan Rogue’s biggest problem regardless of the model year. Of all complaints, the majority fall into the transmission category, with the worst problem of them seemingly the same across all models. Loss of acceleration, inability to accelerate, etc. is a trend in most model years, with a wide variation in average mileage at which it occurs. But the average cost to fix this transmission problem varies from $2,000-$5,000.

Problems with the Rogue’s transmission seem to be a common theme for the SUV, which according to Cars.com, has even been addressed by Nissan. In 2016, Nissan issued a service bulletin to owners of model years between 2013 and 2016 to bring their vehicles in for servicing on their transmissions.

Are there any model years that prove reliable?

Unfortunately, things don’t look too good for the Nissan Rogue’s overall reliability. Though the 2013 Rogue receives the most complaints at Car Complaints, there aren’t too many model years that don’t earn an unimpressive amount of complaints. Behind the 2013 model with the most complaints comes the 2014 model year, which has 145 complaints. Following that model year fall the 2011, 2015, and 2008 model years, with 134, 130, and 100 complaints, respectively. In fact, the only model years that haven’t received more than 50 complaints are the 2017 and 2018 models, and that can also be attributed to their relative newness.

But this isn’t surprising, considering the Nissan Rogue’s proven track records with certain problems. With only two complaints for the 2019 model year and a new 2020 model fresh off the line, has Nissan fixed its problems?

Consumer Reports gives the newest 2020 Nissan Rogue a good predicted reliability rating of four (out of five), but a low predicted owner satisfaction rating of two. On the road test, however, the 2020 model received a perfect rating in the transmission category. Has Nissan finally caught on to the Rogue’s transmission shortcomings? Time will tell.