Nissan’s Best and Worst Scoring 2023 SUVs
Nissan offers a full range of SUVs for 2023, from the subcompact Nissan Kicks to the full-sized Nissan Armada. Generally, Nissan’s crossovers and SUVs are a bit more affordable than their counterparts while offering much of the same practicality, features, and comfort. However, they have a few more downsides, like a lack of driving verve or outdated systems.
As such, no Nissan SUVs top U.S. News’ rankings in their respective categories, though several earn high marks. Here’s how all 2023 Nissan SUVs stack up.
The Best Nissan SUV in 2023 is the Nissan Rogue
No other SUV category is as competitive as the compact crossover class, and within that segment, Nissan lands its top-scoring SUV for 2023, the Rogue. The five-seat Nissan Rogue scored an overall rating of 8.2 points out of 10, earning it the No. 5 spot in the compact SUV category where it faces rivals like the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, and a dozen others.
The 2023 Rogue earns its notable ranking due to its spacious cabin, respectable road manners, and notable fuel efficiency. The Rogue comes with a long list of standard features, including driver assists, and there are four trims to deck out the model with additional amenities if desired.
Unlike many of its stablemates, the Rogue costs a bit more than several of its closest rivals, and its 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine paired with a CVT is somewhat sprightly around town but lacks passing power on the highway.
The debut Ariya impresses overall with some downsides
Nissan is breaking into the EV SUV fray for 2023 with its first entry, the compact Ariya. The Nissan Ariya earns a rating of 7.9/10 thanks to its comfortable and poised ride, upmarket and practical interior, long list of standard features, and the 304-mile driving range offered by its front-wheel-drive Venture+ model. The Ariya’s score is diminished by its lack of a one-pedal driving mode and frunk.
The Ariya ranks sixth in U.S. News’ electric SUV rankings, beating out the Volkswagen ID.4 and Toyota bZ4X while trailing the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
2023 Pathfinder, Murano, and Kicks earn middling scores
The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder and Murano each land in the midsize category. The Pathfinder is larger, seating seven or eight passengers, while the Murano is strictly a five-seater.
U.S. News gives the Pathfinder an overall rating of 7.9 out of 10, but in the ultra-competitive midsize SUV segment, that’s only good enough to land the Nissan at the No. 14 spot for the highest score. The publication notes the Pathfinder is “very good” overall with its stylish looks, balanced driving characteristics, generous features, and upmarket interior but criticizes its relatively high asking price and outdated infotainment system.
The Murano receives a rating of 7.6, which is tied for 20th out of 23 models. The Murano is praised for its comfort and 260-hp V6, but its lackluster handling, smaller-than-average cargo space, and transmission hold it back. Overall, the publication states that the Murano has its share of positive attributes but lacks competition in key areas.
The subcompact Kicks earns a rating of 7.8, landing the interestingly named crossover at No. 9 out of 16 models in U.S. News’ rankings. It earns high marks for its safety, efficiency, pragmaticism, and amenities list, but its “weak engine” and lack of driving verve are downsides.
The full-sized Armada is ranked lowest in its segment
Nissan’s only full-size SUV, the Armada, is also its lowest-ranking SUV of 2023. That’s because the Armanda appears to come from yesteryear with several outdated aspects that give it a rating of just 6.6 points. That’s the worst overall score among non-luxury large SUVs.
The bulky three-row SUV has loads of passenger space, generous standard features, and a fair luxe cabin, but it’s otherwise a blast from the past. The Armada is powered by V8 cranking out 400 hp and paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The V8 offers respectable power, but it also chugs fuel. According to the EPA, rear-wheel drive will return just 14 mpg around town and 19 mpg on highway treks. Its body-on-frame design is also old-school, as is the resulting ride comfort.
U.S. News says the Armada is a “decent SUV, but it’s far from perfect.” The publication states the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition are overall better options, with the Chevy Suburban topping the ranks.