The Least Reliable Nissan Cars

Unlike some brands, including Honda and Toyota, Nissan isn’t as consistent. The Rogue is among the most well-rounded, while the Altima is still a mishmash. Likewise, some Nissans shine for predicted reliability; others don’t.

Consumer Reports ranks the Nissan brand toward the middle of the pack for car reliability. A few of the carmaker’s models are average, and some are above-average. However, CR says two vehicles bring down Nissan’s overall ranking.

The Rogue Sport doesn’t share the same positive ratings that the original Rogue has 

A Nissan Rogue Sport on display at an auto show
Nissan Rogue Sport | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Nissan first introduced the Rogue Sport for the 2017 model year. The Rogue Sport is a mini version of the conventional Rogue, but it’s not short on modern amenities. Regarding performance, the Rogue Sport isn’t as attractive.

A white 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport driving down a city street, displaying its versatility as a commuter car
The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport in action | Photo via Nissan

Serious changes are coming for the 2022 Rogue Sport, but we might not get the new model in America. For now, 2020 Rogue Sports are still available brand-new. The current model features a 141-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic (CVT). CR appreciates that the Rogue Sport’s CVT imitates an actual automatic. But sometimes, it feels jittery. Furthermore, this Nissan isn’t a standout in the subcompact SUV class for its pokey engine.

Because of the Rogue Sport’s lack of sportiness, CR nicknamed it “Rogue Junior.” The Rogue’s Sport’s reliability ratings are also an obvious reason to skip it. CR’s recent subscriber survey shows that the car’s most common trouble spots include its climate system and suspension. The 2020 model got a 33 out of 100 for predicted reliability, which is below-average. 

The Pathfinder is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

A blue 2020 Nissan Pathfinder driving down snowy road
2020 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

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As with the Rogue Sport, Nissan is still selling 2020 Pathfinders. There are rumors that Nissan will overhaul the Pathfinder for the upcoming model year. But the carmaker hasn’t confirmed the changes at this point.

The Pathfinder sits between the smaller Rogue and the larger Armada. Though, the Pathfinder doesn’t do enough to compete with more popular midsize SUVs like the Toyota Highlander. And unfortunately, the Pathfinder earned CR’s distinction as the least reliable Nissan; it got a 29 out of 100 for dependability. 

The 2020 Nissan has a comfy cabin but its brown trimmings look outdated.
2020 Nissan Pathfinder interior | Nissan

CR’s data shows that the most common Pathfinder problems include its climate system, paint/trim, and in-car electronics. Other common complaints include coolant leakage. The Pathfinder also has low owner satisfaction scores for its ho-hum performance. It looks sporty and rugged, but it’s basically a minivan in disguise.  Another bummer is that it’s still missing modern infotainment features.

Are the Nisan Rogue Sport and Pathfinder SUVs total dealbreakers?

A silver Nissan logo as seen on the silver grille of a vehicle
Nissan logo | Nissan

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The Rogue Sport and the Pathfinder don’t have the best ratings, but they aren’t all bad. We’ve recognized the Rogue Sport as one of the best commuter cars for its fuel-efficiency. The Pathfinder is OK if you value comfort over agility.  

Still, there are plenty of other options for you to consider. The Nissan Kicks is more fun than the Rogue Sport. And if you want a more engaging midsize SUV, consider the Mazda CX-9 or the Kia Telluride over the Pathfinder.