9 Nissan Rogue Years To Avoid (And Which Are The Best?)

Considering a Nissan Rogue for your next vehicle purchase? While it’s a popular choice, some years outshine others in terms of reliability and performance. This guide illuminates which Rogue models to approach with caution and which to pursue confidently. Let’s get into the specifics.

Nissan Rogue Years to Avoid and what to buy.

What are the Nissan Rogue Years to Avoid?

Certain Nissan Rogue model years have been flagged for reliability issues based on user complaints and recalls. Specifically, years like 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2015, 2016, and 2018 are considered the Nissan Rogue years to avoid.

For manufacturers in North America, the compact crossover is one of the most competitive segments in the market. Practically, every brand has created its own model. With so many out there, it’s hard for a particular model to stand out. 

Nissan is no different, with its veteran, the Rogue. However, in recent years, the company has faced criticism over its quality and reliability. Given that it’s one of the cheaper options, this has led many to inquire whether it’s worth buying.

Before we dive into the particulars of the Rogue’s reputation, it’s important to clarify that this crossover isn’t the best in the market. So, it’s easy to find other brands that out perform the Nissan Rogue. 

So, this article will answer the question: what are the Nissan Rogue years to avoid? Plus, we’ll look at some years that you could buy. 

Understanding the Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue was released in 2007, replacing the X-Trail for the North American market.

It was Nissan’s effort to catch the growing fever for compact crossovers and small SUVs. It wasn’t the most popular from the start, although sales figures would improve considerably over the years. 

Since its launch, the Rogue has come with either a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configuration, and, as far as powerplants go, it hasn’t had much variety.

The Nissan Rogue was the product of the company’s alliance with French manufacturer Renault, so the interior turned out comfortable and practical, although slightly basic. 

Regarding handling and driving, the Nissan Rogue is smooth but nothing to ride home about, especially in the power department.

Its engine choices have always been sedate and more aimed towards increased miles per gallon. 

Nissan Rogue

Nissan Rogue Model Years

There have been three generations of Nissan Rogue, and the following table highlights the most essential features.

It’s crucial to note that the Rogue has always come with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which only saw improvements in the third generation. 

GenerationProduction yearsEngine options
First generation2007-20152.5L inline-4
Second generation2013-20202.0L inline-4 2.5L inline-4
Third generation2020-present1.5L inline-4 (except in Canada)

The first-generation model was sold along with the newer version, named Rogue Select, for two years. Buying a 2013 Rogue from either the second or first iterations is possible. 

While the first sales figures weren’t as good for the company, this vehicle would eventually have excellent commercial success.

Moreover, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given it top safety ratings. The problem is that it doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s a reliable vehicle. 

If you search the web, you’ll find that the Nissan Rogue has many problems, from overheating to transmission issues.

So, finding a good year to buy is actually quite a challenge. Having said that, let’s look at a list of the best and worst years to buy. 

What Years of Nissan Rogue to Avoid? (And Which To Buy?)

As discussed, the Nissan Rogue is popular, but you’ll never find it in the best car listings. So, starting on the bad and making our way to the good is essential. 

Worst Years for the Nissan Rogue

The most common problems with the models on this list include transmission failure, overheating, trouble starting, electrical issues, and sudden loss of power.

Here are the Nissan Rogue years with the most problems:

  • 2013: the 2013 Nissan Rogue (second generation) has the highest complaints on many reputable websites. The leading cause for concern is the transmission, as it’s prone to fail. Users have complained of sudden power loss and problems accelerating. 
  • 2014: the 2014 model is one of the worst out there. It has considerable problems with its CVT. Several articles have highlighted that the transmission isn’t strong enough to deal with sudden temperature changes, which can fail when facing heavier loads.  
  • 2011: the 2011 Nissan Rogue also has transmission issues but comes with engine problems and a fragile sunroof prone to exploding. 
  • 2018: the 2018 model has seen several reports of sudden breaking, even while driving in normal conditions. This is due to a faulty sensor and could lead to severe injury or even death. The 2018 Nissan Rogue saw several complaints in this department, but Nissan failed to create a recall. 
Nissan Rogue

If you’re looking to buy one of these used, these four model years are the worst Nissan Rogue years ever, and you should stay away them at all costs.

The problem is that the list doesn’t end there. In fact, you also shouldn’t buy a used Nissan Rogue from the following years: 

  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2012
  • 2010
  • 2009

It’s important to note that the issues mentioned in these three models are common. Still, Nissan Rogues manufactured between 2014 and 2016 have another common fault. 

Second-generation models from 2014 to 2016 are known to have air conditioning problems. The symptoms include anything from failing to cool to not starting at all.

Moreover, the interior trim surrounding the knobs broke quickly, especially when left under the sun, making these three years particularly undesirable. 

You might look at this list and wonder: what’s the best model to buy? The reality is that the Nissan Rogue is one of the least reliable crossovers out there, but some years are better. 

Best Years for the Nissan Rogue

Considering the model’s overall reputation, the following list includes some of the better model years that you can buy.

The years on this list include better performance in reliability and safety, but they will never compete with other better brands, such as Kia, Toyota or Honda. 

The best model years for a Nissan Rogue are the following: 

  • 2019: the 2019 Rogue is odd, as it’s a reliable Nissan Rogue. While it has an aged interior, a weak powerplant, and a terrible reputation, this Nissan Rogue is a reliable option within the brand. The company had worked hard to fix the transmission issues and produced a decent vehicle. 
  • 2020: the 2020 model is one of the better options out there. Nissan used the upgraded transmission from the previous generation and improved its interior and more safety features. 
  • 2021: the 2021 Nissan Rogue rode on the momentum from the previous year and saw several improvements, making it one of Nissan’s best offers with the model. 
  • 2017: the 2017 Nissan Rogue had considerable changes; given the heavy criticism Nissan faced the previous year, the company worked hard to improve reliability for the 2017 Rogue. While it still has some issues, these are considerably less than the 2016 and 2015 model years.
Nissan Rogue 2020 Model Year
Nissan Rogue 2020 Model Year

Common Problems with the Nissan Rogue 

Transmission Problems

The Nissan Rogue’s main weakness is its transmission, which it borrowed from Renault, and the reason for this subpar performance has a lot to do with how Nissan has acted as a company in recent years. 

Faced with financial burden, Nissan had to cut costs for most of the late 2000s and the early 2010s.

This practice directly affected the transmission design, which lacks an independent cooling loop. So, the CVT can’t cool down as quickly as it should, making it prone to overheating. 

The problem is that the CVT heats up even during what can be considered normal driving conditions.

Nissan Rogues have been known to overheat while cruising at highway speeds. So, anything more than this, such as towing or driving up steep hills, is almost a guaranteed trip to the mechanic. 

This behavior leads directly to another issue. Most dealerships and mechanics prefer to replace the CVT instead of servicing it. Such a practice causes excessive costs for the owner, leading many to steer clear of the brand altogether. 

If you have a Nissan Rogue or want to buy one, service the transmission within the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.

So, this means changing the transmission fluid every 35,000 to 40,000 miles. Such a distance is low compared to other brands, leading customers to avoid it due to the costs. 

Recall Issues

The Nissan Rogue has also faced numerous recalls, many of which have had to do with electronics.

The most critical was the 2011 electric power steering (EPS) unit recall, which saw almost 8,000 vehicles with steering problems.

Symptoms included a failed power assist steering, leading to slower turning, which, in turn, translated to a higher risk of accidents. 

Other recalls have included overheating GPS systems, which caused the entire dash to overheat, leading to electronic failure.

In 2012, the company failed to adequately install the tire pressure monitoring system, so drivers weren’t getting reliable readings on their tire pressure. 

Finally, because two recalls weren’t enough, another big recall came in 2018, when the company recalled over 6 million vehicles produced between 2014 and 2017, including the Rogue, to fix a faulty occupant sensor. The system thought of adults in passenger seats as children. 

Suppose your Nissan Rogue belongs to these years. In that case, it’s always important to remember that these are possible issues you might face.

At the same time, when looking at used models, you can always inquire about any services or recalls that have been made. 

Best Years For The Nissan Rogue

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Rust issues

While the Nissan Rogue isn’t as prone to rust as other brands, some years have shown considerable corrosion issues, especially in northern states.

The 2016 Nissan Rogue is shown to have this problem, and it isn’t only on the earlier models.

The 2022 Nissan Rogue showed so much rust issues that the manufacturer had to issue yet another recall, this time with almost 700,000 units in the North American market. 

This situation has led many people away from a used Rogue. In fact, the prices for the Rogue on the used car market have consistently lowered over the years.

So, whenever looking at pre-owned models, it’s best to avoid the less common years, such as the 2009 Nissan Rogue. Given its age, and the chances of rust, there could be serious signs of trouble. 

best years for nissan rogue

Conclusion

In the years since its release, the Nissan Rogue has failed to overcome its terrible reputation. The Rogue isn’t worth buying even when it was awarded top safety pick plus other safety awards. 

The Nissan Rogue faces frequent issues with its CVT transmission, especially in the first and second generation.

At the same time, repairs–or, more precisely–trips to the mechanic can be expensive, which makes any fix unappealing. The problem is that it doesn’t stop there. 

This crossover SUV comes with so many issues that it has only relied on its lower price to sell the massive numbers it has. However, don’t let the low price fool you, as you might face some heavy financial burden if you buy one. 

It’s easy to find the worst years of the Nissan Rogue because it’s most of them. However, with that being said, there are some years that people have found to be reliable.

The Nissan Rogue’s best years include the 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. So, if you really want one, opt for these. 

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