What to look for when buying a used Nissan Rogue?


What to look for when buying a used Nissan Rogue?

The Nissan Rogue debuted in 2007 as a compact crossover SUV that caught the attention of many worldwide. It’s been one of Nissan’s best-selling vehicles and with due reason. It’s comfortable to drive, economical, and versatile. With so many of them on the road, it’s tempting to buy a used one. So, in this article, we’ll explain what to look for when buying a used Nissan Rogue.

What to look for when buying a used Nissan Rogue?

If you’re looking to buy a used Nissan Rogue, you should check the transmission. One of the frequent trouble spots in the Rogue is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). There are other issues, such as noisy suspension and others, that we’ll mention in this article. While the Nissan Rogue is very reliable and has had high reviews, problems have arisen since the first one rolled out of the line.

The Rogue came to replace the Nissan X-Trail in the North American market. You could only have the 2.5L inline-four-cylinder gasoline engine mated with a CVT though you could choose between three trim levels. The first generation was in production from 2007 to 2015, with excellent sales figures.

The second-generation overlapped the first by a couple of years. This came with aggressive styling, bigger internal dimensions, and even a third row of seating options. Nissan also included the option of buying the Rogue Hybrid, with a 2.0L inline-four-cylinder engine.

However, the second-generation Rogue was short-lived. It lasted from 2014 to 2020, when it was replaced with the T33 third-generation model. Boxier lines, aggressive styling, and a new platform underneath meant that this latest version was a step above the older models.

As part of a commercial overhaul, Nissan dropped the hybrid Rogue and only kept the single-engine choice. But, this 2.5L engine came with modern injection and more power. The Rogue has shown consistently high selling figures, but the health crisis of 2020 dropped the numbers to around 220,000. Nevertheless, it’s expected to rise in the coming years.

So, we’ve seen three generations, but they all share many mechanical components, let’s talk about some of the better years to buy a Nissan Rogue.

What are the best years to buy a Nissan Rogue?

Since the Nissan Rogue is so popular, there are plenty of reviews and ratings out there. For the sake of this article, we’ll take what prominent publications like Consumer Reports and JD Power said. The tables here provide a general idea of reliability and customer satisfaction.

The first thing that we can say is that Nissan Rogue hasn’t excelled in ratings in many magazines for years. Both Consumer Reports and JD Power have given above-average marks. But customer satisfaction is relatively low across all generations, as we’ll see later.

Since the third generation is so new, just released in late 2020, we will not consider it in the list of used Rogues. So instead, the following table includes models from 2020 to as far back as 2009, the earliest we can get reliable reviews and information.

Best years to buy a Nissan Rogue (Second Generation, 2014-2020)

The following table presents the best years to buy a second-generation Nissan Rogue. It considers reviews and grades from JD Power and Consumer Reports.

Year2020201820172016
Rating (Consumer Reports)4 of 54 of 54 of 54 of 5
Rating (JD Power)82/10082/10084/10080/100

The best years to buy a second-generation Nissan Rogue are from 2020, 2018, 2017, and 2016. Both magazines have agreed on reliability, handling, comfort, and overall performance.

Rogues produced in 2014 and 2015 have scored above average in one of the magazines but low in the other.

Best years to buy a Nissan Rogue (First Generation, 2007-2015)*

It’s worth highlight that we’re going to go as far back as 2009, which is the earliest date that we can find reliable ratings and information. So in the following table, we’re showing the best years to buy a Nissan Rogue from the first generation, though the average ratings are low.

Also, keep in mind that the first-generation Rogue overlapped with the newer models. So, we’ll be considering from 2013 back, when the only Rogue available was the first generation.

Year20132012
Rating (Consumer Reports)3 of 53 of 5
Rating (JD Power)79/10081/100

In this generation, most of the ratings are pretty low. For example, the Rogue ranked consistently low throughout its entire production life. It also has meager consumer satisfaction (which we’ll cover later). Therefore, only two years appear on this list.

It’s also worth highlighting that the 2010 model ranked highly on one magazine but extremely low on the other.

It’s time to look at the other end. And here’s where we start seeing a bit of the Rogue’s reputation come through, especially in the earlier years. The following section covers some of the worst years to buy the Nissan Rogue.

What are the worst years to buy the Nissan Rogue?

When we look at the numbers, we conclude that the Rogue doesn’t stand out for excellent reliability. In fact, in most lists, this compact SUV consistently ranks just outside the top ten. That’s a sign to consider.

First, we’ll look at the second generation and some of the worst years to buy.

Worst years to buy a Nissan Rogue (Second Generation, 2014-2020)

The second-generation Rogue has shown average reliability ratings. In fact, many sites have criticized the vehicle for having issues that could’ve been solved easily in the factory. The following table shows the worst years to buy a Nissan Rogue.

Year201920152014
Rating (Consumer Reports)1 of 53 of 54 of 5
Rating (JD Power)82/10082/10078/100

As we can see in this table, we can find contradicting information. We can say for sure that the 2019 rating is impressively low on behalf of Consumer Reports. JD Power did rank it with an 82 of 100. The 2015 model had the same JD Power ranking and a 3 of 5 from Consumer Reports.

Also, it’s interesting to note that the 2014 Rogue comes with the second-lowest rating of all the models we researched, outdone only by the 2009 model. So now, it’s time to talk about the first-generation Rogue.

Worst year to buy a Nissan Rogue (First Generation, 2007-2015)*

The first-generation Nissan Rogue doesn’t enjoy a good reputation. Critics and magazines in the automotive sector love grilling it. But, as we saw in the past section, there aren’t many great years in this first iteration.

With that being said, the following table shows the worst years to buy a first-generation Nissan Rogue.

Year201120102009
Rating (Consumer Reports)2 of 51 of 51 of 5
Rating (JD Power)79/10081/10077/100

It’s worth pointing out that the first-generation Rogue includes the lowest-ranked model of all. The 2009 Rogue ranked a 1 of 5 and 77/100, both low scores.

The rest of the models ranked low, with the 2011 model showing low performance in both magazines. So, it’s essential to understand why these ratings are so low. In the following section, we’ll discuss some of the most common problems with both generations.

What are some of the common problems with the Nissan Rogue?

This section will again separate the Rogue into the two main generations, the first and the second. The third is too new to have shown mechanical issues, so we won’t add it to the list. So instead, we’ll start with the older first-generation.

What to look for when buying a used Nissan Rogue?

These are some of the common problems with the first-generation Nissan Rogue

Transmission issues:

The most common problem that plagued the first-generation Nissan Rogue was with the CVT transmission. Issues included the following:

Failure to start from a dead stop: many drivers reported that the transmission would not respond once they came to a complete stop. Some also said that it only responded after shifting into reverse and into drive again.

  • Whining and grinding noises: other users reported that, though the car behaved normally, noticeable noises emanated from the gearbox. Sometimes, they were following by excessive vibration and irregular acceleration.
  • Transmission overheating: users reported transmission slipping and excessive vibration, which was caused due to overheating of the internal components.

In most cases, symptoms started showing at around 110,000 miles.

The standard solution for whining and grinding noises, slipping, and failure to start involves replacing the CVT at a $3,000 or more cost.

Overheating and vibrations usually require a complete revision and tune-up of the transmission. The cost hovers around $2,500.

Air conditioning problems:

The first-generation Rogue also showed AC/Heater issues. Many users complained that there was no air came out, or it came out at the wrong temperature. While this seems like a minor issue, it could lead to a failure of the AC Compressor, which can lead to damage to the electrical system. The solution is to replace the AC compressor.

As you can see, the most common and serious issue with the first-generation Nissan Rogue relates directly to transmission problems. These repairs are costly and should be done immediately.

Now, let’s see what some of the common problems with the second-generation Rogue are.

These are some of the common problems with the second-generation Nissan Rogue

The second-generation Nissan Rogue enjoys a slightly higher rating than magazines, but it still suffered from several issues. Unfortunately, it seems like the past repeats itself.

Transmission issues:

The second-generation Nissan Rogue still suffers from transmission issues. These include lackluster acceleration, unresponsive or faulty shifting, overheating, and vibrations. As with the first generation, the solution is to replace the CVT.

But that’s not the only issue that repeats itself.

Air conditioning problems:

In this second generation, there are air conditioning problems as well. Users reported warm air blowing into the cabin, as well as the wrong temperature. The immediate solution is to replace the AC compressor.

Suspension problems:

Though Nissan managed to fix the AC issues by 2016, this year faced suspension issues. The ride was stiff and choppy, and interior cabin noise was excessive. Also, the front end made a whining noise when turning and popping noises when parking. The issue is a complete replacement of the front suspension components, upgrading bushings and seals.

Brake problems:

Many drivers of 2017 and 2018 models reported faulty braking and a spongy pedal. This was due to worn-out calipers and discs, as well as faulty pumps. This problem should be fixed immediately. The NHTSA issued a warning, calling these two years unsafe to drive.

So, now that we’ve seen that the Nissan Rogue isn’t mainly the best SUV out there, a question arises. It’s still been sold by the thousands so, what do people think about it? Let’s find out in the following section.

What does the customer say about the Nissan Rogue?

Nissan has sold plenty of Rogues in the US. In fact, it’s one of the company’s best-selling vehicles. And, up until 2020, sales were going strong, but we’ve seen that reliability isn’t the best.

So, it’s interesting to find out what consumers think about this SUV. One magazine that also dives deep into user satisfaction is Consumer Reports. The following table shows what the overall rating is in this category.

YearCustomer Rating (Consumer Reports)
20203 of 5
20192 of 5
20181 of 5
20171 of 5
20161 of 5
20151 of 5
20141 of 5
20131 of 5
20121 of 5
20111 of 5
20101 of 5
20091 of 5

As we can see, the ratings are surprisingly low. Only the 2019 and 2020 have scored above 1 of 5. This leads us to the following question: is buying a used Nissan Rogue worth it? Unfortunately, the answer leans more towards no. There are plenty of compact SUVs out there that can fulfill the job and have better reliability.

Closing thoughts

The Nissan Rogue is one of the company’s best-selling SUVs. But, with so many out there, it’s common for people to ask themselves whether buying a used one is worth it.

This article aims to give you as much information as possible regarding this topic. Also, it highlights some of the common problems the Rogue has had since it broke into the market in 2007.

The Rogue might be a bestselling SUV, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have issues. One of the most common problem areas is the CVT, which has consistently been plagued with issues since the first generation. Other problems include AC, brakes, and suspension.

Many magazines have given the Rogue average or below-average ratings. Consumer satisfaction is meager.

With so many SUVs out there, it seems that it’s not ideal to buy a used Rogue. However, other brands will do the job, with better reliability ratings and more minor mechanical issues. Hopefully, this article gives the necessary information to make the best decision with your next car.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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