With its stylish exterior, spacious interior, and affordable price tag, it’s really not hard to see why the Nissan Rogue is one of the most popular SUVs on the market.
But despite being one of the best-selling cars in the Nissan stable, the Rogue is fast gaining a bad rap for its transmission problems, with some years more problematic than others.
More specifically, the 2008-2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 models.
When car troubles occur, it’s usually once-off production oversight or issues with off-the-line parts.
Nissan Rogues’ troublesome transmission, however, has been so frequently flagged by frustrated owners that it is now almost an inevitability that this compact crossover is not a reliable car.
Nissan Rogue: Background
The Nissan Rogue debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
As the first automaker to roll out the continuously variable transmission system, Nissan declared that their CVT-equipped vehicles would have better fuel economy while offering an all-around smoother driving experience.
However, as early as 2009, Rogues with CVT transmissions were exhibiting stalling, jerking, lurching, and jerking issues.
It also emerged that the coolant Nissan used for their CVT was deficient, often leading to overheating and causing the car to shake and subsequently enter fail-safe mode.
Nissan extended the transmission warranty for their 2008 to 2010 models as part of efforts to claw back market share and maintain customer loyalty.
But by now, with commonly reported problems on the rise and the high costs of replacing the CVT (average cost to fix ranges between $2,000-$5,000) weighed heavily on consumers’ minds and forced potential customers to rethink before buying a used Nissan Rogue.
Nissan Rogue Years To Avoid
The 2008 model is prone to partial and total transmission failure, while the 2011 Rogue is known for frequent transmission failure, losing power, and stalling while driving.
The 2008 model loses acceleration.
The 2013 Nissan Rogue is notorious for loss of acceleration and has the dubious distinction of being ranked Car Complaints’ “Worst Model Year,” receiving the most complaints (169) out of any model year.
Issues with the 2013 Nissan Rogue’s CVT led to the car maker issuing a recall so owners could have the issue repaired for free at an authorized Nissan dealership.
The initial warranty for the 2013 Rogue’s transmission was for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever condition came first.
Prompted by the ongoing problems, Nissan extended the warranty to 10 years and 120,000 miles for the continuously variable transmission in the 2013 Rogue.
2008, 2011, 2014, and 2015
The 2014 model (the year the second generation Nissan Rogue was released) registered 145 complaints, followed by 2011 (134), 2015 (130), and 2008 (100), putting it firmly in the Nissan Rogue years to avoid category.
2010 and 2012 were relatively better years, with a decrease in the number of problems reported.
Only the 2017 and 2018 model years have registered fewer than 50 complaints, which can be attributed to them being newer Nissan Rogues.
The Nissan Rogue’s biggest problem is transmission failure regardless of the model year.
Drivers report that common problems about the transmission fall under the loss-of-acceleration category, with a wide variation in the average mileage at which it occurs.
Some drivers have also reported engine failure being an issue with Rogue’s from 2008 to 2015.
Is My Nissan Rogue’s Gearbox Defective?
Nissan CVT transmission problems include:
- Delayed Acceleration
- Lurching and Jerking
- Transmission Slipping
- Shaking and Shuddering
- Transmission Overheating
- Engine Revving
- Strange Shifting Noises
Whether shuddering, shaking, slipping, or stalling, transmission failure is a significant hazard in fast-moving traffic, as accidents can quickly happen because of a sudden stop.
In situations where power, stalling, or acceleration problems occur—such as stops, freeway ramps, intersections and highways—drivers are at a greater risk of crashes and injuries.
Nissan Rogue Best Years
The 2017 Rogue ranked among the most reliable vehicles in its class and was awarded Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
This rating, the organization’s highest designation, is given only to cars equipped with optional Forward Emergency Braking that earn “Advanced” or “Superior” ratings for front crash prevention, amongst a range of tests.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue also received an 84 out of 100 safety rating from J.D. Power and the highest positive reviews out of all the Nissan Rogue years.
The 2013 Nissan Rogue may not have won any awards, but its single recall since launch makes it one of the best years for the brand.
The 2019 Rogue received very few complaints from owners, who appreciated its reliability and safety.
The 2020 Nissan Rogue was singled out for its comfort, versatility and safety.
Other Nissan Rogue Issues
Nissan Rogue and CVT usually go into one sentence, but there are other issues that have also bedevilled the brand.
Inaccurate fuel readings – Several complaints relate to problems with the fuel level sender.
This has resulted in inaccurate fuel gauge readings in some Nissan Rogue model years.
Faulty brakes – The automatic braking system on the Rogue has, in some cases, engaged itself without the driver triggering it.
Faulty air conditioning – The evaporative emissions control system (EVAP) sensor would sometimes act up in Rogue models, causing the AC to malfunction.
When drivers raised concerns, Nissan included reimbursements to remedy this problem in their warranty.
The Nissan Rogue Years – Lawsuits
Nissan introduced its continuously variable transmission system, hoping to provide smooth rides and excellent control.
Major CVT issues, however, triggered a heap of complaints, forcing Nissan to issue recalls and extend warranties, culminating in a costly CVT class action lawsuit.
In April, Lemon Law Experts reported that Nissan North America had reached a settlement with the owners of several Nissan models fitted with defective CVTs.
The lawsuit alleged that Nissan was aware that these vehicles had flawed transmissions but sold them anyway and that the automaker knew about the CVT problem for years.
Nissan reportedly agreed to pay a whopping $277 million as part of the settlement to resolve certain defective transmission claims.
Nissan Rogue 2014 – 2018 models were among the Nissan CVT settlement, which also included Nissan Pathfinders (years 2015 – 2018) and Infiniti QX60s (years 2015 – 2018).
Why are Nissan Rogues popular?
The Nissan Rogue is popular because of its spacious cabin, cargo space, and standard features such as smartphone integration and driver assistance.
Are Nissan rogues safe?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted three different crash tests on the Nissan Rogue SV using crash dummies to measure injuries to the head/neck, torso, and pelvis/leg regions.
The Rogue’s automatic braking and pedestrian braking systems scored high, reducing the speed of impact by 11 mph when facing a collision at 12 mpg.
The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) found the Nissan Rogue to be fairly average in terms of safety.
Is the Nissan Rogue reliable?
With a 4 out of 5 rating from RepairPal, the Nissan Rogue is quite reliable.
What about the warranty on Nissan Rogues?
Almost every Nissan comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a 5-year limited powertrain warranty.