The early years of Rogue production were plagued with transmission problems that usually meant death of the original powertrain around 150,000 miles. Fortunately, improvements in the new models should take drivers past the 250,000-mile mark.
- First- and second-generation Rogues will likely only last 150,000 miles before substantial repairs are needed to the original transmissions.
- Nissan has been the subject of a class action lawsuit over defective and unsafe continuously variable transmissions produced by JATCO found in the Rogue.
- Early Rogues with OEM transmissions will likely need replacing well before the 200,000-mile mark, giving drivers a hefty bill to predict.
- Third-generation Rogues come without transmission issues and therefore have a long lifespan, likely beyond the 250,000-mile mark.
Rogue’s history plagued by transmission problems, drivers should expect 200,000 miles at most
The Rogue was first introduced by Nissan in 2008 as a family SUV to compete with the Ford Escape, Subaru Outback, and other compact utility vehicles, but since its inception, the Rogue has been plagued with problems and failures. Co-Pilot lists 10 model years to avoid for the Rogue, including the model’s first nine years after its creation.
The most prevalent of these problems persists through the first and much of the second generation of Nissan Rouges and stems from the continuously variable transmissions found in SUVs.
CVTs produced by Nissan subsidiary JATCO were the catalyst for a plethora of class action lawsuits claiming that thieves “shudder, wobble, tremble and suffer from [potentially dangerous] acceleration problems
The CVT transmissions were so bad that Nissan extended their original warranty on the transmission from 60,000 miles to 120,000, indicating that the CVT transmissions were prone to failure at relatively low mileage.
Nissan had been aware of these problems for years but did almost nothing to alleviate them. While recent model years have shown some improvements, the Rogue’s early reliability means it goes crazy in longevity scores.
The first Rogue transmissions were underpowered and so poorly made that most drivers of these first-generation Nissan SUVs use them only out of necessity and failures loom large.
Despite these major issues, the Rogue could still last 200,000 miles or more, but normal longevity considerations, such as timely oil changes and other maintenance, go out the window with the Rogue. Owners could do everything right and still see their Nissan SUVs fail at 95,000 miles due to poor manufacturing.
It’s a shot in the dark until the CVT transmission is replaced, and it will have to happen for Reds made between 2008 and 2018 at the 150,000-mile threshold.
Despite the transmission issues, there are a few other issues affecting the Thief’s longevity.
The Nissan Rogue’s transmission has a plethora of lingering issues and concerns, but the rest of the SUV is generally very reliable, with only three issues reported on Repair Pal, none of which affect the Rogue’s lifespan, although drivers may want to consider the reports of inaccurate fuel gauge readings.
Since there have been no recalls for JATCO CVT transmissions, owners will have to pay out of pocket in case of failure, unless the SUV is still under warranty. This could result in a repair cost of $3,000 or more.
If owners are willing to bite the expensive bullet of a transmission replacement, the Rogue appears to be getting its groove back. Drivers would expect to get up to 300,000 miles after repair, but that’s not what drivers should do to secure a high-mileage car with their heavy investment in a Nissan.
The new upgraded Rogues are much more reliable and should take drivers further without distress.
Nissans made after 2018 are not pre-packaged with inevitable transmission problems, so their lifespan should prove to be a bargain in mileage.
JD Power gives the third-generation Rogue an “Excellent” reliability rating for the 2020 model year, ranking it fifth overall in the compact SUV class and keeping pace with high-mileage models like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.
Once Nissan shed the weight of the CVT transmission and improved its quality control, the Rogue was able to perform as expected of an SUV in its class.
The Rogue’s engine, while still underpowered, was never in doubt. Drivers of newer models should probably look at their refurbished Rogue, if properly maintained, taking them to 250,000 miles or more, now that there is possibly no need to replace the entire transmission.
The Rogue, overall, excluding the above powertrain issues, is a well-tuned and well-made SUV. The problems Rogue owners face when they reach high mileage are no different than those faced by drivers of any vehicle in the six-figure mileage range: paint starts to wear, fabric starts to rip, and the squeaks and groans They start to get stronger. .
And, given Nissan’s quality control improvements, these issues are now a little quieter, less noticeable, and drivers shouldn’t be as wary in recent years as they were in the early days of the Rogue’s production.