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Nissan is a very debatable brand when it comes to quality. Vehicles like the Maxima and the Leaf are popular choices that have given Nissan traction and respect, but the brand isn’t known for reliability either.
In their list of best car brands for 2021, Consumer Reports (CR) ranked them in the middle of the pack in 13th place out of 32 brands. CR gave 12 Nissan vehicles from the 2022 model year an overall score out of 100, and evaluated them in three categories: a road test, predicted reliability, and predicted customer satisfaction.
A few of Nissan’s vehicles are highly rated, while others have some of the lowest scores in their category. So, read on as we try to answer this question: are Nissans good cars?
Which Nissans are good cars?
Each of the most highly-rated Nissans on the list comes “Recommended” by Consumer Reports, which is high praise. Not all recommended vehicles have exceedingly high scores, but they are often the best value for what you pay, so they are good to sort through depending on what you’re looking for.
The most highly-rated Nissan by CR is the Murano. It's not a very well-known Nissan, but its overall score was excellent at 81, with a 77 in the road test, 4/5 in predicted reliability, and 3/5 in predicted customer satisfaction.
Next was the Maxima, which received a respectable score of 79 and had another good road test score at 81. The predicted reliability was again high at 4/5 but predicted satisfaction was lower at 2/5. A bit lower was the electric Leaf with a score of 78 overall, 73 on its road test, 4/5 in predicted reliability, and 3/5 in predicted customer satisfaction.
Lastly, there are the Sentra and the Rogue Sport, both scoring 77 overall. The Sentra had a great road test with a score of 81 but average reliability and sub-par satisfaction, rated 3/5 and 2/5 respectively. The Rogue Sport got a 72 on its road test but an impressive 5/5 predicted reliability, the only Nissans to score that highly in the category. However, it received a measly 1/5 in customer satisfaction.
Most of these vehicles have relatively high reliability scores, which seems to be the category that’s weighing down the scores for other models. Many Nissan vehicles are only a bit below average, but their reliability numbers hurt them the most.
Which Nissans have the lowest scores?
The Armada and the Titan are the two lowest-scoring Nissans, tied at 55. Their predicted reliability and customer satisfaction scores were the same as well, with a 2/5 in each category. Their road tests differ by a point, with the Armada receiving a 69 and the Titan a 70. Overall, the Armada might be the worse choice, though. It has dismal gas mileage at 14 mpg, a dated interior, and is quite expensive, starting just under $49,000.
The Nissan Kicks is the next lowest with a score of 61. Its road test earned it a 64, and its reliability and customer satisfaction were rated 3/5 and 2/5 respectively. However, despite its low score, the car still comes recommended by CR, likely due to its affordability and solid fuel economy.
The Versa had the same scores in reliability and customer satisfaction, with a 62 overall and 61 for its road test. Finally, we have the Rogue, which scored a very average 63. Its broken-down scores were a bit of a mixed bag. Its road test received an 80, but its reliability was low at 2/5. Its customer satisfaction was a bit higher than the other low scorers, though, at 3/5.
Is Nissan a reliable brand?
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On average, Nissan is a solid choice, though it’s smart to research ratings for any Nissan model you’re considering. Nissan’s overall CR score is 68, which is pretty middle-of-the-road if not a little above. They seem to be struggling with maintaining reliability throughout their lineup and creating effective, efficient large vehicles.
Their newly designed cars seem to be their strongest, even among their lower-scoring vehicles. Though the cars aren’t the best Nissan can offer, their scores are still promising. Many of these vehicles were rated even lower in previous years and saw redesigns in the last year or two.
These redesigns have dramatically improved the quality of many of the low-scoring models, showing that Nissan is looking to improve itself. If these models continue to improve, Nissan could be well on its way to becoming a much more reliable brand.
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