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Nissan has had tons of car models throughout its history. But which are the best and worst ones? From the Quest to the Altima, let’s check them.
Nissan has had a long and treacherous journey; it was once Datsun; it’s now a popular all-round car manufacturer with a few victory belts under its name. Nissan is home to the Altima, which is perhaps one of the most popular mid-size sedans in the U.S. It is also home to a wide range of automobiles from the gentle and comfortable Rogue SUV to the fire breathing supercar slayer Nissan GT-R aka the Godzilla.
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Nissan has enjoyed a good run, but without a few pitfalls here and there. While it holds some of the best vehicles ever manufactured, it also produced some weak cars. If you’ve been wondering, here are ten of the best and worst Nissan models, ranked!
10 Best: Nissan Leaf
The 2019 Nissan Leaf is the all-Electric Vehicle everyone has been waiting for; it comes packed with a wide range of new features, more power, and battery life. Getting two hundred miles feels worthless compared to an internal combustion engine. However, for those looking to get a cheap, minimum-hassle, personal city transport vessel, this distance is satisfactory.
In all honesty, its been a long journey for Nissan, since the first leaf in 2011 that could only cover 73 miles on a single charge. The new Nissan Leaf comes with much more power and range. Buyers have two options, the 40.0-kWh Leaf or the 62.0-kWh Leaf Plus that delivers an estimated 215 miles compared to the standard 150 miles.
9 Best: Nissan Rogue
The 2019 Nissan Rogue is a quiet crossover that offers a tranquil, comfortable, and consumer-friendly experience. It also comes packed with more tech features such as driver assistance systems and a fuel-saving hybrid powertrain. It’s a favorite when compared to its closest competitors in its segment.
Buyers still get an all-wheel-drive functionality, raised seating height, and excellent fuel economy. The Nissan Rogue falls short when it comes to luxury and agility. Instead, Nissan opted for attractive interiors as well as roomier cargo space.
8 Best: Nissan Altima
When it comes to Nissan’s family sedan line-up, the 2019 Nissan Altima easily wins the popular vote. That’s after the Japanese manufacturer put extra effort in its redesign. The new Nissan Altima looks great from just about any angle. It comes with All-Wheel-Drive functionality. It packs a VC Turbo engine from Infinity. Buyers also get extensive contemporary features and ample passenger space due to its roomier cabin.
Like the Rogue, Altima also comes with standard Nissan driver-assist technology, including emergency braking, optional lane assists, and many more. Nissan Altima closely rivals Toyota Camry and Honda Accord that are equally loved by the American market.
7 Best: Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder has quite an impressive resume; even after trading of its off-road demeanor for a modernized family shuttle perfect for road trips, it still standouts out. Its three-row version isn’t anything like its predecessors. However, it offers solid value and a roadworthy comfortable experience. The 2020 Pathfinder comes standard with a V-6 powertrain with optional All-Wheel-Drive functionality, which is dutiful but much less fuel-efficient on the highway.
If you are looking for a truck-like SUV that could haul your boat and fishing gear, the Nissan Pathfinder is your ultimate choice. It doesn’t offer much excitement, but its capable and comfortable.
6 Best: Nissan GT-R
There’s a reason it called Godzilla, and it’s not because of its size; it is due to its neck-breaking, thundering power. If Ford is a Mustang, the Nissan GT-R is a T-Rex. The GT-R hasn’t changed much since its first debut a decade ago, perhaps a reason why it’s still very popular. It offers gut-ripping acceleration thanks to its V-6 twin-turbo and tenacious All-Wheel-Drive system.
You’ll have to visit a race track if you want to achieve GT-R limits, this sports car is simply a monster on the road. But like all old champions, the GT-R is fast losing its ground to the new kids on the block, and like the Mitsubishi Evolution, the GT-R needs to retire gracefully.
5 Worst: 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R
In 1991, Nissan single-handedly revived the compact, affordable sports car market with the Nissan Sentra SE-R. This compact sports car, though affordable, had amazing power. However, in 2007, all the way to 2012, all the juice that gave the Sentra SE-R its glory was gone, like the wind. All the positivity and glory for an affordable sports car was replaced with a plain old, grumpier successor.
The redesign came with a CVT transmission, and critics ripped it apart, saying it was a mix of thinly veiled disappointment and stiff politeness. While you could go the Spec V way, according to fans, the Sentra wasn’t meant to be a tuner car.
4 Worst: Nissan Cube
The Nissan Cube is a good idea, and that’s where all the positives end. Its utilitarian design was a hit in Japan, and by the time it got to the American market, it was written off as a bulbously detailed and asymmetrically proportioned. That said, the Nissan Cube wasn’t such a hit in the U.S.
To be honest, the Nissan Cube is an exceptionally functional car despite its side-hinged tail-lights. However, the American market was still not ready to drive a box-shaped automobile to work or school.
3 Worst: Nissan Murano Cabriolet
The Nissan Murano Cabriolet has a small following in the U.S. The 2011 to 2014 versions have a resemblance to the Pulsar NX Sportback. For many car enthusiasts, the Murano Cabriolet is a creative idea gone wrong.
The idea of a convertible truck is cool, Jeep and Suzuki have made a killing out of it, and for most 90s teenagers, Spring and Summer breaks wouldn’t have been the same. However, you can’t say the same about the Nissan Murano Cabriolet.
The result of Nissan’s creative ingenious was a $50,000 crossover with two doors, and as you might have expected, it did not sell well. The Murano Cabriolet was a flop.
2 Worst: Nissan Juke
There’s probably no single vehicle in the world that has had its fair share of trolling like the Nissan Juke. To save it from its misery, we hope the Juke will turn out to be a prince. Oddly, with its not so pleasant looks, the Nissan Juke had quite the following for the six years it was in production and sold in the U.S.
Granted, the Nissan Juke is a fun car to drive, with a roomier cargo room, but that’s where all the fun ends. While it had a following that didn’t mind its design, the Juke was organized chaos, and perhaps one of the worst designs from the manufacturer.
1 Worst: Nissan Quest
All the variations of this model were not aesthetically pleasing or even fun to drive. And as you would expect, the Quest is no longer in production. The Nissan Quest was a joint venture between the Japanese manufacturer and Ford. It also sold as Village Mercury. So, why was the Quest a failure? Well, for starters, it was too big.
It also lacked the right mix of features and received a poor rating from the IIHS. Quest owners were constantly at the service shops doing repairs, and the model received its fair share of recalls. Yes, Nissan Quest is by far the worst Nissan model drive out of Nissan’s showroom.
Worst Nissan Vehicles
Bottom line: the higher the score, the more painful it is to own.
What is PainRank™?
PainRank™ is a scoring system by CarComplaints.com that uses relative complaint analysis to determine which vehicles suffer the most defects. It’s more than just complaint volume as the score also considers the average cost of repairs, the mileage at failure, the age of the vehicle, among other factors.
Bottom line: the higher the score, the more painful it is to own.
Least Reliable Nissan Models
Nissan models have an average PainRank™ of 17.06.
Least Reliable Nissan Generations
Nissan generations have an average PainRank™ of 9.83.