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2014 Altima/Rogue - Engine reliability?

My old car was a '98 Altima that served faithfully until late last year. I’m new car shopping and reading a lot on customer experiences. There are an above-average number of people on Edmunds and who are reporting transmission and other engine problems/failures (almost all CVT-related) with the 2013 Altima. This makes me worried about the '14 Altima and the not-yet-out '14 Rogue, which is built on the Altima frame.

I’m looking for reassurance, confirmation, or at least some intelligent discussion as to why/whether I should keep the Altima/Rogue on my list of potential vehicles.


You did well to research this. Nearly all Nissan vehicles with automatic have or will have CVT transmissions. These units cannot be repaired or rebuilt by Nissan or anyone else. They are changed out in case of problems, and once out of warranty you will foot the entire bill.

As a result, I am reluctant to recommend ANY car with a CVT for the time being.

There are lots of other good vehicles on the market. Please note that the economy model of the new 2014 Corolla also has a CVT.

A lot of new cars are heading towards CVT’s, including Corolla mentioned above and the 4 cylinder Accord. The newer ones for Nissan had issues and they had to extend the warranty on them. One problem was use of regular ATF during service by shops. I think a lot of the issues have been addressed. I also believe that the Prius has a CVT with decent track record for reliability.

If you really love Nissan, you can test drive the newer ones and see if you like the manner the CVT drives. You should also research similar models from other manufactureres and weigh the pro/con. For me CVT goes in the con list but I think if I like everything else about the car, I might still buy it.

The Prius’ CVT has no belt or clutch, it uses the gas and 2 electric motors to adjust output to the wheels with a constantly engaged system.

I’m not a big fan of CVTs, as the others mentioned they are basically “replace only” units, and they aren’t cheap, and I find them annoying, you really can’t keep the revs low when accelerating, and in cars with smaller engines you will be hearing that engine a lot.

Also the Altima and Rogue are not built on the same platform. Though they do share the 2.5L 4 cylinder engine,.

What about a Honda Accord EX V6? The sedan has a 6-speed auto; not a CVT as you will find in the I-4 version. It’s also top-rated in the mid-sized sedan segment.

Boy, it’s tough to neglect two things about the Accord 4 cylinder. Honda has a reputation on the line with reliability on a car that can make or break it’s reputation over time. They did not decide on a CVT lightly. And, this car is one of the top rated by everyone who tests it, being that it gets an amazing 40 mpg highway in tests without hybrid technology or diesel and is a full size car. Pretty amazing and hard to disregard. A friend who lives in a rural area with little or no city driing, has yet to get less then 40 mpg over all in the past six months she and hubby have had the car. Her previous Accord was 20 years old and 250 k miles when they ditched it. It was a manual.

Thank you to everyone who is contributing.

The car that I’m using now is a 2001 4-cylinder Accord with around 240k miles. On the other hand, Consumer Reports just slammed the V6 Accord in reliability. They thought the latest 4c. version was “average” in that category. So many conflicting opinions!

I have yet to drive the latest Accord, but I did test drive a 2014 Mazda CX-5. The extra room could be helpful when I’m hauling the family, has good mpg, and seemed to handle okay. It still felt just a little “heavy” during regular driving – despite the intended crossover demographic. It’s a non-CVT and therefore perhaps more reliable and easy to repair/maintain, though(?)

Did the CX-5 have the 2.0 or 2.5 l engine? I’d go for the 2.5, supposedly peps it up with minimal mpg penalty.

I just checked on CR. The V6 Accords were down-rated only because of the problems reported with their complex audio/nav systems, all other areas are ‘better than average’ or ‘much better than average’. The same problem has hammered Ford ratings the last few years. While it’s a real problem, it’s not related to all the other areas, where Hondas remain extremely reliable. You’ll have to decide how much the audio/nav system matters to you, and whether you find it troublesome.

Thanks, Texases. I hadn’t caught the distinction. Nav means zilch to me – I’ll use my iphone or a dedicated GPS. So far as audio, I listen to podcast 90% of the time.

I do really like the idea of the lane cameras, though.

re: CX-5. I did specifically drive the 2.5. It pepped wonderfully when I pushed it, but still felt just a little heavy during non-acceleration driving.

@Tensider,I suspect you would get used to that rather quickly.I’m sold on Honda-but not so much on CVT,I have sneaking hunch these CVTs will start appearing in pickups before all is said and done.-Kevin


Since when is the Accord considered full-size?

The last I remembered, the Accord, Camry, Fusion, etc. were both mid-sized

The Impala, Taurus and Avalon are considered full-size

I’m talking about the 2014 models, by the way

As an interesting research note, this article says that the powertrain is supposedly improved for the new '14 Rogues:

The author didn’t like the power steering, though.

This weekend: More test drives! The 2014 Rogue and the 2014 Accord are on the docket.


When they introduced the redesign for the current Accord, it got bumped up a class to full size


Thanks for that update

I’ll go a little off-topic here . . .

Exactly what magazine, rating agency, etc. considers the 2014 Accord to be full-size?’\

According the the EPA, it’s still a mid-sized car

At least, that’s the information I found . . .

Is this perhaps a case where Honda itself is being a little optimistic?

The size of the 2008 Accord has been increased by 4 inches (102 mm) in length and 3 inches (76 mm) in width. As a result, the interior space is also enlarged: an Accord sedan is considered a full-size car by EPA standards, having a combined interior space of 120.0 cubic feet (3.40 m3) without moonroof and 115.0 cubic feet (3.26 m3) with. The Accord coupe is still classified as a mid-size car, as it has a combined interior space of 104.0 cubic feet (2.94 m3) without moonroof and 101.6 cubic feet (2.88 m3) with moonroof.[3] Unlike most full-sized sedans, the parking brake lever has always remained on the center console like the previous generations, as opposed to the driver footwell.


Not to nitpick . . .

But I’ll trust the EPA website page I posted over Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great resource, but I have discovered several . . . mostly minor . . . errors over the years

"The size of the 2008 Accord . . . "

I’m talking about the 2014 model year

Anyways, it turns out we’re both right

The 2014 Accord, which I mentioned, has a combined interior space of 119 cubic feet, which is at the upper limit of mid-sized

The 2008 Accord, which you mentioned, has a combined interior space of 120 cubic feet, which is at the lower limit of large car

looks like 2012 was the cut off for 8th gen Accord; 2013 is the 9th gen. 2008 is when they brought the new design out, guess they “updated” the Accord like they did the Civic not too long ago

I just googled “Honda Accord full size” and it came up with the link i posted earlier. Wikipedia even lists the 9th gen Accord sedan as mid sized. Guess Honda didn’t want any full sized cars in their line-up; saving that for Acura