First thing I would do is to go to the library and search Consumer Reports, then check around reliable car-related sites for some data on the reliability. Cars nowadays are far more reliable than even 10 years ago. So, if you are planning on driving less than 150,000 miles on the car, you are probably safe with models that rank above average in Consumer Reports data. Also, remember that different models from the same manufacturer may have very different reliability rating. For example, most of the models in the Camry and Corolla classes are very reliable, because they sell the most, and most models have been around a long time. But if you are looking for a less-selling model, then the reliability rating might go down as well. Considering how popular SUVs are these days, Rogue should be a priority model for Nissan. Therefore, I am guessing it’s quite reliable among different Nissan models.
I mentioned that if you don’t plan on driving more than 150,000 miles, Rogue would be just fine, although CRV clearly would be more reliable. (I don’t have to look at Consumer Reports to tell you that.) This is because manufacturers design cars with 150,000 miles as their target age – meaning there should not be any major problem within that time period.
I owned a Nissan Maxima, my father owned a Camry and my brothers owned Accords. They were all similar model years. In my opinion, Accords were the most refined and fun to drive. Maxima was more fun to drive, but Camry was much more refined. Maxima was essentially trouble free, but there were definitely more repairs than Camry or Accords. If I had to choose again, I would probably go with Accord, but if it were between Camry and Maxima, I might go with Maxima, because it just was more fun. I think that is worth a little sacrifice in reliability.
Although it is true that Honda and Toyota have higher resale value, they are more expensive to begin with. (Resale value don’t mean a lot, if you plan on driving it for a long time.) Nissan models are often cheaper or have bigger engine or just bigger overall. So, you pay less in the beginning, and you get less back when you sell.
If I were you, I would let her get Rogue.