Nissan's reliability concern for the future...When will they be back?

waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
I am getting concern with Nissan's future and don't know if Nissan will ever match with Toyota and Honda for reliability ever again. Today, all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles have the same reliability found in American cars and, often, worse than American and European cars. Most of their problematic vehicles (Titan, Quest, Armada, QX56) are built in Canton, Mississippi, but there are a lot of other vehicles (Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Murano, Frontier, 350Z, etc.) seeing a fall in reliability as well. The average reliability grade for Nissan/Infiniti vehicles this year is a D (below average). I think this is a joke. Why buy a Japanese when you can buy an American with the same quality but at a lower cost.

I have been following Consumer Reports auto reliability for the past 20 years, and it turns out that the 2000 Infiniti QX4 may be the most reliable Nissan vehicle ever made in history. After 2001, reliability fell, along with all Nissan/Infiniti vehicles, and they have not went back up since. If this is true, then I may pick up a used 2000 Infiniti QX4 given by its status and baby it for many years.

Does Nissan actually no longer care about reliability, but instead focus on performance and style? What do you think? It's been seven years already without a true Nissan Japanese quality. Do you already miss Nissan past quality?


  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    Do you already miss Nissan past quality?

    Yeah, Nissan's brush with death in the late '90s and subsequent Renaultization wiped out the older platforms designed in Nissan's salad days at the end of the '80s. Nissan always had performance and style, but lost the durability and reliability with its independence. :(
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    My folks just retired a 91 240SX with 300k miles on it. Over the past 17 years or whatnot, the car required very little maintainence outside of the typical O/T/B. Not sure if todays Nissans can deliver the same long haul durability.

    Thing is, the complexity and sophistication of todays cars are so much farther along than the "old days" (I can't believe I can refer to the 90's as that :surprise: ). I mean a simple software glitch can leave you dead in the water, a fouled sensor can send your engine into limp mode awaiting a 1000 dollar diagnosis before even being fixed!

    Sorry to stray off topic. I know a few folks with Nissan products and there are no real complaints I've heard from them. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Nissans popularity is growing up here in N.E. The new Altima is hot, the
    Murano sells like hotcakes and the Titan pickup is as common as the Dodge Ram. And on the Infiniti side, the G seems to be doing very, very well.

    So there are some shining stars in the lineup, it's just that NIssan apears to be falling into the Toyotaisation trap of entering every possible market they can and in short leadtime, comprimising quality and durability. They also rely heavily on the corporate VQ (fantastic engine btw, not knocking it) to get things done which limits its ability to shine where possible.

    I don't think things are in the toilet per se, just be warry of first year bugs which can happen with any car maker.
  • mikevegas06mikevegas06 Member Posts: 272
    I'm not convinced that high sales volumes equates to high levels of quality. GM is the number 1 manufacturer in the world based on sales, but Toyota is number 1 based on quality.
  • cyorkecyorke Member Posts: 3
    Well I am no expert but I do have a little bit of knowledge concerningthis. I work for Nissan/Infiniti in their warranty claims call center. Yehah they ahve some problems but I don't think it is as dire as you are making it out to be.

    Like someone mentioned cars have gotten so technological as far as emissions, electrical control modules, etc etc etc.
    If you have one wiring problem everything goes to pot. But the number of claims we have come through are very low when compared to the number of vehicles that are on the road.

    I see claims on vehicles up to 100k miles due to we also process all Nissan service contract claims. Even the vehicles with the higher mileage on them do not seem to be having that many problems.

    I also used to work as a tech for Toyota, several years, ago and trust me they have had their run of problems also.

    You have to remember they are all still put designed, engineered, and built by humans. Once "we" can do all of that and have no problems with the vehicles we will also be walking on water and never dying.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    I don't know what your smoking but Nissan's reliability and quality are not gone and in fact everything I have read from, MotorTrend, Car and Driver, Consumerreports, etc, etc says the total opposite. I do agree that in the late 90's in early 2000's Nissan's quality was very poor when compared to Toyota and Honda, but since 2007 they have made huge strides in coming extremely close to Toyota and Honda's quality. Reliabiliy has never been an issue for Nissan. I have several relatives who have altimas, maximas, and muranos all with over 100k miles and no major mechanical or technical problems with the vehicles. The reason Nissan's overall reliability is below average at JD Power and associates is because vehicles like the Armada, Titan, QX56 and Frontier are below average which brings nissans reliability down. Nissan is getting rid of the Armada this year and infiniti is the QX56 and probably the Titan next year. If they do, their overall reliability rating will rise I believe to above average. Their major vehicles (i.e. altima, maxima, and murano) all have at least average or above average reliability and please do not tell me that the quality on the new 09 maxima is poor; you could slap infiniti badages on it and you never know the difference. Every car maker has 1 or 2 cars out of 100 that are defective and people like you come on hear bad mouthing the entire brand and scare people away . I drive a Acura TL and have had severe build quality issues with the vehicle and Acura is suppose to be right up there with Lexus in quality and reliability so give me a break
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,536
    but a friend of mine has a 2006 Xterra, and has never had any troubles with it. He hasn't had to do anything to it other than scheduled maintenance. It has about 46-47,000 miles on it.

    The only things I really don't like about it are the generous amounts of hard plastic inside, and the overly orange-peely texture of the paint. But both of these problems are indicative of the industry as a whole. Nissan certainly isn't the only offender.

    Oh, one other thing...I really don't care for the Xterra's 5-speed automatic transmission, at least out on the highway. It seems like it often goes a gear too high. And when you need it to downshift, it takes a bit of time for the engine to rev up, and then it shifts down, and you take off. Sorta like turbo lag, I guess? I don't drive it very often though, so it might just take some getting used to. I'm actually used to older 3-speed automatics where the engine usually has enough power to just take off in top gear, without needing to downshift.

    I know this runs contrary to most people's experience, but I'm actually leery of older Nissans, like from the late 80's and early 90's. My Mom & stepdad had a 1991 Stanza that wasn't so hot. They have a 1999 Altima that ate its transmission at 35,000 miles. However, the car has about 280,000 miles on it now, and I don't think ever had any major problems since then, so I guess I can forgive it! I also knew a few people with that early 1990's style Stanza, and the '89-94 era Maxima, that had engine problems.

    I wouldn't be afraid to buy any of Nissan's current offerings. I think sometimes their interiors are a cut below Honda or Toyota, but that shouldn't affect long-term reliability.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    actually, Nissan isn't that far below Toyota or Honda in reliability.

    Let's put it this way, if I wanted to buy a Nissan, any type of Nissan, over a Honda or Toyota or Hyundai of the same type, I wouldn't let Nissan's past reliability record get in the way of that purchase right now.

    I am slowly admiring Nissan more and more as the production years roll along.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I own a 2004 Nissan Quest and right now, I would be very hesistant about buying another Nissan. The rattles and brakes have been very annoying to deal with. Also reading about some of the failures of the timing chain in the V6 engine has me planning to get rid of this van at 100k miles.

    I have first hand experience why people call Nissan's reliability uneven.

    Nissan's styling is nice, though.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I hadn't realized they had switched from a belt to a chain. You'd think a chain would be more foolproof.

    I keep waiting for the belt to snap on my '99 Quest but it's still ok at 132k. Guess I'll find out one of these years if it's really a non-interference engine like it's supposed to be. :shades:

    I follow the Quest boards but not the Odyssey or Sienna ones, so I don't have a good feel for how the newer ones are holding up against the competition. The Canton factory sure had (has?) issues.

    Mostly I notice a lot of issues with Muranos. More so than with, say, Pathfinders.

    Smarty666, Nissan is just a hair below average in the JD Power Initial Quality survey for '09.

    J.D. Power Releases 2009 Initial Quality Study Results (Edmunds Daily)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    don't forget the 2004 Quest has the V6 engine. Mine has held up better than most I have read about. I'll probably have to replace the rear brakes next week when it goes in for inspection.

    I think Nissan is phasing out the Quest. Not sure if they plan to partner with Chrysler for their next minivan.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Mine's the 3.3 V6.

    I was reading on Inside Line or somewhere around here last week that interest in minivans is back up. It's tough with Honda and Toyota dominating the import side and, while I like Caravans, you still have to wonder about the company viability.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    It's hard to beat the minivan for practicality and space. they are more fuel efficient than vehicles like the big 3 row SUVs or crossovers. The Caravans have nice toys but this model's reliability has been pretty bad. Company aside, I would not buy a GC or TC with better vehicles available no matter if it is cheaper than the Odyssey or Sienna. I bought based on price back in 2001 when I purchased a Malibu over the Accord because it was $25 a month cheaper. Big mistake which I will never do again. Worst car I ever owned and the only car I ever traded in before it was paid off.

    Nissan needs to focus on consistency esp. with the way the auto market is going.
  • averagecarguyaveragecarguy Member Posts: 11
    First - regarding the original poster - reliability is graded D by whom? And for which model or models? I guess I could just as easily say they are rated A or B? or F?

    Next - 2004 Canton built vehicles - Quest, Titan, Armada (and it's twin Infiniti QX56) - all had more than their fair share of problems. In my view (and I've worked with Nissan for over 15 years), they were asking for trouble there. Building three brand new vehicles, in a brand new plant, staffed with people that had never built cars before. Considering the deck stacked against them, it should be said that it's good that more vehicles that year did not have problems. That plant's products have improved in quality every year since.

    Every manufacturer (Including Toyota and Honda) has problems. Every manufacturer (Including Nissan and Chrysler) builds vehicles that run like a clock. They also build a lot that fall in between. My gauge of long-term reliability has always been Consumer Reports ratings. Not the written articles, which present the particular bias of the author, but the ratings of the owners themselves which show problems in several areas of the vehicle. Pick up any of the specialty automotive CR magazines provided throughout the year, or pick up the April automotive edition and flip to the "Reliability Ratings" section. Just flip through the pages. Lots of red - good long term reliability. Lots of black - not so much. You'll see that the above three vehicles have created the largest issue with Nissan's longer term reliability. Remove that history and things aren't as bleak as painted above.

    Generally speaking - the Asian brands (especially the big three) typically offer better long-term reliability than either domestic or European brands. And Hyundai is making great strides.

    If you lease or buy every two or three years, you'll be fine with most anything. If you keep your cars longer, check out those reliability ratings.
  • kms1990kms1990 Member Posts: 1
    i disagree with your assessment of nissan from late 90s early 2000s as i had a 96 sentra i bought for 1500 bucks in 06 with 276k miles and she ran like a dream never a problem in the 2 years i owned it, sod it to neighbor in 08 when i got a 98 pathfinder and he drove it to 400k miles and sold it again i still see it around, as it had a black bumper from a wreck before i bought it and that 98 pathfinder i had til 2011 when i go hit by a woman turning into me pulling out of a mall parking lot and totaled it i got it with 125k miles and 3 years ater it had 156k and no issues except a bad fuel filter that clogged up the injectors ended up costing me $10 for filter and $130 for a professional fuel rail/injector cleaning with some strong solvent
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    My '99 Quest is just about to turn over 178,000 miles. Been a dependable ride, and still do a few road trips in it every year.
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    edited September 2012
    Edited in 2012.....Too many accidental grammatical errors I made in original 2007 post:

    I'm concerned with Nissan's future, and I don't know if Nissan's reliability score will match Toyota and Honda ever again. Today, all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles receive similar reliability scores found in American cars, and, often, worse than some American and European cars. Most of Nissan's problematic vehicles (Titan, Quest, Armada, QX56) are built in Canton, Mississippi, but there are other Nissan models as well (Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Murano, Frontier, 350Z, etc.) seeing decline in reliability as well. The overall reliability grade mark for Nissan/Infiniti vehicles this year for 2007 is a D (below-average). I think this is a joke. Why buy Japanese when you can buy American with similar quality but at a lower cost.

    I've been following Consumer Reports auto reliability charts for 20 years now, and it turns out that the 2000 Infiniti QX4 could be the most-reliable Nissan vehicle ever made in history. After 2001, reliability fell hard, along with all Nissan/Infiniti vehicles, and they haven't returned back to their original status. If this is true, then I may pick up a used 2000 Infiniti QX4 and baby it for years to come.

    Does Nissan actually no longer care for reliability, and is Nissan now focusing towards performance and style? What do you think? It's been seven years already without a true Nissan Japanese quality vehicle. Do you already miss Nissan good old days?

    Thanks to anyone who can respond.
  • duknadaduknada Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2004 Maxima at the bgeginning of the model year and was pleased for the 50,000 miles and then the problems started. The seat memory had to be repaired twice in short order followed by (1) door lock motor (2) moon roof motor (3) moon roof switch (4) seat motor (5) interior light switch and then finally the transmission began to jump reqiring replacement
    because the original transmission was closed and could not be repaired ($3,100 estimate) at which pojnt I traded it in with 66,000 miles. Every time it went in for these repairs it cost at least $500. Totally dissatisfied with quality and cost of repairs and will never own another Nissan. Buyer be aware.
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