Buying a Used Nissan

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buying used nissan

When buying a used car it’s always a good idea to inspect it thoroughly:

  • Examine windows for scratches or cracks.
  • Inspect interior for any damage.
  • Check inside and outside for rust.

But inspection, even with a mechanic, will only get you so far. To really know a car you have to know its history. Luckily, nowadays you can easily get a full car history report with its VIN.  

What You Should Know Before Buying Used Nissan

Nissan is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. They sell millions of cars every year and dominate the market of a day-to-day car. Most of Nissan cars have a unique exterior design and new but only basic features. They are built fairly simple but with the latest technology. Nissan cars are seen as affordable and long-lasting. 

  • Nissan is cheaper than competitors in the same categories. And they are reliable like most Japanese cars. Most Nissan models have a good warning system so you will be informed by potential mechanical problems and will have time to get a car to the mechanic.
  • Sometimes strange exterior design solutions. Newer models are designed with many angles and edges that can be annoying in a snowy winter. Snow and ice get stuck all over the car. But it’s common not only with Nissan. Many modern designs are more about fancy looks than about winter practicalities.
  • A bit uncomfortable to repair. Nissan is very focused on the effective assembly of its vehicles. And it makes Nissan cars somewhat harder to repair because some parts are hard to reach and things don’t go apart as well as they go together. Of course, it’s not a problem if you don’t plan to do repairs yourself.

Most Common Problems with Used Nissan Cars

Mostly Nissan cars are perceived as reliable. But as every car manufacturer, Nissan has great models and cars that are problematic. You should google certain models and look if they not one of the recalled ones.

  • Transmission problems. CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is notorious. It is reported that between 2012 and 2018 several Nissan models had a glitch in CTV. Coolant leaks into the transmission causing a failure. It feels like jerking, slipping, losing power.
  • Windshield whippers. Glitches in electronics make them stop working properly. Also, owners reported problems with the motor of windshield whippers. You could hear the sound of the engine and in due time it stops working.
  • Velocity joints. For some smaller models like Micra and Note velocity joints are prone to worn-out. If steering the car feels a bit shaky or there is shake from side to side while test-driving, or steering wheel feels shaky. Most probably it’s a worn-out velocity joint. They are quite expensive to fix.
  • Power steering pump. Nissan Maxima owners report that leaks appear in power steering pump. Leaks can drip on to lower the control arm and produce more damage. Mostly, those problems were reported with cars over 120 thousand miles.

Most Popular Nissan Models

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf is a compact electric vehicle. Used Nissan Leaf is quite popular on the market and is available for a good price.


  • Cheap. Used Nissan Leaf is very affordable. Especially if you compared it to competitors in the same class. Good thing is that price has nothing to do with quality. Used Nissan Leaf are cheap because it’s so many of them produced.
  • Nice performance. Nissan Leaf feels very lively on the road and produces a good amount of torque. Instant power delivery is a very pleasant thing and many EV drivers fall in love with it.
  • Fun/Boring to drive. Earlier (before 2019) Nissan Leaf models were quite boring to drive. It lacked agility. Newer models solved this problem by lowering the center of gravity. Now it feels really stable on the road and it perfectly supplements good torque.


Driving range. Even new EVs have a maximum of 140-mile driving range. Used Nissan Leaf will have an older battery and the driving range will be lower.

  • 2011-15 years (24kwh) – 85 miles.
  • The 2016 year (30kwh) – 110 miles.
  • 2017-19 years (40kwh) – 140 miles.

Cold temperatures. Cold winters are not friendly to batteries. Leaf will steadily lose range in cold temperatures. Even up to half of the range in subzero temperature.

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai is a popular compact crossover SUV.


  • Versatile family car. Used Nissan Qashqai is a good choice. It’s a practical SUV for a very affordable price compared to the competition in the same class.
  • Distinctive design. For its price, Qashqai looks exceptionally. Like most Japanese cars, the interior uses cheap plastic but is still functional and comfortable.
  • Comfortable. Qashqai feels nice on the road and is a pleasure to drive.


  • Rear space. There is not very much space in the back. A taller person will feel uncomfortable on a long drive.
  • Reliability. Qashqai doesn’t have a good reputation and there were quite a few recalls. It’s a good idea to google certain models before buying.  

Check Nissan Car History

Buying a used vehicle always contains some risk. To minimize that risk you need to gather as much information about the car as possible. The easiest way to do it is to buy a car history report. It is cheap but brings lots of useful information:

  • Information on any accidents.
  • A number of owners.
  • Real mileage of the vehicle.
  • Reports show if the car was a taxi or a rental car.

You can get such a report from providers like carVertical or carfax.

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