Nissan Rogue vs. Toyota RAV4

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - January 25, 2018

Compact crossovers remain red hot, with the big boys in the automotive realm continuing to battle it out for family-hauling dominance. Toyota and Nissan are perennial leaders in this segment with the RAV4 and Rogue, respectively.

Both are fantastic options for families thanks to their roomy cabins, thrifty hybrid models, and top-of-the-line safety equipment, but which one hits the sweet spot? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the RAV4 & Rogue »

What the RAV4 Gets Right

For all its quirkiness, which some buyers may find a touch over the top, the RAV4’s styling is more exciting than the Rogue. This trend continues inside. On top of its more adventurous cabin, the RAV4’s interior is packaged quite nicely, everything is where you’d expect it to be, and there are plenty of options to choose from to dress it up.

Under its hood, the RAV4 is a bit more powerful than the base Rogue, as its 2.5-liter produces 176 horsepower to the Nissan’s 170 hp. The power gap grows when looking at each model’s hybrid version, as the 194-hp RAV4 Hybrid bests the Rogue Hybrid by 18 ponies and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Plus, the RAV4 Hybrid will run on electric power alone at up to 20 mph for a short distance – we’ve also noted that feathering the throttle just right pushes the top EV speed and distance up a bit.

Both the RAV4 and Rogue have advanced safety technology, like automatic emergency braking, but the RAV4’s five-star government safety score bests the Rogue’s four-star rating. To boot, it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, too.

Though the RAV4’s overall passenger area is smaller than the Rogue’s, its seating is roomier in virtually every measurable category. What’s more, its max cargo capacity bests the Rogue by 3.4 cubic feet.

What the Rogue Gets Right

In a highly competitive market, the Rogue comes in a bit cheaper than the RAV4, $25,775 to $26,805 (destination fees included). And at this price point, the Rogue has a few more desirable features, including a seven-inch touchscreen, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which Toyota is only now starting to embrace.

While it falls short in straight power relative to the RAV4, the Rogue is more efficient. The gasoline-only Rogue gets up to 29 miles per gallon combined to the RAV4’s 26 mpg combined. On the hybrid side of things, the battle is a bit closer with the Rogue checking in at 34 mpg combined to the RAV4’s 32 mpg combined.

Cargo hauling with the rear seats up is easier in the Rogue, as its 39.3 cubic feet of cargo room beats the RAV4 by near 1 cube.

Who’s the Rogue for?

The Rogue barely misses out on beating the RAV4, but it does have a few key benefits. First of all, the Rogue’s more traditional look could appeal to buyers bothered by the more progressive Toyota. Additionally, the Nissan's extra few miles per gallon can add up over time.

Verdict: Toyota RAV4

The RAV4, while not perfect, keeps the Rogue in check with its roomier cabin, additional cargo room, and more potent powertrain. Added bonuses for the Toyota include its more unique looks (for some buyers) and its higher government safety ratings.

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, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website