Nissan Rogue vs. Toyota RAV4

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - April 30, 2019

Shopping lists for compact crossovers usually include two stalwart players: the Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4. Both offer fine cargo space, strong efficiency, and advanced safety technology that doesn't cost a dime extra. In this battle of equals, which would we choose to take home?

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

What the Rogue Gets Right

Travelers don't have to fold down the Nissan Rogue's rear seat to stow their luggage. There's 39.3 cubic feet of space in back, which grows to 70 cubes with the seat out of the way. The suspension is biased toward ride comfort, although the Rogue never feels disconnected from the road.

The Rogue offers some unexpected standard technology, like lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Buyers who spring for the top trim level get a semi-autonomous driving system known as ProPilot Assist.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. Aided by a continuously variable transmission, this setup is EPA-rated at 26 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 combined. The optional all-wheel-drive system drops these estimates to 25/32/27 mpg (city/highway/combined).

What the RAV4 Gets Right

The Toyota RAV4 has been totally redesigned with emphasis on performance and styling, virtues that are often lacking in this class. The sharp exterior angles and increased ride height make the RAV4 look rugged for the first time in its history. More to that end, the optional all-wheel-drive system now offers a terrain selector with mud and rock modes.

Every RAV4 gets Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a bundle of driver assistance safety features that includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.

Cargo space behind the rear seat has edged up to 37.6 cubic feet. With it folded, buyers have 69.8 cubic feet to work with.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine gets a boost to 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The new eight-speed automatic pushes EPA ratings to 26/35/30 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 25/33/28 mpg with all-wheel drive.

What's the Difference?

There's a reason why the Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4 keep racking up sales. They cover all the important bases without asking buyers to compromise in any real way. The distinction this year boils down to capability and style, where the RAV4 benefits from evolutionary improvements.

Our Verdict: Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 retains its main selling points while picking up a few tricks with its recent redesign, making it the winner in this comparison.

Take a closer look at the Nissan Rogue »

Take a closer look at the Toyota RAV4 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


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