Nissan Rogue vs. Toyota RAV4

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - December 8, 2020

Compact crossovers dominate today’s market in many ways, and none more so than the Toyota RAV4. The Nissan Rogue has lost ground in recent years, but it’s back with a fresh design, a new suspension, and a more potent engine. Is the new Rogue good enough to unseat the RAV4 king? We took a closer look at the details to find out.

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

What the Rogue Gets Right

Even after the refresh, the Nissan Rogue has the cheaper starting price of the two. The difference isn’t huge, but a Rogue saves buyers about $500 over the Toyota RAV4, with or without all-wheel drive.

For the price, the Rogue is surprisingly nice inside. Materials quality is good, and the dash is clean and attractive. Item storage is especially good, with a clever false floor in the trunk and a tiered center console that keeps phones and belongings close at hand. It doesn’t feel like an economy car, which is a welcome perk for a mainstream crossover.

Both of these cars have strong safety tech, but the Rogue goes above and beyond. It comes with standard features like rear automatic emergency braking and rear door alerts, which the RAV4 doesn’t even have. In base form, it also gets a larger infotainment touchscreen than the Toyota.

What the RAV4 Gets Right

The Nissan Rogue isn’t bad looking, but the new design takes some risks with tiered headlights and chrome along the roofline. To our eye, the Toyota RAV4 is the more attractive of the two. It borrows from the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner for an adventure-ready look that suits its do-anything personality.

In keeping with its looks, the RAV4 has an edge in practicality. Cabin space is close between the two, but the RAV4 has an extra cubic foot of space in the trunk. The RAV4 also has a slightly higher ground clearance, which makes it the more likely candidate for venturing away from the pavement.

The RAV4’s greatest advantage is under the hood. In base form, the RAV4 has 22 more horsepower than the Nissan, which makes it livelier around town. The RAV4 is also available with a hybrid or plug-in powertrain, both of which get around 40 miles per gallon combined. That’s about as efficient as crossovers get, and it’s a trick the Rogue can’t match.

The Best of the Best

Both of these crossovers will sell in droves, and both deserve their popularity. In most significant ways, they’re more similar than they are different.

Thanks to its redesign, the Nissan Rogue comes out slightly ahead for value and technology. The Toyota RAV4 is a bit more utilitarian, but it has an ace up its sleeve in its versatile powertrain lineup.

Our Verdict: Toyota RAV4

Not much separates these two, except for the Toyota RAV4’s impressive efficiency. The RAV4 Hybrid is a vehicle with few compromises, and it doesn’t demand much of a premium over the gas-powered version. As the world moves further toward electric power, the RAV4 feels like the more modern choice.

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

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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