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The Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Ultimate Showdown

Since the trend of compact crossovers began to gain momentum following 2010, these cars have outpaced the sales of midsize SUVs. The most prominent of these crossovers in the US market are the Toyota RAV4 and the Nissan Rogue. In this Rogue vs. RAV4 showdown, we’ll see how the two titans of the crossover market compare.

While the Toyota RAV4 is famous for being a reliable crossover that you can take for mild off-roading, the Nissan Rogue is equally impressive with its touches of comfort and utility. For people in the market for a compact crossover, the choice can get a bit overwhelming. This ultimate ‘Japanese Crossover Showdown’ will make the choice easy for anyone considering buying either of these cars. 

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Powertrain 

The heart of the RAV4 is a 2.5L inline-4-cylinder naturally-aspirated gasoline-powered motor making 201hp. This engine is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard configuration is front-wheel-drive, but Toyota does offer an optional upgrade to an all-wheel-drive system.

The competing Rogue also comes with a 2.5L inline-4-cylinder naturally-aspirated gasoline-powered engine with a power output of 181hp. The transmission in this vehicle is a CVT, and the standard drivetrain is a front-wheel drive. However, you can get it in the AWD configuration too.

If you compare the powertrains of these two vehicles, they are pretty much the same. The engine on the Rogue is a bit less powerful, but the most important factor is the power-to-weight ratio. The RAV4 has 17.3lbs/hp, and the Rogue clocks in at 18.6lbs/hp, meaning they both have roughly the same power. 

Next, the transmission on the RAV4, the eight-speed auto, tends to be on the sporty side. The Rogues’ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is smooth with its infinite gear ratios. There is little to no noticeable difference in this department. The choice depends on your personal preference.

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Suspension 

The Toyota RAV4 rides on 225/65R17 (225millimeter wide, 55% width to profile ratio, 17-inch wheel diameter) tires. The 17-inch wheels are attached to the body with a McPherson Strut suspension with stabilizer bars in the front, and Multi-Link independent suspension in the rear, also with stabilizer bars.

The Rogue has slightly wider 235/65/17 tires and the same suspension setup as the RAV4.

Even though the suspension on both these crossovers is the same, the Rogue has a slightly rougher ride than the Toyota. That, however, comes in handy when off-roading or towing a trailer. 

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Trunk and Cargo Space

Cargo space is an essential factor to analyze, since one of the main reasons for buying a crossover, rather than a sedan, is more cargo space.

The Toyota RAV4 cargo space comes in at 37.6 cubic feet, with the rear seats raised and 69.8 cubic feet when folded. To put that into perspective, you can fit ten carry-on suitcases in the trunk with the rear seats occupied and 22 with them folded down. 

The Nissan Rogue’s Cargo Space is about the same at 36.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 74.1 cubic feet with them stowed away. That means you can carry 9 or 23 carry-on suitcases with the seats up and down respectively. 

As you can see, both these cars are comparable when it comes to cargo capacity. The RAV4 has a slightly bigger trunk if the rear seats are occupied, but the Rogue makes up for that when the seats are folded down.

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Interior and Features 

Moving to the interior of these cars, the Toyota RAV4’s interior is welcoming, modern, and functional. It has thoughtfully positioned storage cubbies, soft-touch surfaces and a large center console. The base models have cloth upholstery, but faux leather is also an option. The infotainment screen is an 8-inch touch panel with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. 

The Nissan Rogue’s interior is also made with the same design language that prioritizes function over form. The dashboard is dual-tone with soft-touch surfaces. The seats are wrapped either in cloth or faux leather, depending on your trim preference. It has an 8-inch infotainment screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Other than having different badges on the steering wheel and some subtle variation in the design philosophy, both these cars offer the same level of interior comfort and features. Both cars have thoughtful design considerations, and while each is unique, they are not dramatically different. 

Toyota RAV4 vs. Nissan Rogue Gas Mileage

Next up, the Toyota RAV4’s MPG stands at 27 in the city and 34 on the highway for the FWD models and 25/33 (city/highway) for the AWD models. 

The estimated Nissan Rogue MPG values come in at 27/35 for FWD and 26/33 for AWD models.

In comparing these vehicles, you will notice that the fuel average of both of these cars is practically the same. The slight difference can hardly be noticed in real-world driving conditions.

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Dimensions

Here’s a tabular comparison of Toyota RAV4 dimensions vs. Nissan Rogue dimensions. 

Dimension Toyota RAV4 (inches)Nissan Rogue (inches)
Wheelbase 105.9 106.5 
Length 180.9183.0 
Width 70.072.4 
Height 67.066.5 
Rear Track Width63.062.6
Front Track Width 63.762.4 
Ground Clearance8.28.4 

In short, the Rogue is just slightly longer and wider than the RAV4. They effectively have the exact dimensions. A garage door, driveway, or drive-thru that can accommodate one will be okay with the other.

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity

Let’s look at the Toyota RAV4’s towing capacity. Its 25L 201 hp engine and unibody construction with the independent rear suspension is good for towing up to a maximum of 1500lbs. That is enough to tow 10-15ft long fiberglass trailers with an interior height of 6 feet.

Nissan Rogue’s Towing Capacity comes in at a slightly lower 1,350lbs. You can tow a lightweight camper, up to 15ft long, behind this vehicle for practical purposes. 

The slight difference in the towing capacities of these two vehicles can be attributed to the CVT transmission in the Rogue as opposed to the 8-speed manual in the RAV4, which can handle more torque.

Nissan Rogue VS. Toyota RAV4 Prices

If you want to buy it new, the Toyota RAV4 price starts at $26,000 for the base trim and goes all the way up to $34,000 for the top-of-the-line gasoline variant. As the features of these two crossovers are nearly identical, so are the prices. 

A new Nissan Rogue’s price is between $27,000 and $35,000, depending on the options you choose. 

If you plan on purchasing one of these vehicles, buying a Nissan Rogue or Toyota RAV4 used might be the better option. There are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, due to COVID-19 and the global chip shortage, new cars are in short supply, and waiting times are long. Secondly, you can trade in your current car and get financing options for a used RAV4 or Rogue, just like banks offer on new vehicles.

Conclusion

Now, the hard part. What does all that mean? Here are the high-level comparison points for  the Rogue vs. RAV4.

Characteristics Toyota RAV4Nissan Rogue 
Engine NA 2.5L I4 @ 201 hpNA 2.5L I4 @181 hp 
Transmission 8-speed auto single clutch CVT
Fuel Economy (FWD-AWD)27/34 – 25/33 27/35 – 26/33
Driven Wheels FWD and AWD FWD and AWD
Infotainment 8-inch Touch screen 8-inch Touch screen 
Cargo Capacity (cft)37.6/69.836.5/74.1 
Price (New)  ($)26,000-34,000 27,000-35,000

When it comes down to the purchase decision, both these cars offer pretty much the same value for money. The Rogue is more modern in styling inside and out. The RAV4, on the other hand, follows Toyota’s design philosophy of making crossovers look rugged and classic.

Both have the same engine displacement, but the RAV4 has 20 more horsepower. Toyota’s 8-speed automatic is more well-suited for sporty driving but is buttery smooth if you want to drive it that way. The Rogue’s CVT offers smoother shifts and slightly higher fuel efficiency. Both have almost the same cargo capacity, identical interior features, and comparable driver comfort. Talking of towing capacity, the Nissan is a few pounds short of the Toyota but nothing wildly different. Finally, a new Rogue will cost you slightly more than the RAV4. 

To sum it up, the purchase decision comes down to your personal preferences and which brand you feel more comfortable with. Daily driving these cars, you’ll hardly notice any difference. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Nissan Known for?

Nissan, the Japanese automaker is known for making reliable cars for all segments. They make sports cars like the GT-R and the Z series, Luxury cars under the Infiniti brand, and numerous passenger vehicles including crossovers, SUVs and sedans under the Nissan brand.

Is the Toyota RAV4 bigger than the Nissan Rogue?

No, the Nissan Rogue is bigger, but the difference is not immediately apparent. The Rogue’s wheelbase, length, and width are 0.6, 2.1, and 2.4 inches greater than those of the RAV4.

Is Nissan better than Toyota?

There is no such metric that can decide whether Nissan is better than Toyota or not. Toyota has established itself as a more prominent automaker as they offer 23 different models compared to the 16 of Nissan. Toyota is also considered more reliable than Nissan, and Toyotas are also better at holding their value down the line of ownership than Nissan vehicles.

Do Nissans break down a lot?

According to the Repairpal Survey of 345 unique Nissan models, this Japanese brand has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5, which is considered very good. They gave Nissan 9th place on the list of 32 brands ranked for their reliability. The average repair bill for Nissan cars is $500, above the average of the 32 brands Repairpal surveyed.

What is the seating capacity in the Nissan Rogue?

The Nissan Rogue has a seating capacity of 5. Unlike other cars of this class, the rear seat can be used by decent-sized adults for long trips. The seats are comfortable, and the doors are large enough for easy entry/exit.

Does the Toyota RAV4 have a lot of trunk space?

The trunk of the Toyota RAV4 can fit 37.6 cubic feet with the rear seats in the upright position and 69.8 cubic feet with them folded. To make that more fathomable, you can fit ten carry-on suitcases in this SUV with the rear seats occupied and 22 when folded.

What is the average price of a used Toyota RAV4?

The average asking price for a Used Toyota RAV4 stands at $26,890. Depending on the trim, optional extras, car’s condition, and the miles on the odometer, you can get one for as low as $20,000 or as high as $30,000.

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