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2021 Nissan Rogue vs 2021 Toyota RAV4

  • 2021 Nissan Rogue

    A red 2021 Nissan Rogue SV is angled left.

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    2021 Toyota RAV4

    A silver 2021 Toyota RAV4 Limited is angled right.

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    8”/9”Infotainment Screen (in)7”/8”
    105.4Passenger Space (cu.ft.)98.9
    74.1Cargo Space (cu.ft.)69.8

    Crossovers have taken the nation by storm. These small SUVs seem to be everywhere on the road, and comparing the 2021 Nissan Rogue vs 2021 Toyota RAV4 involves looking at two of the most popular crossover models available today. The Rogue is the newer of the two models, having made its debut in 2007, and just entered its third generation for the 2021 model year. The RAV4 is an older nameplate that first appeared in 1995, and the fifth generation was launched back in 2018.

    As a result of this difference in age, the Rogue has a more modern look and feel to match its equal or superior features. Nissan offers the Rogue with many comparable features to the RAV4, such as standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive. What’s more, the 2021 Nissan Rogue actually beat the 2021 Toyota RAV4 in safety tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”). While both cars are known for their safety, the 2021 Rogue was named a Top Safety Pick+ while the 2021 RAV4 is only a Top Safety Pick.

  • Trims

    A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue is shown in the suburbs after winning a 2021 Nissan Rogue vs 2021 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

    The 2021 Nissan Rogue and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 both offer you a good selection of different trims to choose from. This allows you the ability to select a model that best fits your needs. However, the Rogue has a lower MSRP than the RAV4. The base model of the 2021 Rogue is the Rogue S with an MSRP of $25,850.* This is noticeably less than the $26,250 MSRP on the 2021 RAV4 LE. In addition, this lower price point carries over for each of the different trim levels on the 2021 Nissan Rogue, making it less expensive than the 2021 RAV4.

    2021 Rogue Trims

    Let’s take a quick look at the different trim levels on the Rogue. While there are a total of four trims on the Rogue as compared to six on the RAV4, having two fewer trim levels shouldn’t present a problem.

    The base model Rogue S features the standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. This trim is followed by the Rogue SV, with an MSRP of $27,540.* This model rides on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and adds Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist, a system that integrates intelligent cruise control with steering assist so that your Rogue can slow to a stop when using cruise control without your having to engage the brakes.

    The second-highest trim on the 2021 Rogue is the SL. This model rides on 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and has such luxury features as a dual-panel panoramic moonroof and motion-activated liftgate. The Rogue SL has an MSRP of $32,200.* The top trim is the Rogue Platinum, with an MSRP of $35,630.* Nissan really goes heavy with the luxury features on this model, offering ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link navigation and quilted semi-aniline leather seats.

    2021 RAV4 Trims

    Toyota offers the 2021 RAV4 in six different trim levels, but these can seem somewhat redundant. The base model is the RAV4 LE with an MSRP of $26,250. This is followed by the XLE, which adds integrated fog lights, a blind spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert. The XLE has an MSRP of $27,545. The RAV4 XLE Premium has an MSRP of $30,250 and rides on 19-inch alloy wheels with a power moonroof.

    The RAV4 Adventure has all-wheel drive standard and an MSRP of $33,355, while the RAV4 TRD Off-Road comes with a specialized suspension system and 18-inch wheels with an MSRP of $35,980. Both of these models are geared towards off-road enthusiasts. The top trim is the RAV4 Limited, with an MSRP of $34,780. The Limited is all-wheel drive standard with a premium audio system and 19-inch wheels.

  • Performance

    A grey 2021 Nissan Rogue is shown parked on pavement.

    The 2021 Nissan Rogue and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 are each equipped with one standard engine. The Rogue has a new 2.5-liter direct-injection I-4 gas engine that features continuously variable valve timing for better engine performance and efficiency. With a full 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque on tap, the new 2.5-liter is a noticeable upgrade from the old engine in the 2020 Rogue. The engine on the RAV4 is very similar, a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force I-4 gas engine. Thanks to their similar design, both the Toyota and Nissan engines are very close when it comes to power and fuel economy figures.


    Both of these automakers have taken different approaches to the transmission on their crossover models. Toyota has taken a conventional path, equipping the 2021 RAV4 with a direct shift 8-speed automatic transmission. This will give you adequate control over the performance of your RAV4’s engine. However, Nissan has gone with a more technologically advanced transmission, equipping the 2021 Rogue with an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual mode.

    Rather than having set gear speeds, the CVT constantly adjusts its gear ratio to road conditions. This results in smoother shifting and more efficient output. What’s more, Nissan has included paddle shifters standard on every model of the 2021 Rogue. For the uninitiated, paddle shifters were originally developed for race cars and allow you to make manual gear changes on the fly. Rather than work a stick shift and clutch, paddle shifters are safe and easy since they are mounted right on the side of your steering wheel. Many more expensive vehicles sport paddle shifters, such as performance sedans and sports cars.

    Handling and Acceleration

    Both of these models handle well, but the edge has to go to the 2021 Nissan Rogue. For one thing, most Rogue models ride on larger wheels than comparable RAV4 models. For example, the Rogue SV has 18-inch wheels, while the RAV4 LE has narrower 17-inch wheels, meaning that the Rogue offers sharper handling.

    Similarly, you will find that the Rogue has better overall acceleration. The 2021 Nissan Rogue can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 8.2 seconds, while it takes the 2021 Toyota RAV4 8.4 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. The Rogue also outperforms the RAV4 on braking. The Rogue can go to a full stop from 70 miles per hour in just 169 feet, while the RAV4 needs a full 185 feet to come to a full stop.

    Every 2021 Nissan Rogue is offered in front-wheel drive standard with available all-wheel drive. In contrast, the 2021 RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road and Limited are available in all-wheel drive. As a result, you may be locked into a trim with the RAV4 if you desire front-wheel drive.

  • Interior Dimensions

    The black interior is shown in a 2021 Nissan Rogue.

    The 2021 Nissan Rogue is one of the roomiest crossovers on the market. This small SUV offers you an incredible 105.4 cubic feet of space for up to 5 passengers, allowing everyone to stretch. In comparison, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 only has 98.9 cubic feet of room in the passenger compartment. You can see even more differences if we dig a little deeper into the numbers.

    For example, when it comes to legroom, the Rogue provides 43.3 inches up front and 38.5 inches in the second row. In contrast, the RAV4 offers 41 inches for front-seat passengers and 37.8 inches for people in the back seats. In addition, there are only 47.7 inches of hip room in the back seat of the RAV4, which is a lot less than the 53.4 inches in the Rogue. Things are going to feel very cramped for three passengers in the back seat of the RAV4 if you are going on anything but a very short trip. As for the front seat, the Rogue provides you with a very spacious 41.1 inches of headroom, while the RAV4 only has 37.7 inches. This could make it difficult for taller people to enter and exit the RAV4

    Cargo Space

    Both the Nissan Rogue and the Toyota RAV4 have similar designs. The rear trunk is a hatchback with the ability to increase the room for cargo by folding down the rear seats. The difference is that you will get more overall cargo space in the Rogue than in the RAV4. With the rear seats up, you get 36.5 cubic feet of space in the Rogue’s trunk and 37.6 cubic feet of space in the RAV4. However, once you fold down the rear seat, you will get a total of 74.1 cubic feet of space in the Rogue, which is almost 5 cubic feet more than the 69.8 cubic feet of space in the RAV4. Clearly, when you need to move things, you are better served with the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

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