Crossovers have become a popular choice because they "cross" the comforts of a car with off-roading fun. Not only that, they offer more versatility with increased cargo volume and ground clearance. But not all small SUVs (SSUVs) are created equal.
The RAV4, introduced in 1995 for the 1996 model year, was the first compact crossover SUV in North America. Nissan did not debut the Rogue until 2007 at the North American International Auto Show.
The RAV4 offers Toyota reliability, towing capabilities, and off-road inspired trims. For the Rogue, drivers tend to list its exterior styling and Nissan’s warranty as positive features.
In this head to head, we'll compare the 2020 RAV4 to the Rogue in fuel economy, performance, and reliability. How will these two crossovers compete?
Publish Date: 06/26/2020
The 2020 RAV4 LE takes the edge over the 2020 Rogue S in fuel economy. The base trim RAV4 LE FWD has an EPA-estimated 27/35/30 (city/hwy/comb). The base trim Rogue S has a lower MPG at an EPA-estimated 26/33/29 (city/hwy/comb).
For even better fuel economy, the RAV4 LE Hybrid AWD has a gas-sipping EPA-estimated 41/38/40 (city/hwy/comb). The RAV4 also offers four hybrid trim options. The Rogue does not offer a hybrid version.
What’s even more impressive: the higher MPG estimates do not come at the cost of performance. The next section on performance below shows exactly how the RAV4’s hybrid engine has the best of both worlds.
When it comes to total horsepower performance, the RAV4 takes the lead over the Rogue in both gas and hybrid engine variants.
The 2020 gas-powered RAV4 LE comes standard with 203 net combined system horsepower. The 2020 Rogue S comes standard with 170 net combined system horsepower. However, drivers may be surprised by the hybrid RAV4’s performance numbers.
The RAV4 Hybrid engine pulls no punches with performance. The Multi-electric motor assist has a power output of 118 horsepower, 149 lb.-ft. torque, 650V maximum electric motor voltage, and a 244.8V sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) traction battery. This gets you a net combined system horsepower of 219, which is even more than the gas-powered 2020 RAV4 engine.
While both the 2020 RAV4 LE and 2020 Rogue S offer an All-Wheel Drive version, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 offers TRD Off-Road and Adventure grades with Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive (TV-AWD).
The torque-vectoring AWD system found on the Adventure, Limited, and TRD Off-Road models include Multi-Terrain Select and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). The 2020 Rogue does not offer a grade comparable to the RAV4 TRD Off-Road or Adventure grades.
If you want that all-important combination of safety and reliability, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has you covered.
The 2020 RAV4 earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with specific headlights. The 2019 Rogue was awarded a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS when equipped with specific headlights, but the 2020 model has not earned a Top Safety Pick award yet.
The 2020 RAV4 received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2020 Nissan Rogue received a 4-Star Overall Safety Rating.
Furthermore, Toyota earned the Best Resale Value Brand award from Kelley Blue Book® (KBB®) for 2019. Toyota was also named KBB®’s Best Resale Value Brand for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Nissan did not win a 2019 KBB® resale value award.
All leases and purchases of new Toyota vehicles receive ToyotaCare factory-scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes complimentary 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years and unlimited miles.
Nissan does not offer factory-scheduled maintenance plans standard with leases and purchases of new vehicles like Toyota does. Nissan does offer prepaid maintenance plans at an additional cost.
Drivers wanted a vehicle with the fuel efficiency of a car, but with the cargo space and ground clearance of a truck.
That’s why Toyota introduced the world’s first crossover compact or small SUV (SSUV) with the RAV4. Though introduced more than a decade later, the Rogue serves as a worthy competitor in the SSUV sphere.
The 2020 RAV4 leads the 2020 Rogue in performance and fuel economy estimates. The 2020 RAV4 has four hybrid trims, while the Rogue has none in North America.
The 2019 Rogue was awarded a Top Safety Pick from IIHS when equipped with specific headlights, but the 2020 model did not earn a 2020 Top Safety Pick award as the 2020 RAV4 did when equipped with specific headlights. The 2020 RAV4 was also awarded a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating by the NHTSA. The 2020 Rogue earned a 4-Star Overall Safety Rating by the NHTSA.
For a winning combination of horsepower, fuel economy, and reliability, the 2020 RAV4 takes the lead in this head to head.