2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Nissan Rogue
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2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Nissan Rogue

By Autolist Staff | July 27 2020

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Nissan Rogue

Our User's Take

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2020 Toyota RAV4 score: 7

Highlights:
  • Lots of standard driver assistance technology
  • Efficient powertrain choices
  • Spacious interior and cargo area
  • Distinctive off-road models

2020 Nissan Rogue score: 7.6

Highlights:
  • The Rogue offers an excellent array of both standard and optional safety and technology features.
  • Fuel economy figures are some of the best-in-class.
  • Interior space and comfort are class-leading.
  • Ride quality and comfort are both noted to be excellent.

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • The RAV4 comes standard with an extensive list of driver assistance features, called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. All models come with adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist, automatic high beams, and road sign recognition. Some models also get blind-spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert. While rivals from Ford, Honda, Subaru, among others, also make much of this equipment standard, many others still don’t.

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2020 Toyota RAV4 its Top Safety Pick award, its second-highest honor. Crash test and prevention scores were all high, but most RAV4 models come with headlights the agency deemed insufficient. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2020 RAV4 its highest five-star overall rating.

Nissan Rogue: 8

  • The 2020 Nissan Rogue has earned solid safety scores from both the National Highway Traffic Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The NHTSA has given the Rogue four out of a possible five stars for overall safety. The IIHS has also rated the Rogue highly in most categories except for the headlight and structural categories in which it falls behind.

  • Driver safety assistance systems also help boost the Rogue’s ratings. Features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking are all standard on the base Rogue, a robust combination of standard technology not available on several competitors.

Value:

Toyota RAV4: 6

  • While the RAV4’s base price and standard equipment are competitive, higher grades get expensive quickly and approach the highest levels in the compact SUV class. And that’s before factoring in that, hybrid versions aside, the RAV4 doesn’t offer a more powerful engine option to rival the turbocharged Mazda CX-5 or V6-powered Jeep Cherokee, for example. And fully equipped versions of the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester cost less than a top-tier RAV4.

  • The XLE Premium, at around $31,000 to start, is the least expensive way to get desirable items such as dual-zone automatic climate control and a power liftgate. The off-road-oriented models begin with the RAV4 Adventure at just over $34,000, which is about the same price as the more capable Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

Nissan Rogue: 7

  • A base Rogue starts at just over $26,000, including destination. At that price, it undercuts several key competitors like the Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and Honda CR-V. However, this doesn’t make it the least expensive SUV on the market, as it comes in higher than a base model Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester.

  • Slotting into the middle of the segment in terms of price, the Rogue offers a well-rounded approach to potential SUV buyers, providing some of the best cargo space, passenger space, safety features, fuel-efficiency, and ride comfort compared to competitors. The Rogue’s value proposition drops slightly in terms of interior materials and general styling, both of which aren’t as quality or sharps as many competitors.

Efficiency:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • The 2020 Toyota RAV4 2.5-liter gasoline is rated by the EPA at 28 mpg city, 35 highway, and 30 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive LE models fall one mpg in city and highway, while all other all-wheel-drive models drop between 2 and 3 mpg highway compared to the standard model.

  • RAV4 Hybrid models are rated at 41 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 40 mpg combined.

  • All of the RAV4’s EPA estimates are near or at the top of the class. The Ford Escape and Honda CR-V front-drive models come closest to the RAV4.

  • Both the Ford and Honda are also available as hybrid variants, but only the Ford’s front-drive hybrid edges the Toyota. Compared to other gasoline models, the RAV4 boasts better EPA figures than many subcompact SUVs, which is worth considering if fuel economy is a priority.

Nissan Rogue: 8

  • Fuel efficiency is one area in which the Rogue shines. Standard front-wheel-drive models return up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and have a combined rating of 29 miles per gallon. All-wheel-drive models return a combined 27 miles per gallon with only a mile per gallon drop during highway driving. These numbers are among the best in class.

  • The Rogue has also been offered with a hybrid powertrain option, which is being discontinued for the 2020 model year. Front-wheel-drive models get a combined 34 miles per gallon while all-wheel-drive models return slightly lower numbers in both city and highway driving. Not all competitors offer hybrid models, but the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, and Ford Escape hybrid models all outshine the Rogue for hybrid efficiency.

Driving Experience:

Toyota RAV4: 6

  • The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides adequate performance, but not much more. While its 202 horsepower rating is somewhat higher than the standard engines offered in many rivals, it’s less responsive than models with standard turbocharged engines. The transmission also works hard to tap into that power, and engine noise levels are higher than expected. The hybrid powertrain is more responsive and quieter in certain conditions.

  • Steering and handling are also off from the best-in-class, and generally make the RAV4 drive larger than it is. The all-wheel-drive system in Adventure and TRD Off-Road models can at least be programmed for different terrain surfaces and conditions while switching to two-wheel-drive mode when four-wheel traction isn’t needed. It offers better-than-expected off-road performance, and more than most drivers will likely need.

Nissan Rogue: 7

  • Overall, the Rogue provides a pleasant driving experience. Ride quality and comfort are good for the class, plus it has the added benefit of comfortable seats to help smooth out bumps. Road noise is kept to a minimum, and Rogue’s maneuverability is good for a vehicle of this size, allowing drivers to feel like it is not as large a vehicle as it actually is.

  • Performance is where the overall driving experience falls off a little bit. Most reviewers note that the 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower engine and continuously-variable transmission are a bit slower and more sluggish than many other offerings in the segment. Additionally, many note that many other competitors offer a much more engaging driving experience than the Rogue’s average handling ability can provide.

Tech Features:

Toyota RAV4: 7

  • With the addition of Android Auto for 2020, the RAV4 is finally competitive in terms of in-car technology. All models get Android Auto, as well as Apple CarPlay now, which nearly all of its rivals include as standard now. A seven-inch touchscreen is standard on base-level cars, while higher trims can be upgraded with an eight-inch version, and an audio package includes a JBL sound system and built-in navigation. While relatively easy to use, Toyota’s infotainment system lacks the clarity and ease of use from systems found in Jeep models and the Chevrolet Equinox, and it’s not as responsive as that found in the Volkswagen Tiguan.

  • In addition to driver assistance technology, the RAV4 can be equipped with up to five USB ports, a 360-degree camera, and ventilated front seats. Also available is a digital rearview mirror, which is able to switch from being a traditional mirror to a camera projection of what’s behind the vehicle. No other vehicle in the RAV4’s class offers that feature, even if it’s likely to be most useful when towing a trailer, because all models come equipped with some form of a backup camera.

Nissan Rogue: 9

  • Standard technology features make a strong showing in the Rogue compared to other models within the segment. A seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker audio system all come on the base model.

  • Available technology equipment offered on higher trim levels and as possible options include navigation, surround-view camera, a Bose sound system, power liftgate, and dual-zone climate control. ProPilot Assist – Nissan’s suite of semi-autonomous driving systems – is also offered as standard on the highest Rogue trim levels.

Style & Design:

Toyota RAV4: 7

  • The RAV4 is essentially available in three appearances, with traditional models keeping a corporate Toyota look. LE models make do with standard steel wheels, while many other rivals now offer alloy wheels across the line. The XSE models have a sportier appearance, while the Adventure and TRD get a rugged look. It’s a matter of preference, but at least Toyota offers distinct choices between trims, something most vehicles in the segment do not offer. If anything, the off-road-oriented variants of the RAV4 stand out most in this class. All versions, at least, offer an excellent glass area for good outward visibility.

  • The interior design is sound and quality of materials satisfactory for the class. The touchscreen is mounted high for good visibility, while several physical knobs and buttons make adjustments easy while driving. Base models, however, have some lower-rent fabrics. And all versions lack the visual panache of the Mazda CX-5 or the higher quality plastics in a VW Tiguan.

Nissan Rogue: 6

  • The Rogue’s exterior design falls within the typical compact SUV parameters. The headlights, body lines, and overall dimensions are attractive for a vehicle of this size. Many agree that there’s nothing too exciting about the rest of the exterior but also note that rear visibility is somewhat limited because of the rear window and pillar design.

  • Interior design is also noted to be adequate but does not provide the best-in-class design and quality that rivals such as the Rav4 and CR-V offer. Numerous plastic pieces throughout the interior give mixed signals with high-quality seating materials. The interior layout is average and beginning to feel dated (an all-new generation of Rogue is due for 2021). Still, the spacious cabin provides plenty of space in both front and back, even for larger passengers.

Practicality:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • All RAV4 models benefit from a spacious cabin and highly usable cargo area, despite it being on the smaller side of its immediate rivals. Headroom and legroom for four adults are generous, even if five is a squeeze. Those installing car seats should find the process easy, thanks to rear doors that open wide. Cargo space is among the best in the class, although the Subaru Forester’s boxier and taller shape may provide more usable space than the slightly sloping rear end of the Toyota.

  • Only the three-row Volkswagen Tiguan and Mitsubishi Outlander offer more space for cargo and people, but those who regularly use three rows of seats in an SUV will be better served by a midsize crossover, rather than a compact.

  • The RAV4 is also capable of towing a maximum of 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. That’s among the highest in the segment, save for the V6-powered Cherokee. Given its four-cylinder engine, however, it may not be the most pleasant towing experience.

Nissan Rogue: 8

  • Excellent fuel-efficiency, one of the largest interiors in the segment, and the availability of all-wheel-drive boost the Rogue’s practicality level to the top of the class. All doors are easy to access, and a motion-sensing power liftgate enables excellent ease of access to the cargo area. As a typical, practical family hauler, the Nissan Rogue excels.

  • Though the Rogue is an SUV, it falls behind many competitors when it comes to towing capacity. Available roof rails help when additional storage and hauling is necessary. Reviewers also note that competitors like the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee are far more capable vehicles when tough weather conditions and offroad situations present themselves.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Nissan Rogue

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,194
15k miles at $2.15/gal
$1,194
15k miles at $2.15/gal
Fuel Economy

25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Nissan Rogue

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Nissan Rogue

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Nissan Rogue

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
FWD
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders