Congratulations to the 2021 Nissan Rogue for winning the Best Compact SUV! However, the Nissan Rogue may have only achieved this victory because the 2021 Toyota RAV4 didn’t show up to compete. Let’s see if the Nissan Rogue could have taken the RAV4 down.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue wins Best Compact SUV
The team at Cars.com brought rival SUVs together, including the 2021 Nissan Rogue, to face off in a week-long competition to determine the Best Compact SUV. The vehicles were judged back to back to analyze each aspect up close and personally.
Each SUV that showed up was evaluated based on driver and passenger space, front-seat comfort, storage, cargo space, tech, interior quality, power, performance, ride quality, interior noise, and safety features.
The final rankings include:
- 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum
- 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
- 2021 Subaru Forester Touring
- 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line
- 2022 Mistubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC
- 2021 Honda CR-V Touring
The Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 were invited to the competition but declined. However, if the RAV4 did show up, we think that the rankings may have been a little different.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue vs. the 2021 Toyota RAV4
The highest trim levels of each vehicle were tested. You can get started in a 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum for about $35,830. The highest trim level for the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is the Limited, and it has an MSRP of $34,880. These SUVs only have about a $1,000 difference in price.
With the Rogue, you get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.2 seconds. The steering is vague and lazy, but the handling is responsive, and the Rogue feels composed around curves.
The RAV4 features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds. It also has vague steering, but the upgraded all-wheel drive system provides above-average off-roading capabilities.
While the Rogue may have a smoother ride, the RAV4 has a quieter interior. Both vehicles have spacious and supportive seats, but the Rogue might be more padded. Also, the climate control systems work well to keep passengers comfortable.
Does the Rogue or RAV4 have better features?
The 2021 Nissan Rogue provides 36.5 cubic feet in the rear with up to 74.1 cubes total. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 features 37.5 cubic feet in the back with up to 69.8 cubes total. Both SUVs have plenty of storage compartments and trays.
Higher trim levels of both vehicles feature premium interior materials such as faux-leather upholstery and leather-wrapped steering wheels. The Rogue also features genuine leather with quilted stitching.
With the Rogue, you get a standard 8.0-inch infotainment system that can be upgraded to a 9.0-inch unit. The RAV4 comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that can be upgraded to n 8.0-inch unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for both rides.
Both vehicles offer a wireless phone charger, built-in navigation, and a premium audio system. But the ROgue also provides a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.8-inch head-up display.
The Toyota RAV4 is ranked as a safety vehicle than the Nissan Rogue. Both SUVs feature standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The RAV4 also provides lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. The Rogue also comes with standard blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert.
Wow, the Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4 seem pretty close. But the RAV4 is the most popular SUV in America. It could have taken the Rouge down for Best Compact SUV.