The New Nissan Rogue Is Gunning for the Honda CR-V

 The Nissan Rogue has always been popular but at the same level as the Honda CR-V. For years, the CR-V has outshined the Rogue in terms of performance and utility. But the completely redesigned 2021 Rogue could change things. 

The new Rogue can better compete with the CR-V

A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue parked on the track.
2021 Nissan Rogue | Nissan

Honda’s CR-V earned a few impressive awards last year. The ‘Green Car Awards Program’ named the CR-V the greenest SUV on the road, and it was Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy of 2020. Oppositely, the Rogue received more quirky distinctions like ‘Mr. Congeniality’ for its gentle performance. Well, gentle is putting it nicely; a few critics called the Rogue flat-out weak.

The CR-V persists as a class leader because of its agile yet comfortable performance. As with the outgoing model, the 2021 CR-V comes with a 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic (CVT). This Honda moves quickly with ease and maintains its composure well. 

2021 Honda CR-V Touring
2021 Honda CR-V | Honda

Fuel economy is another reason to love the CR-V. The standard model with front-wheel drive has an EPA rating of 30 mpg overall; all-wheel drive reduces fuel economy by a point. Separately, the CR-V Hybrid can get a combined 38 mpg. The newest generation of the Rogue doesn’t include a hybridized option, but there are some notable updates. 

The new Rogue is slightly more efficient and a little more powerful too. The Rogue’s sole engine is a 181-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a CVT. So far, critics have said that this Nissan is more enjoyable to drive than before. It can get up to 30 mpg overall, just like the CR-V.; this rating is a point better than last year’s model.

The Rogue’s aims at the CR-V’s focus on utility 

2020 Honda CR-V Touring interior
2020 Honda CR-V Touring interior | Honda

RELATED: Electra-Curious? Buy One Of These Used EVs Cheap For Under $10,000

We can’t help but think Nissan was inspired by Honda when we look at the Rogue’s updated appearance. The 2021 Rogue boasts handsome looks and a boxier shape, similar to the CR-V. It might look like the new Rogue is bigger than the outgoing model, but it’s actually smaller, as Autoblog noted. It’s smaller size doesn’t sacrifice much on the inside, though.

2021 Nissan Rogue interior seats
2021 Nissan Rogue interior | Nissan

The 2021 Rogue offers a bit more legroom than the previous generation, and it has a more upscale cabin. You could say that the new Rogue can better match the refinement that the CR-V’s interior provides. 

Still, the CR-V outdoes the Rogue in terms of available passenger room and cargo space. The new Rogue does offer more convenient storage options that separate it from the CR-V, such as an adjustable cargo floor. 

Nissan has an advantage over Honda regarding tech

2021 Nissan Rogue instrument panel dark
2021 Nissan Rogue instrument panel

The Rogue and the CR-V offer similar cabin amenities. However, the Rogue has the advantage regarding in-car tech. The Rogue comes with an 8-inch touchscreen plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

A regular 5-inch display is standard for the CR-V, and you have to upgrade to get smartphone integration apps. These SUVs are more comparable regarding active safety features. Both models come with functions such as forward-collision warning and lane departure warning. 

Simply put, it’s a closer contest 

A grey 2021 Honda CR-V driving down a road
The 2021 Honda CR-V in action | Photo via Honda

RELATED: Honda Has Won More Awards in the Last Decade Than Any Other Brand

U.S. News is among those that admit the 2021 Rogue is much better than the last, which is evident by its current ranking. Last year U.S. News named the 2020 CR-V as the best compact SUV for the money, and the 2020 Rogue came in at eighth place. U.S. News still considers the CR-V as the best crossover in the segment, but the 2021 Rogue now sits in fourth place.