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Nissan doesn’t get as much love from critics as some rivals like Toyota and Honda. That doesn’t mean that Nissan is subpar by any means, and it proved this when the Rogue was named the best AWD SUV for 2020 by CarMax. While the competition was fierce, the Rogue proved it has the chops to meet consumers’ needs.

The Nissan Rogue took home the gold

A white Nissan Rogue on display at an auto show
A Nissan Rogue on display | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Sometimes it’s nice to sit at home with your feet up, and the TV screen filled with your latest Netflix addiction. There are other times when you simply want to get away, and by getting away, we mean tackling Mother Nature in her own element. For that, you need the perfect off-road vehicle. 

Once a year, CarMax comes out with a list of the top 10 AWD and 4WD SUVs. Only the best of the best make it on to this list, and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a new SUV.

To make it onto this list, CarMax reviewed sales data from September 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020. Then the results are revealed to the world.

This year, there were several notable names to make the list. There was the Ford Escape, Audi Q5, Jeep Compass, Toyota Highlander, Toyota RAV4, Ford Explorer, Honda CR-V, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Nissan Rogue.

While it is no surprise that Jeep easily dominated the list, the Nissan Rogue had what it took to beat out the competition.

What makes the Nissan Rogue so tough to beat?

While the Nissan Rogue isn’t exactly the most powerful SUV on this list, it has enough going for it that it’s easy to overlook this under certain circumstances.

Going off-road is possible, thanks to the available all-wheel drive. The rearview monitor and seven-inch touchscreen display will keep you in touch with what is happening while on tough trails. 

For anyone who opts for the 2018 and the 2019 model, there are loads of standard features. If you like jamming out to your favorite song while crashing over small streams, you’ll love the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and the four-speaker audio system.

The competition was top-notch

There were several great SUVs to make this list. The Audi Q5 was the only luxury vehicle to make its presence known, and it took ninth place. CarMax was impressed with some of the extra features like front and rear parking sensors, hill-control descent, leather seats, panoramic sunroof, and the signal booster and wireless charger for mobile devices.

The Toyota RAV4 took sixth place. It’s well known as one of the best selling vehicles in the United States. The Honda CR-V came in fourth place. It comes with plenty of goodies like a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, power moonroof, push-button start, and a seven-inch infotainment screen. It might not be as powerful as some of its competition when it comes to going off-roading, but it’s smooth, sedan-like ride makes it a pleasure to drive on paved roads.

The Jeep Wrangler took third place, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee took second. Both are known for being beasts on trails, and are easily recognizable at a glance. But in the eyes of CarMax, neither had what it took to beat out the Nissan Rogue.


Pick the Nissan Rogue Over the Jeep Cherokee Unless You’re Going Off-Road