Nowadays you have your pick of crossover SUVs and at the forefront of your choices is the 2020 Nissan Rogue and 2020 Toyota RAV4. The Rogue has definitely made a name for itself as the more friendly on-road crossover while the RAV4 is a tried-and-true favorite with roots as Toyota’s little off-roader. But which is better for your daily commute? Is the 2020 Rogue a more reliable rig that focuses on drivability and comfort or does the 2020 RAV4 take the cake with its fun and reliability when the pavement turns to dirt? Read on for an in-depth analysis of these two best-selling crossovers.
2020 Nissan Rogue
As Nissan’s most popular model, outselling both of their flagship sedans – the Altima and Sentra – the Nissan Rogue ties together attractive styling and comfortable interior accommodations. Where the Rogue may lack in power it more than makes up for in a smooth ride, generous passenger space, and comes with a ton of standard driver assists and infotainment features. One of the major sources of disappointment is Nissan discontinuing the Rogue’s hybrid powertrain in the 2020 model year, but one thing to look forward to is the long-awaited, 7 model years to be exact, redesign for the 2021 model.
The last redesign for the Rogue was in 2014 there have been enough minor updates to keep the Rogue looking modern. It continues to rock the stylish bold Nissan v-motion grille upfront and some nice character lines throughout the body. There isn’t much to say on the exterior, again it’s been 7 model years since the last major redesign, it still is a capable and confident crossover that doesn’t fall in line with the pretentious stylings of the 2020 RAV4.
Interior & Technology
Looks aren’t everything and as we all know, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and that is definitely the case when assessing the 2020 Rogue’s interior. Comfortable. Attractive. Advanced. Roomy. Those are just a few words to describe the interior of this crossover. The Rogue has excellent front passenger space and moderate, yet still, comfortable space for the rear passengers to stretch out in the second-row seating. Embrace the luxury feel with nice caramel-colored leather seats by stepping up to the SL trim.
Technology-wise the Rogue comes with a standard infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen that boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. Also useful are the physical buttons that surround the screen which can be very handy for that quick volume increase when your favorite song comes on the radio. USB and Bluetooth connectivity are of course standard but what really can set the Rogue apart from the RAV4, at least entertainment-wise, is the Bose Premium Audio System.
If you are looking for an SUV that can haul you, your family and friends, and all the associated cargo then the Rogue is right up your alley. Deemed a best in class for cargo room the Rogue has an impressive capacity for luggage or whatever you are hauling with the seats up or down and factor in the cubby storage space and the 2020 Nissan Rogue is the practical choice here. One attribute that always sets the Nissan apart is the Divide-N-Hide cargo system. You have the ability to raise or lower the rear floor of the rig so it can be used as a shelf or to cover its hidden compartments showing off Nissan’s ability to combine creativity and functionality.
Rocking a 170 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) the Rogue may not be the fastest or most powerful on the road it does provide a relaxed, comfortable ride. Although as relaxed and comfortable as the Rogue may drive, sound-wise you’d think you were torturing the car. If you put the pedal to the metal the CVT’s lazy response and lethargic power delivery cause the engine to scream under heavy acceleration.
On the fuel economy front, the Rogue is among the most fuel-efficient in its class, even without the hybrid model to lean on. The FWD models have an estimated 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway and the AWD models are only just a touch lower at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
Safety & Driver-Assistance Features
The highlight of the 2020 Nissan Rogue safety and driver-assistant wise are the standard features that come with all trim levels. The Rogue and RAV4 both have safety equipment like Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Pedestrian Detection. Some standout features of the Rogue include:
- Nissan Advanced Air Bag System
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Automatic Collision Notification
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
The Rogue labels its safety system as the Nissan Intelligent Mobility Safety Shield which is a 360-degree monitoring system. Wherever the road may take you, you can drive in confidence with the 2020 Rogue knowing that this is a crossover SUV designed to keep you and your family safe on the road.
2020 Toyota RAV4
The 2020 RAV4 is by far one of the better crossover SUVs out there building on over 20 years of reliability and the high-end quality that is Toyota’s reputation. It is attractive, comfortable, and had a complete redesign in 2019 and what really stands out for 2020 is the TRD off-road package that was released this year. But if you are not the big adventurer, off-road type then there is a trim level for any budget available, there’s even a hybrid that gets an estimated 41 mpg city and has a little more power and sporty-ness behind it. All-in-all the RAV4 is a standout in the crossover category and is one that is hard to beat at first glance, it will definitely give the 2020 Nissan Rogue a run for its money in this comparison.
One highlight of the RAV4 is its distinctive look that actually can change quite a bit depending on what trim you go with. The Limited trim definitely has a more premium, luxury look to it with the chrome grille and accents. The biggest changes are in the RAV4 TRD and Adventure trims. All trims have harder angles, chunkier fenders, and wider bumpers that embody the feel of the 4Runner and Tacoma. The addition of the (fake) skid plate on the off-roading trims does suggest an off-road capability that the RAV4 may struggle to actually meet if tested on uneven earthly terrain.
The RAV4 comes in 10 different trims to choose from all ranging from $25,950 to $36,880 starting price. Of course, the more accessories and add-ons you want the price goes up. The RAV4 retains its good looks with wheels that are wholly designed to complement each of its 10 trim level’s personality and design. From the XLE’s 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels to the Limited’s available 19-inch multi-spoke chrome-finished alloy wheels to the TRD’s matte-black 18-in TRD allow wheels that sport the hard-hitting Falken WILDPEAK A/T Trail tires, each version of the 2020 RAV4 is good looking from the ground up.
Overall the RAV4 has embraced Toyota’s off-road styling and ran with it. If you are looking for a great daily driver that looks rugged on your drive to work then the RAV4 is right up your alley.
Interior & Technology
New for 2020 is Toyota making SiriusXM satellite radio and Android Auto standard across all versions of the RAV4 but there is always a negative to the positive as the sunroof is no longer standard; you’ll need to spend a bit more and select the Convenience package if you are looking for a sunroof in your ride. The RAV4 prioritizes driver and passenger interior interaction and cubby storage across the board. A dash that easily doubles as a shelf which definitely compliments the large center console.
The base trim doesn’t come with a lot of distinct features, having only a mix of soft-touch surfaces and nice plastics (but let’s face it, plastics can’t really be that nice). The next step up from the base, the RAV4 XLE, has a few more perks but the better move is the XLE Premium which includes faux-leather upholstery, a stitched and padded dash, and center-center console armrest, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. In the cargo department, the Toyota RAV4’s rear seats are easy to stow to open up additional storage capacity. One thing to note here is the Nissan Rogue was a match inch for inch cargo wise.
On the technological front, the lower trims come with a 7-inch touchscreen but you can upgrade to an 8-inch screen starting at the RAV4 XLE level. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a standard thing across all models but you can add a 4G LTE mobile hotspot and Amazon Alexa to your infotainment center with a bit more money and in the higher trim levels. Some very cool options include a JBL premium audio system, navigation and a wireless charging pad for a smartphone are all available.
The 2020 RAV4 has two different transmission options for you to choose from. One option is powered by a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission while the other is the Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which is assisted by two electric motors for a combined output of 219-hp. Four-cylinders is definitely the theme in this article as the Rogue has the same engine, just different performance numbers.
Similar to the Rogue the RAV4 can get a bit noisy when you really call on the engine to get up and go to make those passing attempts on the highway. Overall the RAV4 is a solid drive on the straightaways and holds its own on the winding roads.
The front-wheel-drive RAV4s get an estimated 35 mpg highway and the all-wheel-drive RAV4s clock in at slightly lower efficiency at 32 mpg highway. Pretty good numbers for the SUV class.
Safety & Driver-Assistance Features
The 2020 RAV4 comes in with a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (man, can that name get any longer?) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+. Buyers have the option of adding blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert features for a little more money on the base trim. If you aren’t wanting to add those options to your ride, Toyota has provided a variety of standard driver-assist features across all models which include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Both crossover SUVs are alike in some regards but with each, there are different attributes that set one apart from the other. Some similarities are the roomy seating for 5, comparable starting prices, and AWD available but not standard. The biggest standouts for the RAV4 are the Adventure Trim and TRD packages that give it (albeit kind of exaggerated because let’s face it, it is a RAV4 compact SUV) off-road capabilities, the hybrid option, and of course, because it is a Toyota, great resale value. The 2020 Nissan Rogue fires back with great standard tech that is only available in the higher trims of the RAV4, solid use of interior space, and very competitive pricing.
If you are looking for a little better value in a comfortable package then the 2020 Nissan Rogue is your best choice. But if you want a hybrid option or the ability to go kind of off-road the 2020 Toyota is best.
Decided to go with the Rogue? Check out our Current Inventory of Nissan Rogue Crossover SUVs at our Dealership in Gladstone, just outside of Portland, or give us a call and test drive one today.