- The 2020 Toyota RAV4 is still fresh after last year’s big update, while the 2020 Nissan Rogue has been in its second generation since 2014.
- The RAV4 gets a new TRD Off-Road trim for off-road enthusiasts.
- The Rogue is no longer available as a hybrid, but the RAV4 is.
You have a ton of options when it comes to compact crossover SUVs. Two of the most popular choices in this extremely competitive segment are the Toyota RAV4 and the Nissan Rogue. The RAV4 is a tried-and-true favorite with its origins as a little off-roader, while the Rogue has always had a greater focus on being a road-friendly crossover.
Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between the Rogue and the RAV4 and see which is better.
The RAV4 has a lot of visual variety within its model range. The look of this SUV can change quite a bit depending on which trim you choose, which gives it some extra personality. For example, the Limited trim has a premium look to it with its chrome grille, while the Adventure and TRD Off-Road models look much more rugged with a distinct off-road attitude. See the 2020 Toyota RAV4 models for sale near you
The Rogue has been in the same generation since 2014 but has received enough visual updates along the way to keep it looking modern. It has the bold Nissan v-motion grille up front and some nice character lines throughout the body. However, it doesn’t have the same visual variety within its model range as the RAV4. See the 2020 Nissan Rogue models for sale near you
The inside of the recently updated RAV4 is fresh, modern and roomy. It’s a smartly designed interior that has a more modern look and feel than you might expect at this price point. The seating is comfortable, the materials are nice, and all of the controls are easy for the driver to use.
The exterior of the Rogue is aging more gracefully than the interior. We couldn’t call it a bad interior. It’s reasonably comfortable and practically laid-out, but its design looks a little dated compared with most competitors, especially the RAV4. Both of these SUVs have passenger and cargo space that’s above-average for this class, with the Rogue being slightly roomier.
The Rogue and the RAV4 have similar base 4-cylinder engines that make surprisingly different performance numbers. The RAV4 is available as a hybrid, while the Rogue Hybrid has been discontinued. Like just about everything else in this segment, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional in both SUVs. AWD is standard for the RAV4 Hybrid.
2020 Toyota RAV4 Engines
- 2.5-liter inline-four; 203 horsepower, 184 lb-ft of torque; up to 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway
- 2.5-liter hybrid inline-four; 219 combined system net hp; up to 41 mpg city/38 mpg hwy
2020 Nissan Rogue Engine
- 2.5-liter inline-four; 170 hp, 175 lb-ft of torque; up to 26 mpg city/33 mpg hwy
Going strictly by the numbers, the RAV4 is the clear winner in both performance and fuel economy over the Rogue. Significantly more hp and slightly better efficiency makes the RAV4 a no-brainer if power and fuel economy are important to you. If you want your SUV to be even better on gas while getting even more hp, the RAV4 Hybrid gives you both. It delivers outstanding fuel economy that you might expect from a tiny economy car while giving you SUV versatility and standard AWD.
The Toyota also has more to offer off-road enthusiasts than the Rogue. New for 2020 is the RAV4 TRD Pro model, which has off-road suspension and tires along with an aggressive body kit hinting at its rugged off-road capabilities. The Rogue does not offer a similar off-road model and is designed more for street use.
A big update to the RAV4 for 2020 is standard Android Auto available for the first time in a RAV4. The Toyota’s standard infotainment system is a 7-in touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot and Amazon Alexa, and it’s upgradable to an 8-in system. Every Rogue also has a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but it does not have a Wi-Fi hot spot or Amazon Alexa available.
As for driver assistance technology, the RAV4 is very generous, with every 2020 model coming standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) safety tech suite that includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-tracing assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and road sign detection. Every 2020 Rogue gets standard lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high-beam headlights.
The Rogue is a bit more affordable than the RAV4. The 2020 Rogue has a starting MSRP of $25,300 and the RAV4 starts at $25,950. The RAV4 Hybrid starts at a reasonable $28,350. The RAV4 can get pretty expensive in its higher trims into the high-$30k range, especially when you add the hybrid powertrain. The Rogue stays quite affordable even on the high end with the range-topping Rogue SL with FWD starting at just $31,690.
For most drivers, the RAV4 is a clear winner over the Rogue. It has more standard technology, a better base engine, a fantastic hybrid option and better off-road capabilities. The Rogue is a fine, roomy crossover and it’s attractively priced, but the RAV4 is simply better thanks to its 2019 redesign and subsequent 2020 updates. Find a Nissan Rogue for sale or Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale