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A red 2021 Honda CR-V Touring Hybrid is parked with a city view at sunset after winning the 2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Nissan Rogue comparison.

2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Nissan Rogue

If you have been thinking about purchasing a new compact crossover, then you have landed on the right page. Petite SUVs are all the rage these days, but there are two that are really trying to take the segment by storm. In today’s battle for supremacy, we will take a closer look at the 2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Nissan Rogue to see which model comes out on top. Let’s get started!

Size and Space

While both vehicles are classified as compact crossovers, they each can carry up to five people. However, the main difference can be seen in the cargo space. The 2021 Honda CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet of room in the back, while the 2021 Nissan Rogue is slightly smaller with only 37 cubic feet of space. As for the maximum cargo area, the Honda CR-V provides 75.8 cubic feet, and the Nissan Rogue offers 74 cubic feet. As far as this round goes, the Honda CR-V offers a bit more space than the Nissan Rogue. Don’t worry; this is just the beginning of what you have to consider when choosing one of these models.

The Engine Lineup

A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue is driving on a winding road.

While some crossovers have more than one powertrain to choose from, that is not the case for either the Honda CR-V or the Nissan Rogue. Both use a single powertrain to deliver the type of performance you need. Let’s see what’s underneath the hoods!

The 2021 Honda CR-V is powered by a peppy 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional), this unit has a stellar fuel economy rated at 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined 31 miles per gallon. However, something the CR-V has that the Rogue does not is a hybrid option. So, if you are really concerned about gas mileage, you can opt for the 2.0L hybrid version that gets 40 miles per gallon in the city, 35 miles per gallon on the highway, and a combined 38 miles per gallon.

On the other hand, the 2021 Nissan Rogue uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder motor that delivers 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Although the engine is technically larger, it does not produce more power. Paired with an Xtronic continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional), you can expect to get about 30 miles per gallon combined (27 miles per gallon city/35 miles per gallon highway). As you can see, the Honda CR-V powertrain is stronger, and it gets slightly better gas mileage.

The Base Models

While both vehicles are available in four trims, there are a few differences between each level. For the sake of organization, we will start with the base models. You will notice some features carry over between the two brands.

Starting at $25,350, the 2021 Honda CR-V LX includes manually-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and a 4-speaker stereo. The 60/40 split-folding back seat makes configuring the interior a breeze, and there are several advanced safety features that put this model at the top of the list. These include automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, and, our favorite, adaptive cruise control.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Nissan Rogue S starts at $25,650. That’s exactly $300 more than the Honda CR-V LX. It comes with a manually-adjustable driver’s seat and a 4-speaker sound system similar to the Honda. It also gets the Nissan Safety Shield suite that includes forward collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic rear braking. You will notice that some of the safety systems are the same, but not all of Honda’s advanced safety features are seen on the Nissan Rogue. However, the Rogue does have a better infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display and smartphone integration. The question to ask yourself is: Is safety or entertainment more important?

Second-Level Trims

Next, we have the 2021 Honda CR-V EX. This model gets several updates, including blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. You will immediately notice the sunroof and the tinted windows on this trim. It also features keyless entry and push-button start technology along with dual-zone climate control. The front seats are heated, and the driver’s seat is power-adjustable. The infotainment interface gets an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen along with extra USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as well.

On the other hand, the 2021 Nissan Rogue SV is a bit different. Features that are the same as the Honda include keyless entry, remote start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and dual-zone climate control. Differences include a Wi-Fi hotspot and the fact that this is where standard safety features from the CR-V base model come into play for the Rogue. Lane-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control are finally added into the mix.

Third-Level Trims

Moving on to the 2021 honda CR-V EX-L, this model comes with a handy power liftgate that makes it easy to load cargo into the back. Leather upholstery covers the heated seats, and the front passenger seat gets power-adjustability. The stereo has been upgraded to 8 speakers, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror has been installed.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Nissan Rogue SL also gets leather upholstery, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power liftgate. However, the seats are not heated. This trim is where the Honda CR-V really outshines the Rogue in multiple ways. It has better safety systems, better entertainment features, and more comfort components.

Top-Tier Trims

A red 2021 Honda CR-V Touring is shown from the rear on a city street.

Now we have made it to the cream of the crop. The top-of-the-line 2021 Honda CR-V Touring is the best compact crossover out there, and we will prove it. It comes with LED headlights for enhanced visibility and roof rails for extra storage space. You can travel with bicycles or kayaks attached to the top of the vehicle. It also includes an integrated navigation system so that you never get lost in a new city again. The stereo gets an extra speaker for a total of 9, and a wireless charging pad has been installed to help reduce clutter in the cabin.

Finally, the 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum gets heated seats and premium leather upholstery. A wireless charging pad has also been added, along with a digital instrument cluster and a head-up display. This allows you to keep tabs on the vehicle’s stats without looking away from the road. However, the top price point for the Rogue is $35,430, and the Honda CR-V is about $33,650. If you are looking for stellar features for a lower price, the 2021 Honda CR-V is a better option than the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

Find a Compact Crossover Near You

So, have you made up your mind about which compact crossover is best suited to your daily driving style? We would certainly have to recommend the Honda CR-V. Overall, it has a more powerful engine, better fuel economy, more space, and the features only get better and better as the trim level increases. Plus, the option for a hybrid model is just a bonus at this point. Head to your local Honda dealer to try the new 2021 Honda CR-V for yourself.