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A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue is shown from the side driving on an open road after winning a 2021 Nissan Rogue vs 2021 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

Why the 2021 Rogue and the 2021 RAV4 Aren’t Exactly Twins

Midsize crossover models offer the perfect balance between power and commuter-friendliness. This is because they’re tow-capable yet fuel-efficient. That’s a difficult combination to find, making these models among the most desirable body style options, but the catch here is that most midsize crossovers are incredibly similar, like the 2021 Nissan Rogue vs 2021 Toyota RAV4, for example. So, how do we pick between these two models? Today’s guide will help you do just that. It’s time to decide which family-friendly model is perfect for you.

Why Choose a Midsize Crossover in the First Place?

Essentially, midsize crossovers are the perfect family vehicles. While these models can’t tow loaded livestock trailers or large boats, they can haul your kayaks, ATVs, and even haul home your kid’s brand-new playhouse. The main perk is that they can do this all while getting upwards of 30+ miles per gallon. You don’t have to sacrifice fuel economy for power with vehicles like these.

Cargo space is another strength that these models have. While they’re compact in size, they still offer plenty of space to haul your items. This is largely due to their foldable seats. When you’re not hauling passengers, you can fully utilize this space as if it were a truck bed. Even when you’ve got the whole family tagging along, you’ll still get space in the back, and you’ll also have access to hidden cargo departments.

Speaking of cargo, roof rack space is ideal for most families who travel. Whether you’ve got bicycles, extra luggage, or kayaks to carry, that added space makes all the difference. You can throw on a small trailer, load up the roof rack rails, and stuff everything else behind the seats. Between space, fuel efficiency, and towing capabilities, a midsize SUV makes for the perfect family model, especially for those who thrive on saving money.

A green 2021 Toyota RAV4 is shown driving on a dirt road.

The Spacing Faceoff

While some competing models offer few similarities, these two models are more difficult to tell apart. Both the 2021 Nissan Rogue and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 are built similarly, fall into almost the same fuel class, and both include a standard safety suite. So, what’s different between them, then?

The most important distinction between the two models is their cargo space rating. The 2021 Nissan Rogue offers much more space, with a max cargo capacity of 74.1 cubic feet with the seats down. The RAV4, however, falls short, with only 69.8 cubic feet to offer. While this isn’t a huge difference number-wise, it is very evident when you start to load the vehicle up with items.

Trims and Pricing

One more important main feature that sets these two models apart is pricing and trim-level variety. The 2021 Nissan Rogue comes in 4 different trim levels, while the RAV4 comes up in up to 11 different configurations. While it may seem good that the RAV4 comes with multiple trim options, it’s actually quite frustrating overall. Here’s why.

First off, the Rogue is more affordable than the RAV4 from start to finish. Its lowest trim is cheaper than the RAV4’s highest trim, and its highest trim is cheaper than the Toyota’s as well. The catch to all those trim options is that you end up paying more and more for a model than you originally intend to. This is because its features are spread so far across the board.

On the other hand, with fewer available trims like the Rogue, you get more for your money. All those extra, fun features come at a lower cost. Even the maxed-out version will cost you less than the RAV4’s next to highest trim. You’ll definitely get more for your money with the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

Safety Features: What Both Models Do Right

Many brands still fail to include standard safety features in their models. However, both Nissan and Toyota offer safety suites for free, no matter what trim level you choose. Even base models come with standard safety suites.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue comes with Nissan Safety Shield 360, whereas the 2021 Toyota RAV4 includes Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. While these two safety suites have a lot in common, they do have a few discrepancies. First off, the 2021 Nissan Rogue comes with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, whereas the RAV4 does not. This is a pretty important standard feature to include. It helps most when drivers are trying to back out from a parking spot in a crowded parking lot. When you can’t see around the vehicles on each side of you, Rear Cross Traffic Alert kicks in and alerts you when a vehicle is approaching in the aisle.

The Rogue also comes with Rear Automatic Braking, whereas the Toyota RAV4 does not. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but basically, you won’t have to worry about backing into shopping carts again, thanks to this standard feature.

In addition to standard safety features, the 2021 Nissan Rogue includes a whole platform of Intelligent Driving Features. These include technologies such as Intelligent Driver Alertness, which monitors driver attentiveness and sends warnings when the driver starts to drift off or get too distracted. You’ll also get Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, which alerts the driver when a vehicle is approaching in the lane or lanes adjacent to them. These are both features that are not available on the 2021 Toyota RAV4.

While both vehicles win for including standard safety suites, the Rogue gets an even higher score for including the most efficient driver assist features. This is especially true because the Rogue offers better features at a lower price than the RAV4.

A grey 2021 Nissan Rogue is shown from the side parked in a city.

What Else Does the Rogue Do Better?

Again, these models are eerily similar, so the competition is tight here. However, the Rogue does take the lead again when it comes to climate control. While the RAV4 offers dual-zone temperature control, meaning that both front and rear passengers can adjust their own unique temperature settings, the Rogue offers tri-zone temp control. This means that the driver and the passenger can choose different temperatures for their sides, as can rear-seat passengers. Oh, and the Rogue includes up to 6 different interior configuration options for its cargo, giving it a ledge over the RAV4 yet again.

Which Model Do YOU Need to Get?

It’s evident that the 2021 Nissan Rogue wins our battle for the day. It offers more affordable prices, superior safety features, and unique interior assets. But we haven’t even touched on performance specs yet. Both the Rogue and the RAV4 can get up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway, so fuel economy is the same in this case. They also both offer multiple drive modes.

However, the Rogue offers one more drive mode than the RAV4 does. While both models come with drive modes for rough and uncertain terrain, the Rogue includes an ECO Mode feature. When using this mode, commuters get optimal fuel economy ratings and create fewer emissions. Nissan’s dedication to being one of the greenest vehicle brands on the market really shines through here.

The final decision is yours. Would you rather drive a model that costs more and supplies less? We highly doubt that’s the case. So, if you’re looking for the best deal on a family-friendly midsize crossover, check out the 2021 Nissan Rogue today. You won’t be sorry.