How does Nissan's new compact SUV stack up against the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and more?

The 2021 Nissan Rogue represents the company's best foot forward in the hotly contested small-SUV segment, replacing a popular SUV that nonetheless was a bit dated compared to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Now in its third generation, how does the 2021 Nissan Rogue stack up against a fleet of modern competitors that also include the new-for-2020 Ford Escape, hot-selling Chevrolet Equinox, and budget-friendly Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage? For more on how they compare on paper, read on.

Powertrain

  Nissan Rogue Chevrolet Equinox Ford Escape Honda CR-V Hyundai Tucson Kia Sportage Toyota RAV4
Engine 2.5-liter I4 1.5-liter I4 turbo, 2.0-liter I4 turbo 1.5-liter I3 turbo, 2.0-liter I4 turbo, 2.5-liter I4 hybrid 1.5-liter I4 turbo, 2.0-liter I4 hybrid 2.0-liter I4, 2.4-liter I4 2.4-liter I4, 2.0-liter I4 turbo 2.5-liter I4, 2.5-liter I4 hybrid
Power 181 hp 170 hp, 252 hp 181 hp, 250 hp, 200 hp 190 hp, 212 hp 161 hp, 181 hp 181 hp, 240 hp 203 hp, 219 hp
Torque 181 lb-ft 203 lb-ft, 260 lb-ft 190 lb-ft, 280 lb-ft, N/A 179 lb-ft, N/A 150 lb-ft, 175 lb-ft 175 lb-ft, 260 lb-ft 184 lb-ft, N/A
Transmission Continuously variable transmission Six-speed automatic, nine-speed automatic Eight-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission Continuously variable transmission Six-speed automatic Six-speed automatic Eight-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission
Combined Fuel Economy 28-30 mpg (est.) 27–28 mpg, 24-25 mpg 28–30 mpg, 26 mpg, 40–41 mpg 29–30 mpg, 38 mpg 23–25 mpg, 23–25 mpg

23–26 mpg

21–23 mpg

27–30 mpg, 40 mpg

 

The 2021 Nissan Rogue will soldier on with the outgoing SUV's 2.5-liter direct-injected inline-four engine (though with slightly higher output), routing power through the company's corporate Xtronic CVT. Producing 181 horsepower  (135 kilowatts) and 181 pound-feet (245 newton-meters), the 2021 Rogue compares reasonably well to its competitors' base engines, and our unofficial fuel economy estimate would put it right in the thick of the gas-only CUV set. However, some of the Rogue's competitors offer more powerful optional engines, as well as ultra-efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. 

The 2021 Rogue's powertrain is somewhat low-tech – Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, and Honda all offer small-displacement turbocharged engines – but that might work in Nissan's favor for familiar driving dynamics and long-term reliability. CVTs are commonplace in the segment as well, and although they don't offer much in the way of driving fun, Nissan does the technology reasonably well in its more recent products.

Gallery: 2021 Nissan Rogue

Inner Spaces

  Nissan Rogue Chevrolet Equinox Ford Escape Honda CR-V Hyundai Tucson Kia Sportage Toyota RAV4
Head room, F/R (inches) 41.1 / 39.2 40.0 / 38.5 40.0 / 39.3 40.1 / 39.2 39.6 / 39.2 39.3 / 39.1 37.7 / 39.5
Leg room, F/R (inches) 43.3 / 36.8 40.9 / 39.9 42.4 / 38.9–40.7 41.3 / 40.4 41.5 / 38.2 41.5 / 38.2 41.0 / 37.8
Hip room, F/R (inches) 54.1 / 53.4 54.2 / 51.7 55.2 / 53.3 55.1 / 49.5 55.6 / 54.5 54.3 / 51.2 54.3 / 47.7
Shoulder room, F/R (inches) 57.1 / 55.9 57.2 / 55.5 57.6 / 56.0 57.9 / 55.6 57.1 / 55.5 57.1 / 55.1 57.8 / 56.4
Cargo volume behind 1st/2nd row (cubic feet) 74.1 / 39.3  63.9 / 29.9 65.4 / 33.5  75.8 / 39.2 61.9 / 31.0 60.1 / 30.7 69.8 / 37.5
Infotainment screen size 7.0 inches / 9.0 inches 7.0 inches / 8.0 inches 4.2 inches / 8.0 inches 5.0 inches / 7.0 inches 7.0 inches / 8.0 inches 8.0 inches 7.0 inches / 8.0 inches
Unique standard and available features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, head-up display, digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, heated rear seats Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, driver information screen, following-distance indicator Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, rotary gear selector Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, pushbutton gear selector Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, heated rear seats
As the newest entry in the small-SUV class, it's fair to expect a lot of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. It delivers on paper at least, with big numbers in the passenger and cargo room categories. It also offers a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a floating 9.0-inch infotainment display, though conventional gauges and a smaller 7.0-inch screen are standard. What's more, the Rogue's interior (particularly in new-for-2021 Platinum trim) is very stylish and attractive, more so than many of its competitors.
In terms of measurements, the Honda CR-V is the Rogue's closest rival, with competitive passenger space and more maximum cargo than the Nissan. What's more, the Honda's interior design lends it an open, airy feel that eases what little claustrophobia a passenger might have the right to complain about. However, none of the competition can match the Rogue's long list of available electronic gizmos, and if Nissan ProPilot Assist safety and convenience technology is as good in the SUV as it is in other Nissan cars, it will win many fans.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue goes on sale this fall with a starting price that shouldn't increase too much from the current SUV's $25,300.