2019 Nissan Rogue Sport vs. 2018 Toyota Rav4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Rogue Sport are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rogue Sport SV/SL has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Rav4 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers optional NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Rogue Sport and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Rogue Sport is safer than the Toyota Rav4:

 

Rogue Sport

Rav4

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

35.8%

Neck Stress

224 lbs.

505 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

163/130 lbs.

502/540 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rogue Sport gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4:

 

 

 

MPG

Rogue Sport

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

Rav4

 

FWD

LE/Adventure 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

SE/Limited/platinum 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Rogue Sport higher (5 out of 10) than the Toyota Rav4 (3). This means the Rogue Sport produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Rav4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Rogue Sport has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Rogue Sport has a true all-wheel drive system, which uses a four wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the Rogue Sport moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Rogue Sport’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:

 

Rogue Sport

Rav4

Front Rotors

11.65 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

11.2 inches

The Rogue Sport’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Rav4 are solid, not vented.

The Rogue Sport stops shorter than the Rav4:

 

Rogue Sport

Rav4

 

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Rogue Sport SL’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rogue Sport SL has standard 19-inch wheels. The Rav4’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Rogue Sport has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Rav4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Rogue Sport has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For greater off-road capability the Rogue Sport has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 (7.4 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the Rogue Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rogue Sport’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the Rav4 SE/Adventure (7.4 vs. 6.5 inches).

Chassis

The Rogue Sport is 11.1 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Rogue Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Rogue Sport has .2 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rav4.

The front step up height for the Rogue Sport is 1.4 inches lower than the Rav4 (17.1” vs. 18.5”).

Payload

The Rogue Sport has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Rav4 (1115 vs. 900 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Rogue Sport’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Rav4’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Rogue Sport’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure’s manually variable intermittent wipers don’t change delay with speed.

The Rogue Sport’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the Rogue Sport and the Rav4 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rogue Sport has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Rogue Sport and the Toyota Rav4, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Rogue outsold the Toyota Rav4 by 2006 units during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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