Nissan has launched a redesigned Rogue crossover for the 2021 model year, all decked to go head to head with its market rivals from Toyota and Honda. But more than the attractive styling and improved interior, the automaker wants to give its model more fighting chance by offering a special test drive arrangement for potential buyers.
The unique setup instituted in some dealerships in the United States allows interested customers to test drive the new Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4 side by side. Nissan thinks this could be successful in encouraging buyers to pick the Rogue model over its Toyota counterpart.
Nissan is expecting 500 of its dealers to participate in the test drives that will see the automaker send rented 2020-2021 RAV4 XLEs to their lots. From December 11 to January 11, prospective buyers will have the opportunity to do the test drives.
Based on data from September 2020, Nissan is lagging behind Toyota in terms of sales between the two models. Nissan managed to sell 167,401 units of the Rogue crossover, while Toyota sold 302,574 units of the RAV4. This does not include sales of the newly redesigned Rogue, which went on sale in the US just last month.
Priced $160 higher than its predecessor, the 2021 Nissan Rogue retails for $26,745. It’s slightly smaller than the previous version of the model but slightly larger than the current RAV4, which is offered at $27,225.
Both models are equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four, although the RAV4 delivers a bit more power and also comes with a hybrid variant. And despite being smaller in size, the Toyota model yields more cargo space than its Nissan rival.
The absence of a hybrid option does not faze Nissan, though. The automaker says it has no plans to revive the hybrid Rogue that it sold from 2017 to 2019.
In terms of the combined fuel economy, the two models are on par with each other. The Rogue ranges from 28 to 30 mpg, while the RAV4 is rated at 27 to 30 mpg. Both are also offered with front-wheel-drive as standard, while an all-wheel-drive is available as an option. The slight difference is in the transmission with the Rogue getting a continuously variable automatic transmission and the RAV4 getting an eight-speed automatic.
Aside from the base model, the 2021 Nissan Rogue is also available with a Platinum version for $36,5252. The 2021 Toyota RAV4, meanwhile, includes a front-wheel-drive LE variant ($27,255) and a plug-in hybrid Prime model ($39,275) in the lineup.