SUV Wars - Subaru Forester Vs The New 2021 Nissan Rogue
The 2021 Nissan Rogue has arrived and the compact SUV gets a complete remodel for the 2021 model year. The Nissan Rogue fits in the competitive compact SUV segment with the 2020 Subaru Forester. We will see how the two models compare in the most important areas. We will start with the outside.
Exterior styling. The new Nissan Rogue wins hands down. The new Nissan Rogue gets all-new sheet metal outside and it looks attractive. The 2020 Subaru Forester was completely updated for the 2019 model year. Subaru has always been conservative with its model styling and Forester is no different. When many compact SUVs get shorter rooflines, Forester stays with large windows that earn it best in class for outward visibility.
Interior. We haven’t seen the New Nissan Rogue, but it will likely offer a more refined interior with a few more premium features than the Forester. Rogue comes with wireless charging, new digital displays, and quilted Nappa leather. Both come with USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability.
In the compact SUV segment, you’ll want as much legroom as you can get. Second-row legroom in the new Rogue comes in at 36.8-inches while passengers will have more legroom in the Forester. Forester measures 39.4-inches.
Cargo carrying ability. Cargo space behind the second row in the Rogue measures 39.3 cubic feet, Forester has 35.4 cubes. Total cargo volume with the second-row seats folded flat reveals the Rogue has 74.1 cubic feet, and Forester measures 76.1 cubic feet.
Engine. The Nissan Rogue is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower and 181 lb-feet of torque. The Subaru Forester is also powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-feet of torque. For those who are wondering what torque is in simple terms, it’s what gets a vehicle moving from a stop and helps in pulling the vehicle up a hill, or when towing.
Rouge and Forester both come with a Continuously Variable automatic transmission (CVT) which is more fuel-efficient than a conventional automatic.
Fuel Mileage. The EPA does not have fuel economy numbers for the 2021 model year, but 2020 Rogue with the same engine gets an EPA estimated 25/32 city/highway mpg and 27 combined mpg with all-wheel-drive. The 2020 Subaru Forester gets 26/33 city/ highway mpg and 29 combined mpg with all-wheel-drive.
Safety. The new Nissan Rogue has not been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) but the 2020 Rogue earned a Top Safety Pick. The Subaru Forester gets the highest Top Safety Pick Plus designation for the IIHS. Both come standard with a suite of driver-assist safety features.
All-wheel-drive. The Nissan Rogue does not come standard with all-wheel-drive but it’s available on all trims. The 2021 Rogue comes with new snow/dirt/rain and gravel modes. Subaru Forester comes standard with all-wheel-drive and comes with a dual function X-Mode feature for advanced off-pavement performance. Forester offers 8.7-inches of ground clearance, Rogue is to be announced.
Pricing. The 2020 Subaru Forester has a price range of $24,495 - $34,595. Pricing as not been released for the Rogue but will cost more than the 2020 Rogue which runs from $26,650 - $33,040 with all-wheel-drive.
A full conclusion will be possible once we've driven the new 2021 Nissan Rogue. Stay tuned for a full review from us in the near future, and be sure to check out our review of the 2020 Subaru Forester Sport here.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru, Nissan