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SUV Wars - Subaru Forester Vs The New 2021 Nissan Rogue

See how the all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue compares with the 2020 Subaru Forester.

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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.

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2021 Nissan RogueInterior. 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.

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2021 Nissan RogueCargo 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.

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2021 Nissan RogueAll-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.

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2021 Nissan Rogue

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.

You Might Also Like: New Subaru Forester Scores Best Over Mazda CX-5 And Nissan Rogue If You Like To Play In The Dirt

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

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Mark (not verified)    June 17, 2020 - 11:41AM

Both are excellent vehicles however, as noted, the Nissan is more attractive with nice clean lines.
Details of the two indicated a toss up in terms of written specs but that really argues for a real world evaluation.
Handling, braking, fuel economy, engine noise, turning circle and ergonomics are the factors that really affect one's daily experience.
With respect to the Nissan engine, while it is nominally similar to the existing engine, it is claimed to be entirely new and thus potentially has better economy, response and NVH.

TorqueReader (not verified)    June 22, 2020 - 1:52AM

Not claiming that Subaru is on the level of Toyota in terms of reliability, but compared with Nissan, it is no contest. Nissan reliability had dropped to Chrysler like levels.

I have read talk of Nissan going bankrupt. Massive layoffs have already occurred The ex chairmen of Nissan has literally going rogue.

Stay away from Nissan.

scott (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 8:35PM

In reply to by TorqueReader (not verified)

I think you should read consumer report.
They say Nissan roque has a better reliability
rating than Subaru Forester.
Subaru and Toyota Rav 4 rated equal in reliability a 3.5 rating.
Do your homework.

Mark (not verified)    September 18, 2020 - 11:57AM

In reply to by TorqueReader (not verified)

Nissan reliability as a whole is generally quite good. Individual models have different levels of reliability. The Titan is alleged to have poor reliability but the pickups and sedans are good.
Moreover when you dive into reliability you find that many of the reliability issues are trivial such as infotainment problems or minor electrical issues. Major mechanical problems are minimal.

James Cavallaro (not verified)    August 29, 2020 - 8:23AM

I have a 2016 Nissan Rogue. Not one issue thus far in 60,000 miles. In regards to going bankrupt that CEO was a whack job and is not reliable. But mostly I am commenting because I thought this was a great well written article. Thanks

Naren Persaud (not verified)    July 2, 2021 - 8:42AM

My rogue had 188,000 with zero problems. I traded it only because it too slow. We had 2 Subaru forester. At 70k burning oil. The other at 180,000 km, head gasket gone. Leak fuel, burning oil.etc. My wife traded the one with 70,000 km for cx 5. The cx 5 had 260,000 km with just one sensor changed. My nephew cx 5 has 300,000 km and still running