2022 Subaru Forester vs Nissan Rogue
Trying to find the right SUV to fit your needs isn't exactly an easy task. This market has become highly competitive, especially the small SUV segment. These SUVs are capable of balancing out power and fuel efficiency, which is a blend that most average buyers are looking for. A generous smattering of standard features doesn't hurt either. Subaru and Nissan both have their hats in this game, offering two solid options for buyers to choose from.
The 2022 Subaru Forester gives you Subaru's standard all-wheel drive (AWD). There is plenty of cargo space to be found in the back, and a slew of driver aids come standard as part of the EyeSight suite. Of course, having AWD and 8.7 inches of ground clearance (which is more than what you get on most SUVs) makes the Forester a tough off-roader. But it has a few hang-ups, too. Utility is diminished by less-than-impressive max tow ratings, and the engine is too under-powered to get this vehicle moving in a timely manner.
Recently revamped, the 2022 Nissan Rogue serves up a reasonable balance of power and fuel economy with an EPA rated 33 miles per gallon in combined driving on the base Rogue when it is equipped with front-wheel drive (FWD). As it was just redesigned for the 2021 model year, the 2022 Rogue is outfitted with many of the newest features you can get from Nissan.
And, given the slightly elevated price tag, you get plenty of added features. But wait, there's more - the Rogue delivers a comfy ride quality and plushily padded seats. And that is not to mention the utility-based and generously spaced cargo area. The real cherry on top is the slew of advanced driver aids that are both straightforward and user-friendly. The downsides are few, but some exist. This SUV does let in lot of road and wind noise, plus its wonky voice recognition system and cramped back seats don't help matters.
Which of these two small SUVs will meet your needs the best? Does one offer more overall value than its rival? Which trim level is going to serve up the most features for the price? Let's dig our heels in and find out.
A good powertrain can make driving a small SUV a true delight. But a lackluster powertrain can make for a miserable bout of ownership. That's why automakers are constantly revising the engines and transmissions that they put into their vehicles. Subaru and Nissan are certainly not exceptions to this rule.
The 2022 Subaru Forester is powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that serves up 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The power gets directed to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It takes the Forester 9.3 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, which feels slow compared to a lot of its rivals. The Forester isn't very sporty but at least feels planted while rounding through turns. Off the beaten path is where the Forester truly shines with its AWD and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The Wilderness trim level actually adds more ground clearance and some front skid plates to make it even more worthy of being taken off-roading.
Fuel economy sits at an EPA rated 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. Despite these top-notch estimates for its segment, the under-powered engine is thirsty, as real-world tests show that you will likely not reach that 29 mpg benchmark estimate.
Revamped for the model year to get more power, the 2022 Nissan Rogue is equipped with a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that is able to produce a power output of 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) comes along with it. The standard drivetrain is front-wheel drive (FWD), but all-wheel drive (AWD) can be swapped in on any of the Rogue's trim levels. Just bear in mind that this is the only powertrain that is available on the Rogue.
The Nissan Rogue is composed in terms of handling turns even though it is not exactly as sporty as the Mazda CX-5. The steering has enough heft to it, making it so that the steering and handling do not feel floaty. The powertrain itself could be better, but it is at least a minor improvement over the outgoing offering. It takes about 9 seconds for the Rogue to make it from 0 to 60 miles per hour, which is right about average for a small crossover SUV. While this probably does not sound too bad on paper, it can be draining when you have to drive the Rogue every day of the week. You will need to press it into full throttle in order for it to give you a moderate response in power for merging or passing on the highway. Plan your actions with enough time to spare.
Even with AWD equipped, the Rogue can pull an EPA estimated 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving. These estimates place it at 2 mpg above what most of the Rogue's rivals can do. Real-world tests reveal that these numbers hold up in regular, everyday driving, so buyers should be pleased enough.
What makes a vehicle an utter pleasure or a royal pain to drive on a daily basis? When we talk about drivability, we are including multiple factors. Is it comfortable to sit in? Is there enough space for occupants? Is it pieced together well? How functional and straightforward is the included technology? Will you have enough space for all your usual cargo? These are all things to consider before settling on which vehicle you want to buy.
Let's start with the 2022 Subaru Forester. Its front seats are well bolstered and padded, offering day-long support. The suspension is compliant and tuned for comfort, dispatching all manner of bumps in the road. While its taller profile generates some wind noise at higher speeds, there isn't much else in the way of sound that will intrude. Most trim levels feature standard heated front seats, and the available climate control system is effective at heating or cooling the cabin as requested.
The Forester's controls are clearly labeled and placed within the driver's reach for easy access. The SUV-esque ride height and wide door openings make the Forester one that is easy to access. The steering wheel and driver's seat have a lot of adjustability, making it simple for drivers of all sizes to find comfy seating positions.
Technology is a highlight too. The central dual-screen design is attractive and doesn't require much of a learning curve. You can navigate through the touchscreen menus to get to what you need without any real confusion. Voice controls and navigation work as expected, and smartphone app integration is a good alternative if you don't opt up for these. Also, most trim levels come with a set of front and rear USB ports.
Although not quite as spacious in the cargo area as the Honda CR-V, the Forester makes good use of space with a tall roof. You can also load and unload cargo without much strain. The only thing is that the LATCH system for child seats in the back row has anchors buried deep between the cushions, plus there isn't really enough space for bulky rear-facing child safety seats.
The 2022 Nissan Rogue makes for one cozy ride. The front seats come with padding that is shaped for optimal support and relaxation, which is certainly ideal for road trips. There are two reclining positions for the rear seats, which remarkably also have plentiful lumbar support. The comfort-tuned suspension is smooth enough, and it deals with all kinds of road surfaces with refinement. It can dispatch bumps of all sizes even on the optional 19-inch wheels.
There are a few downsides, though. First and foremost, there is a fair bit of wind and road noise that leaks into the cabin when you get it moving on the highway. The triple-zone climate control system on the SL trim level and above is a rarity for small SUVs in this class, and, whether you are sitting up front or in the back, it distributes air flow quite evenly.
Given the fact that it has wide door openings, getting in and out of the Rogue is easy, even effortless. The cabin, which is indeed quite spacious, offers you an open and airy feel, leading you to think that it is bigger than it really is. On top of that, you can see clearly in front of the vehicle from your position in the driver's seat thanks to the wide glass panes.
However, the rear roof pillars are pretty chunky, so you will have to use the advanced driver aids to help you see out the back and to the sides. The Rogue's cabin offers you a clean design with nice materials, and its layout is easy to settle into using. Downside? Leg space in the rear seats is tighter than it is in major rivals like the Honda CR-V.
When it comes to included technology in this segment, it is hard to best the Rogue. As the Rogue was just redesigned in 2021, it includes a lot of newer features that are known for being functional and easy to use. Smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on every trim level; so is SiriusXM Satellite Radio compatibility. The base S trim is equipped with two USB ports, but upgrading by just one trim level to the SV adds two charge-only ports to the row of rear seats. A six-speaker audio system and WIFI hot-spot connectivity are also equipped on the SV. The SL Premium package gives you voice controls, wireless Apple CarPlay (sorry, but wireless Android Auto is not yet available for the Rogue), a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system, a 9-inch touchscreen display, and a built-in navigation system. Buying all the way up to the Platinum tacks on all of those features plus a wireless charging pad and a digital instrument panel.
Nissan sure knows how to use the space that is has available on the Rogue, and it comes off as being more spacious than many rivals in its segment. Nissan integrates their two-tier cargo management system which they refer to as the Divide-N-Hide. In this design, in the cargo area, you get a dual-panel floor that lends a lot of versatility, creating a flat load floor that can hold bigger cargo without obstructing the view out the rear.
When you put these panels into their lowest position, cargo space measures in at 36.5 cubic feet, which is only a smidge smaller than what other small SUVs manage to pull. Better yet, when you fold the rear seats down, space maxes out at 74.1 cubic feet of space to use, which is one of the biggest cargo areas you can get from a small SUV like the Rogue.
For most drivers, safety is a major concern. Auto makers are well aware of the demand for enhanced safety features and designs. That is why Subaru equips the Forester with the EyeSight suite of driver aids. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning are all standard. Upgrading to the Sport trim nabs you evasive steering assist and a blind spot monitor with a rear cross-traffic alert. The line-topping Touring tops it off with a driver monitoring system to detect and warn you if it senses you are becoming drowsy or distracted while driving.
Nissan equips the 2022 Rogue with a suite of standard driver aids called Nissan Safety Shield . This bundles together forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a rear-passenger safe exit system, and rear automatic braking. The SV trim level adds on lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera system. The SL Premium package tacks on front and rear parking sensors, and a sleek head-up display comes along on the Platinum trim level.
Nissan's driver aid features work well enough for the most part. The lane centering assist and adaptive cruise control features are less prone to false warnings and errors than similar features found in other vehicles; they even make long road-trips a little less worrisome. Adaptive cruise control is supposed to work along with the nav system to slow the Rogue down in preparation for upcoming curves, but this does not seem to be functional in the Rogue for whatever reason.
Which Has the Best Value?
Value is something buyers need to consider as they go about making purchasing decisions. Which vehicle will give them the most bang for their buck?
The 2022 Subaru Forester has a high quality interior build with materials that fit nicely together and add style. Unfortunately, though, the lackluster engine and underwhelming max towing capacity (3,000 pounds on the Wilderness and 1,500 pounds on the other trim levels) takes away from the Forester's overall value. Warranty coverage is industry average, but you do get your money's worth in terms of features and design.
That being said, the 2022 Nissan Rogue offers buyers plenty value given how many tech features and driver aids are included as standard on the list. While this lengthy list means that the Rogue is a little bit more expensive than some of its rivals, with its available quilted leather and wireless smartphone app integration on the line-topping Platinum trim level, a higher price tag is one that buyers have an easy enough time justifying.
It is likely that you won't stick to the base trim, so think about upgrading on the Rogue if that is what you're settled on buying. Warranty coverage is industry standard, but the quality of materials found inside of the cabin seems higher than average for this segment.
Which is Better?
Both vehicles are good choices for 2022. The Subaru Forester is the one to pick if you are determined to do some off-roading. You will get a lot of comfort from it and reasonable enough fuel economy. You just won't get the max tow rating you might be hoping for, and the back seats can feel a little cramped at times.
The Rogue is an equally good choice but perhaps one best left for those wishing to stick to the beaten path. Its comfort is on par with the Forester, and its driver aid offerings are even more generous. So, this one ends in a toss-up. It all depends on what your main purpose is for driving your vehicle - if you want something more rugged or something more creature comfort-oriented.
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