Nissan dealerships to offer 2021 Rogue buyers free test drives in a Toyota RAV4

Nissan North America is employing some clever marketing techniques for its 2021 Rogue CUV. According to a report from Automotive News, some Nissan dealerships will display the Toyota RAV4 at showrooms. This not only enables potential Rogue buyers to make a side-by-side comparison, but you can test drive both the RAV4 and Rogue in hopes of swaying your decision to the latter.

This type of guerilla marketing technique is certainly unconventional, but you have to look at it from Nissan's perspective. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is freshly redesigned to keep up with two of America's bestselling compact SUVs: the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Nissan sold more than 350,000 Rogues in 2019, and the carmaker plans to sell more by giving the new Rogue more standard features and a well-appointed interior.

Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 remains a perennial bestseller with more than 448,071 units sold last year. On the other hand, the Honda CR-V comes in second place with 384,000 units sold. Unseating the new RAV4 from the top spot is no easy feat. Toyota is offering the standard RAV4 in no less than six trim models, while you can also get a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version in various trim models, as well.

And since the new Nissan Rogue will not be available as a hybrid or PHEV – initially, that is – the choices are quite limited. However, Nissan has full confidence in the 2021 Rogue. It rides on a stiffer platform with a new independent multilink rear suspension and double-piston shock absorbers. The Rogue is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the front wheels via a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while AWD remains optional.

On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 has a 2.5-liter four-banger with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, all of which are sent to the front wheels via a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox (AWD is optional). The RAV4 has more power, but the Nissan Rogue starts at a slightly lower $26,650 base price.

Nevertheless, we're quite sure that potential Rogue buyers will have a more interesting time comparing Nissan's latest offering to Toyota's bestseller.