Pre-Owned Subaru Forester or Nissan Rogue: Which One Is Best?

Published on August 11, 2022 in Comparative Tests by The Car Guide

In the compact SUV segment, rivals are fighting in hopes of reaching the same level of success as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, the two top sellers in Canada.

As Nissan’s most popular SUV, the Rogue often comes in third place. On Subaru's side, the Forester has lost traction over the last years and has even been surpassed by the small Crosstrek and the very versatile Outback. So, if you were looking for a pre-owned SUV, would you choose the Rogue or the Forester?

Since the current Rogue is still young (entirely redesigned for 2021), let’s consider the previous generation instead, which was introduced for 2014, and is easier to find in inventories. Exclusively equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 170 horsepower, the Rogue offers attractive comfort, a spacious interior, great versatility and an excellent quality-price ratio. Its fuel consumption is low (8.2-8.7 L/100 km) and the ProPILOT driver assist system turns out to be effective and useful.

Photo: Jeremy Alan Glover

However, the Rogue is not very exciting to drive, and its finish quality is below average. In addition, although the former Rogue has proved to be reliable, you should exercise caution regarding the continuously variable transmission found in older models.  

A same-power and same-displacement engine was found in 2018 and older Foresters (8.4-9.7 L/100 km), but a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower (9.5 L/100 km), which is ideal for towing, was also available. The Forester was the only in its category to be equipped with a permanent all-wheel drive, which could be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Otherwise, you’re again dealing with a continuously variable transmission, but this one, we must admit, is a great match for the engine.

Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

Interesting fact: in a compact SUV comparison test done for The Car Guide in 2018, the Nissan Rogue and the Subaru Forester respectively ranked 7th and 9th out of 11 contenders. We encourage you to click on the link above to see the full results.

The outstanding visibility and safety, as well as the superior off-road abilities that make the Forester’s reputation have not changed since its 2019 redesign, but its turbo engine is now gone. However, the remaining engine’s horsepower was increased to 182. The design has also improved a bit, but it still can’t be qualified as exciting, and be aware that the base trim is rather dull.

Photo: Subaru

You should also know that the current Forester is in the top 3 of The Car Guide’s Best Buys since 2020 and still dominates the all-new Rogue. That being said, remember that the best compact SUV is the one that will meet your needs and make you enjoy driving. A road test is in order!

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