Nissan Allowing Customers to Compare Toyota RAV4 at Dealerships

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
nissan allowing customers to compare toyota rav4 at dealerships

Nissan will begin encouraging dealerships to place examples of the Toyota RAV4 on their lots so customers will have the ability to compare the best-selling vehicle in America that isn’t a pickup truck against its own Rogue. While pitting your bread and butter against a model that is often better reviewed and outsells it by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 seems foolish, we think we see where Nissan is going with this plan.

Toyota’s RAV4 retails a bit higher than Nissan’s Rogue and its base LE trim is about as basic as it gets for the segment. We’re willing to bet that’s the model that will be used in comparisons. As both are fairly appliance-like automobiles to drive, this gives Nissan an opportunity to showcase the Rogue’s slight advantage in overall comfort and features without being eclipsed by a better-equipped RAV4. Meanwhile, customers finding themselves less interested in crossovers than they were upon arrival are free to browse the rest of the Nissan lot.

The brand is calling it the “Rogue Gone Rogue” campaign and had opted to tap the famously unlikable Brie Larson for the accompanying advertisements. Despite having won some of the most coveted awards Hollywood has to offer, Larson’s choice as a multi-year brand ambassador feels like a minor misstep. But Nissan made it clear that this campaign isn’t about playing things safe, it’s about drawing attention to the brand’s best sellers. Larson’s constant advocacy for gender and racial issues lends itself to that, according to Nissan’s Chief Marketing Officer Allyson Witherspoon.

“Brie embodies the Nissan spirit in her desire to challenge the status quo off-screen and her ability to bring thrill and excitement to on-screen roles,” she explained. “When we previously worked with Brie on the Sentra campaign, she brought a unique point of view to the creative during the production process, advocating for diversity and inclusivity, which aligns with her interest in supporting the work of the Nissan Foundation.”

Seems a bit heady for selling cars but that’s where the dealership comes into play. Having the RAV4 on site will probably send plenty of customers who might have been considering one over to the Nissan store first. Judy Wheeler, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations in the United States, told dealers as much last week.

“We know that when consumers check out the all-new Rogue side by side with the RAV4, they will be amazed by our standard safety, advanced technology, premium design … and, most of all, outstanding overall value,” she said.

Toyota said that it’s happy the RAV4 will have more opportunities to go against its rivals, noting that it’s the best-selling crossover in the U.S. for a good reason. But Nissan is going hard with its marketing campaign, sprucing up its lineup, and will be offering sizable incentives for returning customers.

“It’s really about the features that are standard for the value that we are offering,” Wheeler explained to Automotive News last week. “When you test drive our vehicle versus the major competitors, you’re going to end up purchasing this vehicle because it’s that much better.”

Nissan said that rented RAV4s will be made available for customers to test drive and compare with the Rogue during December. Roughly half of its 1,074 American dealerships are expected to join the program.

[Image: FotograFFF/Shutterstock]

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2 of 14 comments
  • MR2turbo4evr MR2turbo4evr on Nov 10, 2020

    Alright I'm biased, but why in the world would anybody buy one of those over a Rav4? Even if Nissan puts a lot of cash on the hood, you have to deal with sub-par reliability and poor resale down the road. Around my parts (sh!tty Cdn rust belt) anything half-decent with a Toyota badge commands a large premium and is sold within 24 hours. I always wonder what possesses people to buy Nissans, Hyundais and all the other junk....

  • Sceptic Sceptic on Nov 12, 2020

    I like my Brie with vine and grapes. Who would name their kid after cheese :)

  • Legacygt There is nothing "trapezoidish" about that grill.
  • Ltcmgm78 I think cars need an AM/FM radio for emergency notifications. Driving at night, I will scan the AM frequency just to see what comes up and to be amazed at the different cities I can get after dark. My SAAB had a Euro-spec radio and I could get long-wave (lower freq than the AM band) and found lots of interesting listening.
  • Golden2husky You'd be way better off in a base Vette for that money.
  • Gene Sedans and coupes don't sell in the quantity that they used to but they still make up a significant market. Why Ford abandoned this segment still baffles me. Again, just look at Toyota, Dodge, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, etc who have not abandoned this segment.
  • JMII Cracker Barrel - there is one off every major interstate interchange east of the Mississippi.I don't drink coffee - and based on the constant debate / worry of others just drinking water or tea has greatly simplified my life.Regardless of your choice in snacks and drinks I recommend the iExit app: it shows what hotels, restaurants and gas stations are coming up so you can decide if its worth pulling off.