In this Nissan Rogue vs Ford Edge comparison, one offers plenty of amenities for less, while the other offers more performance if you’re willing to pay.
We’re comparing the Nissan Rogue against the Ford Edge, and it’s worth noting that the Ford has a leg up on power and interior space. However, the Rogue is all-new for 2021 while the Edge, being six years deep in its second generation, is somewhat long-in-the-tooth. Ford’s offering has a higher price point and yet, the Nissan Rogue does an admirable job of lining up comparable levels of tech and amenities. With a wide range of performance and sticker prices, these two vehicles should be able to fit nearly any consumer’s needs, so let’s see which one stands taller.
The Nissan Rogue, kicking off the third-generation for 2021, enters this comparison as the cheaper alternative, but with plenty of compelling features. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) is the standard drivetrain though all-wheel-drive (AWD) can be selected on any trim for $1400. Regardless of which model owners choose, a single powertrain consisting of a 181-horse naturally aspirated 2.5L inline-4 paired with an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), is on hand.
The MSRP on the entry-level Nissan Rogue S trim is $26,050 and ranges up to $35,830 for a nicely equipped Platinum model. Fuel economy is solid at 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway or 26/33, respectively, when equipped with AWD. Nissan’s basic warranty applies here with a 3-year/36,000-mile period for the vehicle and roadside assistance coverage along with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain.
The 2021 Ford Edge follows suit with a FWD configuration and the option for AWD, but with more potent powertrains. Base models are fitted with a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder “EcoBoost” making 250 horsepower run through a traditional 8-speed automatic. Or you can opt for the top-spec Ford Edge ST with its twin-turbo V6 cranking out 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 7-speed automatic trans, the Edge ST only comes with an AWD drivetrain.
At $32,750 for a base Edge SE, the Ford offering is nearly $7,000 more than the cheapest Nissan Rogue. Titanium trim is the top of the spec ladder (with the smaller motor) and starts at $38,940, while the punchier, twin-turbo ST opens at $43,600. Unsurprisingly, the bigger and more powerful Edge has lower fuel economy estimates versus the Rogue. Figures of 21/29 mpg in city/highway driving can be expected with the base EcoBoost or 19/26, respectively, for the AWD ST model.
Nissan keeps it simple with the Rogue, offering a single powertrain in the form of a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder producing 181 horsepower and an identical amount of torque. The Japanese automaker has been a long-term proponent of CVTs and the “Xtronic” used here shows the company’s dedication with its dynamic step shifting capability and manual mode that reproduces the feel of a traditional automatic.
AWD is optional, but all models come with a rotary knob to select from Sport, Off-Road, Snow, Auto, and Eco drive modes. Intelligent Trace Control can brake wheels individually in turns to enhance handling in the curves and Active Road Control manages brake pressure and engine torque to smooth out the ride on rougher sections of road.
Ford has been hard at work spreading their EcoBoost brand of turbocharged engines throughout the lineup, and the 2021 Edge comes with two varieties. Most models feature a 2.0L inline-4, making 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque run to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic. AWD can be selected on any trim, but you’ll have to go for the pricey Edge ST to access the high-performance motor.
The Edge ST is the performance option of the bunch, sporting a pair of turbos and a V6 configuration, this 2.7-liter power plant puts down a robust 335 horses and 380 torques. Only available with AWD, to combat the guaranteed torque steer, ST models are worth it if you enjoy blowing the doors off most everything in the competitive set. For a bit more visual and handling juice, the $2695 ST Performance Brake package includes 21” gloss black wheels wrapped in summer tires and larger rotors clamped by red-painted calipers.
Both SUVs here feature seating for five, but only the Nissan Rogue offers quilted, semi-aniline leather upholstery that looks rather sharp in tan with the two-tone black dashboard. Speaking of, the design update has benefitted the Rogue’s interior considerably, lending an upscale look (whether it’s cloth or Nappa leather) thanks to the two-tone scheme that includes door panels, modern shifter gizmo, and refined layout. The back seat can split-fold in a 60/40 configuration and will handle 74 cubic feet of stuff when flat or 36 with the rear seat upright.
Black cloth upholstery is the only option on base Rogues, but at the SV level, a $2660 Premium package unlocks faux-leather on the seats and steering wheel. It also adds a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, second row sunshades, and heat to the power-adjustable driver’s seat. Tri-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are on hand with SL trim, but you’ll need a Platinum to enjoy the fancy leather seating and heated rear cushions.
An entry-level Ford Edge offers a bit more standard equipment like dual-zone, automatic HVAC controls, and a laminated windshield, which it should, given its relatively high premium versus the Rogue. Cloth seats are upgraded to Ford’s “ActiveX”, easy-to-clean fabric on SEL models, which also come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power-adjustable, heated front seats. ST-Line trim essentially adds fancier stitching, ST-line accents, and “Miko” suede-like seat inserts. The Titanium trim really improves the cabin quality with a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and optional climatized front seats.
Stepping up the Edge ST nets a unique steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather with silver stitching and an ST emblem. Seats are also leather with Miko inserts, lending a sporty look, while front windows are laminated and ambient lighting colors can be modified to suit your mood. For $4750, the 401A package adds ventilation to the heated front seats, the panoramic Vista Roof, and heated cushions for rear outboard passengers.
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are becoming ever more ubiquitous these days and the 2021 Nissan Rogue sports a half-dozen such aids under its standard Nissan Shield 360 umbrella. Automated emergency braking, blind spot warning, and automatic high beams are all included along with 10 airbags, which all help the Rogue earn a Top Safety Pick+ nod from IIHS. An optional ProPILOT Assist package adds front and rear parking sonar, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and more.
Apple and Android smartphone integration software is standard Rogue equipment, run through an 8” touchscreen with a 9” screen available on Platinum models. Other niceties include push button start, Wi-Fi capability, and USB ports for both rows. A 12” digital gauge cluster, 10-speaker Bose audio system, wireless charging pad, and nearly 11” heads-up-display can also be found on the high-end Platinum Nissan Rogue.
Ford’s ADAS approach is similar with standard CoPilot 360 systems that include rear cross-traffic monitoring, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring. Opting for CoPilot 360 Assist+ adds adaptive cruise control and evasive steering assist. The 2021 Ford Edge is easily the touchscreen winner with a 12” portrait-oriented display standard on all trims along with Apple and Android software run through Ford’s SYNC software.
A Wi-Fi hotspot and FordPass connected services are standard features, but for Qi charging and a 110-volt receptacle, ST-Line trim is needed. Titanium models are nicely equipped with a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo plus remote start capability. For an additional $2750, the 301A package adds connected navigation, a 180-degree front camera view, adaptive headlights, and active parking assist.
So, for a solid, all-around SUV option, the 2021 Nissan Rogue vs the Ford Edge is a great choice. It offers nearly the same level of amenities as the Ford Edge for a cheaper price. Buyers on a budget will find a lot to like with the Rogue and its ample list of standard ADAS and a modern, upscale interior. The motor is middle-of-the-road in terms of excitement, but not all crossover buyers are looking to set their hair on fire in the twisties. However, if you are looking to get a little wild behind the wheel, Ford’s Edge ST walks away from the Rogue, off the line and in terms of driving excitement.