AWD Showdown Video: Does The New 2021 Nissan Rogue Outgun The Mazda CX-5 In The TFL Slip Test?

Two popular crossovers take on our slip test

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 vs Nissan Rogue battle it out on our slip test – with surprising results.

On paper, the Mazda CX-5 vs Nissan Rogue seems to be a mix between performance and utility. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is all-new and sports a refined, utilitarian design that a majority of family types will appreciate. It has gobs of space, comfortable seats and is pretty economical for a vehicle its size. On the other hand, our Mazda CX-5 tester comes with a turbocharged engine and is a hoot to drive aggressive.

They have completely different personalities. The CX-5 is less family friendly, but is more exciting, while the Rogue is mellow and frugal. Both crossovers are equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) with different traction settings available. Only one of these systems seems to make a difference when activated.

2021 Nissan Rogue vs. Mazda CX-5 Slip Test

The Mazda CX-5 vs Nissan Rogue was a good fight, but…

If you were serious about taking either into snow country, they wouldn’t embarrass themselves. Still, both vehicles would perform much better on the white stuff if they were equipped with snow-rated tires. Both come with all-season tires. Fortunately, the rollers Tommy uses don’t care about tires – just traction systems.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue SL comes with an improved 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. It’s connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is a more refined unit than the one it replaces. Power is sent to the wheels with traction when slippage is detected – but not with an equal amount of power. This mid-level Nissan starts at about $38,000, but its is extremely well equipped.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 we’re testing is a “Signature” model, which is pretty much loaded and comparable in interior design to many German luxury vehicles. Yes, it’s that nice. It is a bit tight in back, trailing the Nissan. Cargo space significantly trails the Nissan as well. The good news is: there’s a 227 horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter engine (up to 250 horsepower on premium fuel) that makes 320 lb-ft of torque. It’s bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission and it is super quick. The MSRP hovers around $39,000.

Tommy gets fired up when he performs a slip test. He evens says, “gee-whiz!” as he pushes one of these vehicles hard. Seriously, mouth like a sailor on that kid. Anyway, enjoy the video and let us know what you think!