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Price War: Mid-Year Changes Coming as Two Rival Crossovers Battle for Sales

2017 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Palatial Ruby Front Quarter, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

America’s insatiable crossover thirst has made the Nissan Rogue — a relative newcomer to the segment — a sales juggernaut and a top rival to the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

As summer approaches, two of those vehicles are undergoing a sales strategy shift to better position the models against each other. No, one of the models isn’t the new-for 2017 CR-V. Nissan and Toyota, however, hope to draw in more customers by tweaking prices and content on the Rogue and RAV4, though the two automakers are going about it in very different ways.

According to car shopping website CarsDirect, Nissan has outfitted all versions of the Rogue with standard automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind spot warning. The changes will appear on vehicles marked as 2017.5 models.

Before the change, buyers would need to move from a base S to a SV before the latter two safety aids became standard kit. Finding a Rogue with AEB meant sourcing a high-end SL with Premium Package. Of course, the upgraded content comes at a price. For the upgraded models, a base S will add $620 to the after-delivery price, reaching $25,380. Other Rogues will see $400 tacked onto the MSRP.

That sets up an odd tug of war on the Nissan lot, as the 2017 model already carries $2,000 in incentives. Deals could be had if Nissan decides to further sweeten the pot to clear out older models.

2018 toyota rav4 adventure

Over at Toyota, RAV4 prices are dropping, not rising. The automaker has shaved $500 from the base LE, for an after-delivery price of $25,370 — ten bucks less than the base Rogue. However, larger savings are found as you move up the trim ladder.

The mid-year update sees the price of a XLE drop by $1,350, while the SE receives a $1,195 price cut. A Limited model will cost $925 less, but nothing changes at the Platinum level. While Nissan is raising prices and adding standard content, Toyota has taken the exact opposite approach, temping buyers with lower prices but jettisoning some content. Missing from mid-year LE and XLE models are roof rails, which now become optional.

The XLE also loses its upgraded stereo system and guide lines on its backup camera. Newly missing from the SE is a power liftgate, Smart Key and blind sport monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, while the Limited drops its front and rear sonar.

To make up for the loss of standard features, Toyota plans to offer customers discounted “Extra Value Package” that bundle many of the goodies together for a lower price. If a reasonably loaded RAV4 is a buyer’s goal, it’s likely they can achieve it without moving up the trim ladder, saving money in the process.

[Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn; Toyota Motor Corporation]

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