2019 Honda CR-V vs Nissan Rogue
Trying to find the right small SUV can seem like a daunting task given how saturated the market is with these types of vehicles. Consumer demand for spacious and powerful yet fuel-efficient vehicles is high, and automakers are striving to meet those demands.
That is why Honda and Nissan are among two of the biggest competitors out there for 2019. The 2019 Honda CR-V and 2019 Nissan Rogue are loaded with standard safety and infotainment features, but there is one that stands out above the other.
Which vehicle presents the best overall deal? Read on to find out.
Drawing the most power possible from an engine without sipping too hard on the gas - it is a standard that automobile manufacturers are continuously striving to achieve. This is especially true within the small SUV segment.
And it is especially true for Honda, a company known for their emphasis on fuel efficiency. The 2019 Honda CR-V is powered by a 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine on the base LX trim. This engine garners 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Sure, this is a bit under-powered for the CR-V, but the turbocharged option that comes on all the above trim levels gives a much better performance. The turbo 1.5-L inline-4 puts out 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque.
A continuously variable automatic transmission (commonly referred to by its acronym, CVT) is equipped on each of the CR-V's four trim levels. Front-wheel drive also comes standard across the line-up, but drivers can opt to spend a little more on all-wheel drive.
Overall, the CR-V has a solid powertrain when the turbo 1.5-L inline-4 is equipped. Small displacement engines can be problematic in a lot of SUVs since they do not produce a whole lot of power. However, on the CR-V, it works. Honda seems to have found the right balance between power and fuel efficiency on their 1.5-L turbo.
Unfortunately, such praise cannot be given to the 2019 Nissan Rogue. While its 2.5-L engine is larger, the power it generates is modest. This standard 4-cylinder engine only generates 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a CVT, the Rogue's powertrain is similar to that of the CR-V LX trim's. However, on the Rogue, the only other powertrain option is a hybrid one.
The Rogue Hybrid derives its power from a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine mated with an electric motor. Together, this gets the Rogue Hybrid a combined 176 hp. It only comes on the mid-level SV or line-topping SL trim. All three of the Rogue's trim levels have standard front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an option.
Since the Rogue's underwhelming engine impacts many aspects of the vehicle's drivability, it is time to launch into what makes these two vehicles so different to drive.
As mentioned above, the 2019 Nissan Rogue has an engine that feels drastically under-powered. The fact that drivers only get a singular gas-only engine option makes things even worse. At least Honda offers a turbo option on the CR-V. IN fact, it is mind-boggling that Nissan does not offer a turbo option since so many of their competitors in the small SUV segment do.
The Rogue's engine only gets it from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 10 seconds, which is far from being a best-in-class time. Attempting to pass another vehicle or even just merge onto the highway takes some time and effort. The engine feels smooth enough in the city, but it does not inspire much confidence or enthusiasm while on the highway.
The brakes do not do much to inspire confidence either. The vehicle does need 127 feet to make a panic stop from 60 mph, which is a little bit longer than some vehicles in this class. The antilock brakes can be pretty noisy, and the pedal is too soft for a lot of drivers to feel comfortable pressing on with force.
Steering is somewhat lackluster as well. There is only a smidgen of feedback that comes from the wheel, and steering is too light for a small SUV. Highway driving does give a bit more in terms of feel and effort, but it isn't superb. Thankfully, the vehicle handles turns well enough and only exerts a minor amount of body roll for something its size. Still, hitting a mid-corner bump will send some shock-waves throughout the cabin.
Where the Nissan Rogue falls short, the Honda CR-V (mostly) succeeds. The 2019 Honda CR-V, when powered by the turbo 1.5-L, gets from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 7.5 seconds. It has plenty of low-end power to get it up and moving on slower city and suburban streets. Also, the brakes provide a nice amount of firmness that allows the vehicle to make a panic stop from 60 mph in 116 feet.
Steering and handling capabilities add to the joy of driving a CR-V. The steering has a good amount of weight to it, and there is a good build-up of resistance as the driver turns the steering wheel, which comes back to center with ease. There is not much in the way of body roll, and the CR-V smooths out mid-corner bumps. No shock waves here.
Additionally, with up to 8.2 inches of ground clearance, the CR-V can do some moderate off-roading. Dirt and gravel roads are not a problem in this SUV.
There are, of course, other factors that play into overall drivability. Ride quality, comfort, cabin design, and tech features all have their roles to play and can make or break the driving experience.
On the CR-V, comfort abounds. On the EX trim level and above, the driver's seat is power-adjustable eight different ways, and the steering wheel can be adjusted to help the driver find the right position. The rear outboard seats are cozy, too. The only issue with the front passenger seat is that it is not height-adjustable.
The CR-V's ride quality is smooth and effortless in almost any circumstance. Bumps in the road are quickly dealt with, and only a little bit of wind, tire, and engine noise make their way into the cabin. It is not enough to be disruptive of music or conversations.
The physical controls are all user-friendly, but the CR-V does have some minor issues with buttons on the touchscreen being too small. Getting in and out of the vehicle is easy thanks to its tall door frames, and even taller passengers will not have to duck down into the rear. The cabin itself is cavernous and one of the best designed in its class. Everything feels thoughtfully laid out, and the amount of cargo space (39.2 cubic feet with all seats up; 75.8 cubes with the rear seats folded down) is superb for this class.
Now, it is important to address the vehicle's infotainment system. In years past, Honda struggled to present buyers with a well-functioning, high-tech set-up. Functions were glitch-y, and some of the buttons were downright confusing. Luckily, Honda listened to its consumers and revamped the system for 2019.
This model year, CR-V buyers get a physical control knob for volume, excellent connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone app integration, three standard USB outlets in the EX and above (two in the front, one in the rear), and Bluetooth capability. The voice control features are somewhat laggy still, but drivers can easily switch to Google Voice or Siri.
The 2019 Nissan Rogue does have a bit of comfort packed into its cabin. The front seats are cozy, and there is plenty of thigh support from the rear seats. While the ride does get bouncy at times, on smoother surfaces, the Rogue has a pleasant manner. The engine only gets intrusive when the vehicle is pushed to full throttle, but no other noises seem to seep in. Quietness is definitely the Rogue's strength.
The cabin itself is quite spacious, and the cargo area offers 39.3 cubic feet of space with all seats in place - a best-in-class number. However, small item storage areas pale in comparison to the abundance of well-thought-out cubby-holes and cup holders found in the CR-V.
Outward visibility is also a problem on the Rogue. This is due to the thick rear pillars and tiny quarter windows. They obstruct the rear view, so drivers will have to rely on rear-view cameras and blind-spot monitoring. Add to that the fact that there are a lot of cheap-looking hard plastic surfaces, and the Rogue's quality just does not seem to stack up to the competition.
With regards to technology, Nissan's gadgetry is merely average. The bass on the Bose sound system sounds clear. However, the navigation system feels somewhat useless since the touchscreen is too small for details to be clearly viewed. There is only one USB port up front and a charge-only port near the arm rest, so drivers and passengers will have to trade off usage. There are no ports at all in the back. The voice recognition system, however, does function well, which is often a problem in other vehicles.
Overall, it is clear that Honda has given exponentially more consideration to their consumer base. While there are definitely things that can be improved on the CR-V, this SUV is more user-friendly than the Rogue.
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Safety is an important element in any vehicle, and knowing what safety features come equipped and how sturdily the vehicle is designed can make the decision to buy a bit easier.
The 2019 Honda CR-V is packed with a ton of standard and optional safety features. The long list of them includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision mitigation, and lane keep assist. All of these come standard on each trim level, save for the base LX. While forward collision warning does emit a few false warnings, it is not too obnoxious. Everything else seems to work as expected.
The 2019 Nissan Rogue likewise has a lot of safety features. Steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and a lane departure warning come standard. While most features function properly, lane departure is too sensitive. Most drivers will likely want to turn it off.
Safety ratings should also be paid some mind. The CR-V holds a 4/5 star rating on the rollover risk test but has otherwise not been rated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (also known as the NHTSA). The NHSTA did note a 16.3% risk of rollover, which is normal for this segment. The IIHS (an acronym for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) gave the vehicle "good" ratings on all its tests.
The NHTSA did give a full scoring to the Rogue. It got 4/5 stars overall, and the area it performed worst in was Frontal Barrier Crash. That score was 4/5 stars overall with just three stars awarded on the Driver portion. Rollover was also given 4/5 stars with a 16.9% risk of rollover. The IIHS assigned all "good" marks to the Rogue as well.
Which Has the Best Value?
The 2019 Nissan Rogue is not a terrible vehicle by any means. However, it does not come close to the front of the pack, which is where the 2019 Honda CR-V reigns supreme. When considering how much the CR-V offers on the second trim level up (the EX), the price is worth it to pay.
Honda equips the CR-V with a nice turbo engine option, a revitalized infotainment system, and a ton of standard driver aids that mostly work well. Combined with the easy-going nature of its ride, the CR-V definitely provides the most value, dollar for dollar.
Which is Better?
Honda lovers will tell you that almost any Honda vehicle is a great choice, and they often return to buy Honda after Honda. Of course, Nissan fans have a lot of great things to say about Rogues from years past. However, it seems the 2019 is too outdated, and the fact that there is no turbo engine option reflects this. The better option here is the Honda, which beats its competition in this segment with ease. Safety, reliability, comfort, and power - these are all things the CR-V has going for it.