[1 Car] 2013 Honda CR-V vs. 2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS vs. 2013 Nissan Rogue

Posted by Toko Online Blogspot on Saturday, June 8, 2013

1 Car has posted a new item, '2013 Honda CR-V vs. 2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013
Hyundai Tucson GLS vs. 2013 Nissan Rogue'

Written by James Hamel

Two of these compact family SUVs have been on the market for
quite a while now whereas the other two have been the newest dominating forces
on the scene for just the last model year. Now we all know that in this
competitive segment attention stays on one model for about as long as a Youtube
video sensation is talked about online. Now we are all for another cute cat
meows along to Justin Bieber song video but cant we try and pay attention to
something for more than 15 minutes?

Okay, perhaps thats stretching the point a little too far.
You are probably just in the market for a new compact family SUV and want to
if the two current heroes in the market segment currently (CR-V, CX-5) are
really worth the extra money compared to these two less expensive alternatives
known for quite a while as the Nissan Rogue and Hyundai Tucson. In this road
test we drove a mid-level GLS variant of the Hyundai SUV and a pretty much
loaded SV with SL trim Rogue whose naming structure (SV with SL trim?) wins the
award for stupidest naming structure on any vehicle that we have seen this
year. Or possibly ever.

Now, with an average of about 160-185 horsepower spread out

among these still rather porky SUVs, none of these compact family SUVs is going
to replace that hot hatchback you drove all the way through college. But with
kids, mortgages, in-laws and the appearance of gray hairs comes an extra level
of responsibility that these kinds of SUVs can provide all without breaking the
bank or the gas card. Have you seen the cost of regular unleaded lately? And a
couple of them might just entertain you from time to time.

Exterior Styling

Now this is always purely a personal decision but taken
objectively, we have to say that the 2013 Honda CR-V is easily the most
attractively handsome in a conservatively inoffensive way. It fits in at Home

the grocery store or a Country Club parking lot. In second place is the
2013 Mazda CX-5 which despite a somewhat gawky looking front schnoz whose size
would force any Beverly Hills teen into emergency Rhinoplasty with her plastic
surgeon, at least looked sporty and compact from most other angles.

Although we arent the biggest fans of Hyundais fluidic
sculpture design language, our Tucson testers red exterior paint really made
this design pop when looking for it in crowded parking lots full of silver SUVs.
Last and definitely least is the 2013 Rogue which features a beady set of front
headlamps/bug eyes, a cheap looking egg-crate grille and none of the exterior
class and sass that makes the larger Nissan Murano such a visual and stylistic
hit. (1st Place: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L, 2nd
Place: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport, 3rd
Place: 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS, 4th
Place: 2013 Nissan Rogue SV with SL Trim)

Interior Styling,
Layout and Utility

Whereas the 2013 Hyundai Tucson has plenty of legroom for
six-footers in the front and back seats, the cargo hold is a bit smaller than in
competitors like the new CR-V. So if outright utility is what you are after
there are better choices than the Tucson. Cargo capacity is 25.7 cubic feet
behind the second row and 55.8 cubic feet with the second row folded flat.
Interior plastics and the seat fabrics could have done with some upgrades but I
you want more high quality class in your Hyundai then check out the Tucson
Limited which still only starts at $25,000. At that level leather seats come as

Or you could just go for the one with the highest quality
interior that truly feels assembled to withstand a full scale nuclear attack or
yet another world-wide tour by pop singer Cherthe 2013 Honda CR-V has the
lowest lift-in height to the cargo hold which simply wallops all comers thanks
to a brilliant set of handles set into the sides of the rear cargo hold which
once pulled they manage to perform an acrobatic ballet of seat folding
engineering artwork that truly should be lauded for being both useful and
dramatic to watch.

Behind the second row of the roomy CR-V there is 37.2 cubic
feet of room for most any sane suburban shopping excursion but in case of an
80% off going out of business sale emergency then fold those seats to offer
up a nearly miraculous 70.9 cubic feet which is more room than most Manhattan,
New York residents have in their entire studio apartment. The 2013 Mazda CX-5
offered also offered impressive amounts of cargo hauling ability of 34.1 cubic
feet behind rear seat passengers and that grows to over 68.1 when the second
row is folded semi-flat. The dashboard of our CX-5 had a sporty and
straightforward layout and interior materials were impressive considering its
too good to be real entry level price point.

The 2013 Nissan Rogues interior plastics have been upgraded
a few times during its life but it still looks, feels and smells no better than
an SUV that has been rented through three tropical Hurricanes in Florida and
has about 50,000 creaking, ill-fitting miles on it. Behind the second row the
Rogue can haul cubic feet of cargo growing to over 54 cubic feel when you
attempt to fold the cheap mechanisms hiding under the nasty and cheap feeling
leather covered bench seat that perhaps was instead made from Armadillo skin.

Even worse, the front seats were heated and would smell awful
when they got warmer. On positive notes, the 2014 Nissan Rogue SV with SL tri
did come with a decent Bose 8-speaker AM/FM/USB/I-Pod integrating audio system
with a unique subwoofer, a power drivers seat, automatic

climate control (the
CR-V gets that standard), 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, keyless entry and
push button start. a power glass sunroof as well as an in-dash navigator.
However, despite its high feature count, the one thing it is sorely lacking is
in the possibility of the owner ever having a pleasant interior
environment.(1stPlace: 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L, 2ndPlace: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport,
3rdPlace: 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS, 4thPlace: 2013 Nissan Rogue SV with SL

Value, Pricing and
Fuel Economy


Our four compact family SUV entrants all range in pricing
from generally about $20,000 to a little over $30,000 so they are within the
budget of most new SUV buyers as the average transaction price for any new
vehicle stands at a little over $27,000. Our testers were from trim levels all
over the map including the basic yet very enticing 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport which
was so basic its transmission came with a clutch pedal. When was the last time
you saw an SUV with a stick shift option even with its most basic trim level?
More importantly, when did any SUVs stick shift come with such a sporty shift
action and positive modulation through the clutch that you wonder if Mazda is
the last automaker intent on building fun cars for lovers of the manual

Not only that but our front wheel drive 2013 Mazda CX-5
Sport stickered at just $20,695 yet still came equipped with air conditioning,
AM/FM/CD/USB/iPod integrated audio system with 4 speakers, power windows, power
mirrors and locks, cruise controls, steering wheel mounted audio controls,
17-inch alloy wheels, floor mats and pretty much every essential most families
look for besides Bluetooth but you can survive with an aftermarket headset for
this price, cant you? Over the course
of 7 days with us, the 2.0 liter 155 horsepower SkyActiv 4-cylinder and
six-speed manual returned an as yet to be better by any other compact SUV we
have ever tested 32.4 miles per gallon average. Yes foks, thats a record for

Our 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS was also a screaming bargain
with price

s starting at just $22,295 for this mid-level trim which definitely
didn't lack for features. Spend a few grand more for a Limited model and you
can even add leather, cooler looking alloys, navigation and an upgraded premium
audio system. But to our way of thinking the GLS is the smartest buy in the
Tucson lineup and even the standard 6-speaker audio system in the GLS does a
terrific job in its attempts to sound "premium."

Standard with every 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS are features
like power windows, door locks and mirrors, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD
6-speaker audio system, USB/iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, a 2.4 liter 176
horsepower/168 lb. feet of torque 4 cylinder, a 6-speed automatic, tinted
glass, alloy wheels, keyless entry and a whole lot more. It is, in short all of
the compact family SUV that most people ever really need all with a handy 10
year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The 2013 Hyundai Tucson gets an EPA
estimated 21 city/30 highway and we were pleased to find our tester averaged
26.1 miles per gallon during its stay with us.

Both the CR-V EX-L and Rogue SV with SL trim were priced
pretty near the top of their respective model lines and packed with top notch
features and luxuries that most new SUV buyers lust after but do keep in mind
all of the aforementioned SUVs were front wheel drive. Still, the 2013 Honda
Civic EX-L we tested lacked only a navigation unit and rear seat DVD
unit from the options list and stickered for just a bit over $27,000. The 2013
Nissan Rogue SV with SL trim stickered for $28,950 and attempts to trump the
CR-V by including a cheap in-dash navigator with a tiny 5-inch screen and dated
looking graphics. Or you could get a CR-V with their far superior navigation
unit for a total MSRP about $100 higher than the Rogue we tested. Seriously,
dont eat out for two weeks and buy the

Sadly, no matter where the sticker price goes, the 2013
Nissan Rogue is always outclassed by the CR-V, CX-5 and even the Tucson. Also
remember that a Honda CR-V will hold its
resale value class leadership status that it has retained for years whereas
that is one detail that is not yet clear for the Mazda as of yet. Its a small
but important detail as is the CR-Vs as tested fuel economy figure of 29.7
miles per gallon fuel economy average which was a couple miles below that of
the CX-5. Bringing up the rear as usual was the rebellious for no reason Nissan
Rogue which returned a tolerable 24.7 miles per gallon.(1stPlace: 2013 Honda
CR-V EX-L, 2ndPlace: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport, 3rdPlace: 2013 Hyundai Tucson GLS,
4thPlace: 2013 Nissan Rogue)

Safety and Driving

The first concern of any parent buying a compact family SUV
is how safe it will be in an accident and we have the answers for you.
According to the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), the 2013 Honda
CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson all got top scores in all categories
meaning that they were named Top Safety Picks in their class. Unfortunately
for the 2013 Nissan Rogue, it only scored a less than perfect Acceptable rating
from the IIHS in the crucial roof strength test that helps ensure your family
stays safe in the event of a rollover accident in your SUV.

Part of the reason why the admittedly underpowered 2013 Mazda
CX-5 felt like such a cheeky laugh riot to drive was due to the fact that in
our base Sport trim it comes with a sweet six-speed manual gearbox that offers
up the same engaging smiles per mile transferred to your brain via the clutch
and shift lever much like in a Mazda2, Mazda3 or Miata with one of their
artfully engineered stick shifts. As part of its SkyActiv program, Mazda
instilled the six speed manual gearbox with the shortest shift stroke of any
vehicle in its class thereby giving the shift lever a quick and sporty feel
that you can enjoy in many regular cars. Steering feel is quick and the Mazda
corners with very little body roll and while it can feel a bit more antsy to
play than the more refined CR-V, the CX-5 definitely feels like it could handle
more power.

The 2013 CR-V may not be tuned quite as much for track day
cornering like

the CX-5 but the eloquent collaboration from the 2.4 liter 185 horsespower
4-cylinder engine, 5-speed automatic transmission and expert ride and
suspension tuning mark it out as the most grown up feeling small SUV on the
market. You might notice the CR-Vs steering offering up less feel than the
CX-5 but only after driving them back to back.

The 2013 Hyundai Tucsons 2.0 liter engine 176
horsepower/168 lb. feet of torque gives the driver a decent amount of power in
most situations but just isn't as smooth as the motors found in the CX-5 or
CR-V. For some reason, this same engine seems better isolated and less rough
sounding in its fraternal twin the 2013 Kia Sportage EX. Perhaps Hyundai
thought better to save some money on sound deadening measures that Kia kept in
place despite it causing that model to sometimes cost more when equipped like
for like.

Now, the Tucson's engine isn't horrible by any means but it
does sound a bit like a bucket full of thimbles being thrashed around under
full throttle acceleration maneuvers and the like. But then you could always
turn up the very capable stereo system and never be bothered by it so really it
could only prove problematic to those odd souls who drive without music playing.
Otherwise, steering feel is impressively taut and offers better feel than the
racks in either the Elantra or Sonata sedans. SUV's aren't supposed to be
cars but the Tucson does allow you to have a little bit of slightly unrefined
on the drive to pick up the kids from soccer practice.

Lastly, is it right to even go into how much we abhorred
driving the Nissan

Rogue given its unshakably nervous and jittery suspension
tuning, vague as a newly elected politician-style steering feel and a moaning
CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic gearbox which turned
Nissans normally quite pleasant 2.5 liter 175 horsepower 4-cylinder engine
into something that sounded like a cow being tortured. Low speeds, freeway
passing passing speeds, and even idling in a parking lot, we always felt that
there was some odd engine, wind, tire or transmission noise there to annoy you.
We know that the 2013 Nissan Juke may only offer 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space
behind the second row of seats but somehow it manages to suffer from none of
the Rogues utterly inexcusable driving dynamics.(1stPlace: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport
(Manual), 2ndPlace 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L (Automatic), 3rdPlace: 2013 Hyundai
Tucson GLS, 4thPlace: 2013 Nissan Rogue)

Conclusion (And the
Winner is)

If you are one of the very few people who would ever
consider purchasing your next new compact family SUV with a stick shift (we
would now!), the winner would have to be the 2013 Mazda CX-5 which whipped up
so much value, utility and fun to drive zoom-zoom that we would have a hard
time passing by this incredible SUV buy. But if you want an automatic, things
become more muddled and the CR-V clearly takes the lead as the more sensible
and practical choice which still offers enough behind the wheel entertainment
to keep the driver engaged.

As for the Tucson and Rogue, they are quite obviously a
generation behind these two but it is the Tucson which easily nabs third place
thanks to its high style, value and vastly superior transmission in the form of
its Hyundai designed 6-speed automatic. Not only is the 2013 Nissan Rogue a bit
cramped and overpriced for what you really get but it also comes with Nissans
most obnoxiously whiny sounding CVT (continuously variable transmission)
automatic that alone

would banish it to last place simply on its own negative
mechanical merit.

(1st Place
Tie: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport (Manual
Transmission) and 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L
(Automatic), 2nd: 2013 Hyundai
Tucson GLS, 3rd Place: 2013
Nissan Rogue SV with SL Trim)


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