CX-5 vs. Subaru CrossTrek vs. RAV4 vs Nissan Rogue

:
2019 CX-5 Sig
Also, as far as blind spots go, most new cars have a lot of tech to help with that. If you get a CX-5 with the heads up display, it will show when a car is in your blind spot in your windshield in addition to the warning lights on the mirrors that I'm guessing all CX-5 trims have.

Although I like the CX-5 better, it's my opinion that the Forester has the best visibility of segment.
 
:
17 CX-5
CVTs can be made to last the life of a car. Some are not. I've heard a lot of bad things about Nissan's CVT, I'm not sure if that's relevant with the newest model. I haven't paid much attention to the reliability of other brands CVTs, but I'd be surprised if Toyotas didn't last for a very long time.
Subaru's CVTs definitely don't last. They had to extend the warranty on the CVT WRX to 100k miles due to them having so many issues.
 
Last edited:

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
Rogues traditionally are complete garbage.

As for Subaru, have heard not so great things about the longevity of their CVT's.

Go for a test drive and figure out what you like based on what you need and what you want to spend.

The Crosstrek is smaller, compare it to CX-30.

And unless newer ones have better engines, are completely gutless.
 
:
Ottawa, Ontario
:
17 Mazda 6 GT
Don't forget the oil dilution issues on the Honda CRV. For that reason alone, I'd avoid them.
The Rav4 is known for being noisier and a little less refined than the competition.
The engine is course and doesn't like to be pushed.
Like ColoradoDriver said, I don't know if they've upgraded the power on the new Crosstek's, but they were noted for being under powered. Maybe run a comparison on each vehicle regarding performance, like 0-60 times, etc.
As for CVT's, I wouldn't have a vehicle in my driveway that has one. They sap the life and spirit out of a car.
Lastly though, take them all for a test drive. That's the ultimate way to see what feels right.
Sometimes you go for a test drive in a car that's highly rated, and you find out instantly that it's wrong for you. It happens.
I've felt that way everytime I get in a BMW. They just don't do it for me, but some people buy them just for the badge.
Good luck.
 
:
2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
Subaru's don't have head gasket or CVT in their newer vehicles. The powertrains are a little old so they've had plenty of time to fix those issues. The Crosstrek also has the smallest interior of the vehicles you mention. It's AWD system is fantastic and it is also fully AWD 100% of the time, where as the other use an on-demand type setup. Good gas mileage, has a unique look and is the lowest priced.

CX-5 is the best looking of the bunch both interior and exterior. Has a 6 speed transmission(albeit one that is 10 years old). Has the most power too. Downsides are it isn't very fuel efficient on gas, no touchscreen, has a cramped interior(compared to it's class) and dealership network isn't as big as the others.

I like the RAV4(Hybrid XSE). Likely very good reliability and resale value. Lots of different trims available. Hybrid option. The big downside for me with this vehicle is there is just too many of these things on the road.


Jury is still out on the new Rogue. If you're buying I would wait a while to see if any reliability issues come up.
When we were choosing a new car last summer, I talked to two very good mechanics that I know, and both of them still regularly have newer Subarus, at least up through 2018, coming in with head gasket problems regularly. I don’t know about the last couple of years, but few would have enough miles on them to show up yet.

I’ve been a Subaru fan for decades, but they started having head gasket problems in 1996 and have never seemed to be able to, or cared enough to, figure it out. I gave up on them.

We decided to get our first Mazda, and have no regrets. How it drives was a top priority for me, because I was coming from a short, 4 year love affair with a BMW X5. I like the CX5 more than I ever thought I would.
 
Subaru's CVTs definitely don't last. They had to extend the warranty on the CVT WRX to 100k miles due to them having so many issues.
Same with our 2016 Crosstrek. We're at 60K miles and I'm crossing my fingers it will last another 4-5 years until the new CX-5 is paid for.

I don't know if it's still true with the new Crosstrek's, but I have always felt that Subaru cheaped out on ours. The interior has some flimsy bits (like the vents), and the center console scratches easily. They didn't even bother to paint the engine compartment and underhood. It's just primed. Maybe some cheap paint, but definitely not the Hyper Blue exterior color. The CX-5 is better in every way, but it also cost about $10K more (it's a GT-R).
 
Drive the others then go drive a CX-5 and you'll see.
I did that. Then I bought a Ford Escape Titanium with 2.0 ecoboost. Both are derived from the Focus/Mazda 3 platform. 2.0 ecoboost is the same variant that comes in the Focus ST, which is the Ford version of the mazda DISI engine that came in the mazdaspeed 6s and 3s. Made in the same plant. Don't believe me? Pop the hood on a MS3 and count the FoMoCo stickers.

What really sold me, other than the 240 HPs and 270 ft/lbs, was the premium sound with subwoofer and the panoramic moonroof.

But they are basically the same car body wise, but the Ford badge doesn't hold value as well so you can get a better deal if OP is buying used. A fully loaded Ford version has way more to offer than a fully loaded mazda version, at about the same price. Fit and finish is a little nicer on the mazda for sure, but for the value, the Escape is constantly getting overlooked.
 
:
Pueblo county CO
:
CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
Rogues traditionally are complete garbage.

As for Subaru, have heard not so great things about the longevity of their CVT's.

Go for a test drive and figure out what you like based on what you need and what you want to spend.



And unless newer ones have better engines, are completely gutless.
I understand Toyota has a different design in some newer CVTs with 'hard' gears to assist the belts.
 
:
2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
Same with our 2016 Crosstrek. We're at 60K miles and I'm crossing my fingers it will last another 4-5 years until the new CX-5 is paid for.

I don't know if it's still true with the new Crosstrek's, but I have always felt that Subaru cheaped out on ours. The interior has some flimsy bits (like the vents), and the center console scratches easily. They didn't even bother to paint the engine compartment and underhood. It's just primed. Maybe some cheap paint, but definitely not the Hyper Blue exterior color. The CX-5 is better in every way, but it also cost about $10K more (it's a GT-R).
That’s just so sad. They were great cars for so long. We noticed a huge drop in quality from our ‘97 to our 2009 Outback. They are ubiquitous here, so I know a lot of people that have them. Some are still very happy with them, but we keep our cars for a long time and use them hard. We have hard winters, and spend a lot of time off pavement in the summer. I don’t know how the Mazda will hold up either, but we like it a lot now, and we're hope for a long and happy relationship.
 
:
17 CX-5
I don't know if it's still true with the new Crosstrek's, but I have always felt that Subaru cheaped out on ours. The interior has some flimsy bits (like the vents), and the center console scratches easily. They didn't even bother to paint the engine compartment and underhood. It's just primed.

Subaru interiors are usually a matter of function over form, to say the least. I went from a BMW to a Subaru WRX, and the interior was definitely a let down.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
I did that. Then I bought a Ford Escape Titanium with 2.0 ecoboost. Both are derived from the Focus/Mazda 3 platform. 2.0 ecoboost is the same variant that comes in the Focus ST, which is the Ford version of the mazda DISI engine that came in the mazdaspeed 6s and 3s. Made in the same plant. Don't believe me? Pop the hood on a MS3 and count the FoMoCo stickers.

What really sold me, other than the 240 HPs and 270 ft/lbs, was the premium sound with subwoofer and the panoramic moonroof.

But they are basically the same car body wise, but the Ford badge doesn't hold value as well so you can get a better deal if OP is buying used. A fully loaded Ford version has way more to offer than a fully loaded mazda version, at about the same price. Fit and finish is a little nicer on the mazda for sure, but for the value, the Escape is constantly getting overlooked.

Care to elaborate?

Assuming you're talking about a 2020 Escape Titanium 2.0T AWD, I don't see the value advantage. I just priced both out and the CX-5 Signature is only $1-2k more. I'm not considering used prices because OP asked about a new car, not a used one. Sure, there are things the Escape has that the CX-5 doesn't, like a pano roof, B&O sound system, auto start/stop. But the CX-5 has the ADD, better driving dynamics, more power (250hp and 320tq), better interior, and IMO a much, much better overall design.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Nissan dropped the CVT in the new Pathfinder, take that for whatever its worth.

WRT blind spots, I would guess that the Forester probably offers the best visibility. Do not rely on the BSM system of any car to replace your own eyes. Personally I have adapted a different way to adjust the side mirrors on my CX-9, and it has helped tremendously with monitoring blind spots.
 

PaulZooms

16.5 GT Sensing
:
Lakewood, CO
:
2016.5 CX-5 GT
...And unless newer (Crosstreks) have better engines, (they) are completely gutless.
Totally gutless. On a test drive with the 2.0l engine, I was unable to pass a cement truck on a 2-lane, downsloping freeway entrance ramp with it floored. Had to follow it on, tail tucked. Turned around and went back at the next exit. Good riddance!

For 2021, the upper 2 trims come with the 2.5l engine, the same one in larger base models, so it should be more tolerable. It’s still in the same class as the CX-30 and HRV.
 
It's a shame what I'm hearing about Subarus. I had a 2002 Forester that I kept until 2012. I had the head gasket problem and it took them forever to figure it out. They'd replace one thing and then another, and I'd end up back in traffic with the temp monitor creeping up toward the red zone. Otherwise, I loved my Forester -- the handling, the look, the visibility, etc. I love the way Crosstreks and Foresters look now, but I never want to feel like I have to keep taking panicked looks at my temp gauge every couple minutes again. I routinely keep cars for at least 10 years, so I need something I can depend on.
 
Care to elaborate?

Assuming you're talking about a 2020 Escape Titanium 2.0T AWD, I don't see the value advantage. I just priced both out and the CX-5 Signature is only $1-2k more. I'm not considering used prices because OP asked about a new car, not a used one. Sure, there are things the Escape has that the CX-5 doesn't, like a pano roof, B&O sound system, auto start/stop. But the CX-5 has the ADD, better driving dynamics, more power (250hp and 320tq), better interior, and IMO a much, much better overall design.

Yeah I'm in agreement. Additionally, I don't think Mazda and Ford have shared that platform since 2012/2013.

I did have the same Escape 2.0T AWD Titanium model as a rental in Denver last year. And I won't lie it was a solid car. However, it was much louder on the road, felt less comfortable inside, didn't drive as well and was noticeably slower than the CX5.

I've also gone away from recommending subaru's to people. Even new ones. I bought my parents a brand new outback in 2016 and it's been in the shop for small things going wrong more than any car they've ever known. The infotainment on modern subarus seem miles behind most other manufacturers, including mazda.

The Rav4 is a great car if you don't care about driving. It's essentially an appliance. Although I heard the prime version is somewhat fun. I believe the CRV is the same but with a nicer interior.

I can't speak much to the new Rogue or new Tiguan. I've had family members with an old rogue and my Ex had an older tiguan. Can't say I loved either, because even at the time their interiors seemed dated.

The Mazda, albeit being one off the smallest in the class is the best all rounder in my opinion. Especially with the turbo it punches above its weight and feels way more luxurious. I will add, I came from a Lexus IS300 and it feels just as quiet on the road (once i swapped the OEM tires).
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
The Rav4 is a great car if you don't care about driving. It's essentially an appliance. Although I heard the prime version is somewhat fun. I believe the CRV is the same but with a nicer interior.

I can't speak much to the new Rogue or new Tiguan. I've had family members with an old rogue and my Ex had an older tiguan. Can't say I loved either, because even at the time their interiors seemed dated.

The Mazda, albeit being one off the smallest in the class is the best all rounder in my opinion. Especially with the turbo it punches above its weight and feels way more luxurious. I will add, I came from a Lexus IS300 and it feels just as quiet on the road (once i swapped the OEM tires).

I have a friend who works for Nissan. We were talking about the new Pathfinder when it launched earlier this week, and I asked why they went to a 9-speed. He said that he thinks it's because the CVT transmissions are too unreliable. He said that some dealerships have to keep 4-10 CVT transmissions on hand because of how often they have to replace them. That is scary.
 
:
Fmr CX5 Touring
Doing kind of the same thing as the OP, so I’ll bite here as I had a running check of almost everything in this class.

CRV: Didn’t make the cut due to the infotainment. We’ll see what’s new in 2022 or 2023.
RAV4: Too small, unfortunately, that means no RAV4 Prime.
Subaru: None of them really make the cut. They’re all just a little bit off-kilter and missing things I’d like to have. Maybe the Outback but too many nanny’s and the safety equip doesn’t seem to be what it’s made out to be.
Santa Fe / Sorrento: Both a bit larger. Kind of waiting to see the Santa Fe Hybrid but don’t really like either of them.
Tuscon: 2022 looks Interesting but I don’t like the interior look.
Tiguan: Forget why but it was nuked almost instantly.
Ford Escape: Seems like the quality isn’t there.

I also looked a bit more upscale.

Audi Q5: Too pricey.
Acura RDX: No dealers near me.
Tesla: More pricey than the fan boys admit (replace tires on an annual basis), plus don’t want to deal with the reliability issues.

This kind of left the following three:

Ford Mach E: Definitely in 3rd place due to the electrical charging network. I don’t travel much but the charging network would frustrate me.

Toyota Venza: If Toyota would just sell the car, with the packages on their website, I think I’d have bought one, but the damn things always come with floor mats, or packages I don’t want. For instance, both the XLE and Limited models simply don’t have the configuration I want in California although other states have them. Hoping to rent one in the next couple of weeks.

CX-5: I miss my CX-5 in some ways, and others I don’t. What makes it interesting is that the 2015 I had, had a fun quality that I miss but it was also noisy, had a lousy infotainment system, small bladder, no safety equipment, etc. Today’s versions are better, especially on the NVH front but they’ve maybe taken a step back in some ways too. I’ll probably try and drive one in the next few weeks as I’ve never driven the turbo.

Anyways, FWIW!
 
Doing kind of the same thing as the OP, so I’ll bite here as I had a running check of almost everything in this class.

CRV: Didn’t make the cut due to the infotainment. We’ll see what’s new in 2022 or 2023.
RAV4: Too small, unfortunately, that means no RAV4 Prime.
Subaru: None of them really make the cut. They’re all just a little bit off-kilter and missing things I’d like to have. Maybe the Outback but too many nanny’s and the safety equip doesn’t seem to be what it’s made out to be.
Santa Fe / Sorrento: Both a bit larger. Kind of waiting to see the Santa Fe Hybrid but don’t really like either of them.
Tuscon: 2022 looks Interesting but I don’t like the interior look.
Tiguan: Forget why but it was nuked almost instantly.
Ford Escape: Seems like the quality isn’t there.

I also looked a bit more upscale.

Audi Q5: Too pricey.
Acura RDX: No dealers near me.
Tesla: More pricey than the fan boys admit (replace tires on an annual basis), plus don’t want to deal with the reliability issues.

This kind of left the following three:

Ford Mach E: Definitely in 3rd place due to the electrical charging network. I don’t travel much but the charging network would frustrate me.

Toyota Venza: If Toyota would just sell the car, with the packages on their website, I think I’d have bought one, but the damn things always come with floor mats, or packages I don’t want. For instance, both the XLE and Limited models simply don’t have the configuration I want in California although other states have them. Hoping to rent one in the next couple of weeks.

CX-5: I miss my CX-5 in some ways, and others I don’t. What makes it interesting is that the 2015 I had, had a fun quality that I miss but it was also noisy, had a lousy infotainment system, small bladder, no safety equipment, etc. Today’s versions are better, especially on the NVH front but they’ve maybe taken a step back in some ways too. I’ll probably try and drive one in the next few weeks as I’ve never driven the turbo.

Anyways, FWIW!

Isn't the RAV4 larger than your top 3?
 
Top