When Nissan unleashed the Rogue for 2008, the then-fledgling crossover market offered less competition. The Rogue proved that smaller SUVs could offer flashy style and practicality at an affordable price.
By 2012, Honda took notice of its competitor's surging popularity and restyled a fourth-generation CR-V to be bolder, more aggressive and stylish enough to compete in a new market created by the Nissan Rogue.
What Nissan Rogue Gets Right
The Rogue is small-but-stylish, and Nissan continues to enhance its technology and convenience features. It's the first non-luxury vehicle in the United States to offer a 360-degree camera that relies on four small super-wide-angle cameras mounted on the front, side and rear of the vehicle to provide a complete view of surrounding objects. You'll have a hard time finding a more technologically advanced vehicle in this price range.
What Honda CR-V Gets Right
This model has come a long way since it debuted for 1996. The current CR-V features a more dynamic and sophisticated appearance, while also offering better fuel efficiency and interior versatility.
Honda has found a way to lower the roofline and increase the headroom. The new look gives CR-V a more aggressive stance with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a bolder front fascia.
Why has Rogue Remained a Best-Seller for Nissan?
The Nissan Rogue offers excellent value while satisfying both the functional needs of buyers and their desire for something sporty -- that has made Rogue one of the best-selling vehicles in the Nissan lineup. The investment in design paid off for the automaker, and other competitors such as Honda found themselves in catch-up mode.
Our Verdict: Honda CR-V
Honda may have had to come from behind in this market, but it certainly succeeded. The bold look of the CR-V is eye-catching and looks more expensive that its entry-level status may indicate. The availability of all-wheel drive allows the CR-V to meet the needs of light-duty off-roading, yet the improved interior space capitalizes on practicality.