2020 Mazda CX-5 vs 2020 Nissan Rogue
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2020 Mazda CX-5 vs 2020 Nissan Rogue

By Autolist Staff | September 16 2020

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Nissan Rogue

Our User's Take

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2020 Mazda CX-5 score: 8/10

Highlights:
  • Among the most stylish in its class, inside and out.
  • Better driving dynamics than most compact crossovers.
  • Lots of driver assistance safety features come standard.
  • The infotainment system is confusing and behind the times.

2020 Nissan Rogue score: 7.6/10

Highlights:
  • The Rogue offers an excellent array of both standard and optional safety and technology features.
  • Fuel economy figures are some of the best-in-class.
  • Interior space and comfort are class-leading.
  • Ride quality and comfort are both noted to be excellent.

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Mazda CX-5: 8/10

  • Every Mazda CX-5 gets a raft of standard driver assistance features that’s among the best for compact SUVs. All models get automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high beams, just to name a few things. While the CX-5 isn’t the only compact SUV to include these systems as standard, most vehicles in this class make some or all of these features optional – or unavailable on less expensive variants.

  • The CX-5 also received top marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), ranking among the safest vehicles in crash testing, crash avoidance, and headlight testing.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • The 2020 Nissan Rogue has earned solid safety scores from both the National Highway Traffic Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The NHTSA has given the Rogue four out of a possible five stars for overall safety. The IIHS has also rated the Rogue highly in most categories except for the headlight and structural categories in which it falls behind.

  • Driver safety assistance systems also help boost the Rogue’s ratings. Features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking are all standard on the base Rogue, a robust combination of standard technology not available on several competitors.

Value:

Mazda CX-5: 8/10

-The CX-5 largely matches its main rivals on price with similar equipment. Some rivals are larger than the Mazda in terms of rear seat and cargo space, but the CX-5’s interior quality mitigates that. Every model comes relatively well equipped, but some niceties like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a power driver’s seat, aren’t available on the base model.

  • As you walk up the trim levels, the more powerful CX-5 models can get expensive, but they could be perceived as rivals to upscale compact SUVs from companies such as Audi and Volvo. Compared to vehicles such as the Q3 and XC40, the Mazda CX-5 is larger, better equipped, and still less expensive.

Nissan Rogue: 7/10

  • A base Rogue starts at just over $26,000, including destination. At that price, it undercuts several key competitors like the Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and Honda CR-V. However, this doesn’t make it the least expensive SUV on the market, as it comes in higher than a base model Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester.

  • Slotting into the middle of the segment in terms of price, the Rogue offers a well-rounded approach to potential SUV buyers, providing some of the best cargo space, passenger space, safety features, fuel-efficiency, and ride comfort compared to competitors. The Rogue’s value proposition drops slightly in terms of interior materials and general styling, both of which aren’t as quality or sharps as many competitors.

Efficiency:

Mazda CX-5: 6/10

  • Front-wheel-drive CX-5 models get up to 31 mpg highway, falling just one mpg with the addition of all-wheel-drive. While not class-leading, the CX-5 is relatively efficient for its class. The turbocharged models, which come standard with all-wheel-drive, fall to a 22/27 rating. That’s significantly worse than similarly powerful vehicles of this size.

  • However, the CX-5 lacks a gas-electric hybrid powertrain option. That means it trails models such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4 for outright efficiency.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • Fuel efficiency is one area in which the Rogue shines. Standard front-wheel-drive models return up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and have a combined rating of 29 miles per gallon. All-wheel-drive models return a combined 27 miles per gallon with only a mile per gallon drop during highway driving. These numbers are among the best in class.

  • The Rogue has also been offered with a hybrid powertrain option, which is being discontinued for the 2020 model year. Front-wheel-drive models get a combined 34 miles per gallon while all-wheel-drive models return slightly lower numbers in both city and highway driving. Not all competitors offer hybrid models, but the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, and Ford Escape hybrid models all outshine the Rogue for hybrid efficiency.

Driving Experience:

Mazda CX-5: 9/10

  • Ride and handling are among the CX-5’s biggest advantages over its rivals. Steering is unusually precise for a vehicle like this, and the handling is responsive in a way that would shame some sedans. Unlike some SUVs, the CX-5 feels smaller than it really is, and more like a compact hatchback. Few vehicles at this price can touch it.

  • Even base model CX-5s have sufficient power and feel a little more lively than rivals with similar horsepower. But the turbocharged versions are noticeably quicker and responsive. Not all rivals offer an uplevel engine option, either. And it gives the Mazda another way to compete with premium SUVs with similar power, and that cost significantly more.

Nissan Rogue: 7/10

  • Overall, the Rogue provides a pleasant driving experience. Ride quality and comfort are good for the class, plus it has the added benefit of comfortable seats to help smooth out bumps. Road noise is kept to a minimum, and Rogue’s maneuverability is good for a vehicle of this size, allowing drivers to feel like it is not as large a vehicle as it actually is.

  • Performance is where the overall driving experience falls off a little bit. Most reviewers note that the 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower engine and continuously-variable transmission are a bit slower and more sluggish than many other offerings in the segment. Additionally, many note that many other competitors offer a much more engaging driving experience than the Rogue’s average handling ability can provide.

Tech Features:

Mazda CX-5: 7/10

  • The CX-5 comes standard with a seven-inch infotainment screen, while more expensive models get an eight-inch version. All but the base model have two USB ports and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Built-in navigation is only standard on the most expensive version, though. While comprehensive, the CX-5 doesn’t boast anything rivals don’t.

  • More troubling is the way it all works. While it has touchscreen capabilities, the infotainment system is mostly operated through a rotary knob and a series of complicated menus. Also, the system is laggy and has weak graphics, especially for maps. The CX-5 is beat here by nearly all of its rivals and even some other Mazda vehicles. Techies should look elsewhere.

Nissan Rogue: 9/10

  • Standard technology features make a strong showing in the Rogue compared to other models within the segment. A seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker audio system all come on the base model.

  • Available technology equipment offered on higher trim levels and as possible options include navigation, surround-view camera, a Bose sound system, power liftgate, and dual-zone climate control. ProPilot Assist – Nissan’s suite of semi-autonomous driving systems – is also offered as standard on the highest Rogue trim levels.

Style & Design:

Mazda CX-5: 8/10

  • With subtly refined details and expensive-looking materials, the CX-5 stands out from the mainstream crossover. Its exterior is more distinctive than many of its rivals, with all models receiving alloy wheels and metal exterior details.

-Inside, quality is generally higher than most. High-end versions get real leather upholstery and wood inserts, while there are also features such as ventilated front seats – all unusual for a vehicle at this price. Most controls, apart from the audio, are intuitive, as well.

  • Despite the more adventurous styling, visibility doesn’t suffer too much. The CX-5 is about as easy to see out of as any good compact SUV, and better than several.

Nissan Rogue: 6/10

  • The Rogue’s exterior design falls within the typical compact SUV parameters. The headlights, body lines, and overall dimensions are attractive for a vehicle of this size. Many agree that there’s nothing too exciting about the rest of the exterior but also note that rear visibility is somewhat limited because of the rear window and pillar design.

  • Interior design is also noted to be adequate but does not provide the best-in-class design and quality that rivals such as the Rav4 and CR-V offer. Numerous plastic pieces throughout the interior give mixed signals with high-quality seating materials. The interior layout is average and beginning to feel dated (an all-new generation of Rogue is due for 2021). Still, the spacious cabin provides plenty of space in both front and back, even for larger passengers.

Practicality:

Mazda CX-5: 7/10

  • While it’s not cramped, passenger space is only average for the class. However, cargo room takes a hit compared to models such as the CR-V and Nissan Rogue. That’s where the CX-5’s smaller external size hinders it against the competition, and some models even offer a third-row seat, where the Mazda is a strict two-row vehicle. However, it’s still more spacious inside than premium rivals such as an Audi Q3 or Volvo XC40.

  • The cargo area is at least flexible, with standard 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. The maximum towing capacity is rated at just 2,000 pounds, however.

  • All-wheel-drive is available on models with the 2.5-liter engine, standard on turbocharged versions.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • Excellent fuel-efficiency, one of the largest interiors in the segment, and the availability of all-wheel-drive boost the Rogue’s practicality level to the top of the class. All doors are easy to access, and a motion-sensing power liftgate enables excellent ease of access to the cargo area. As a typical, practical family hauler, the Nissan Rogue excels.

  • Though the Rogue is an SUV, it falls behind many competitors when it comes to towing capacity. Available roof rails help when additional storage and hauling is necessary. Reviewers also note that competitors like the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee are far more capable vehicles when tough weather conditions and offroad situations present themselves.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Nissan Rogue

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,355
15k miles at $2.168/gal
$1,204
15k miles at $2.168/gal
Fuel Economy

22 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
27 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Nissan Rogue

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Nissan Rogue

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Nissan Rogue

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
FWD
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders