If consumers like SUVs, they’re all-out smitten with compact SUVs. Take out fleet-heavy pickup truck sales, and compact SUVs account for three of the top four best-selling nameplates through the first two months of 2019, per Automotive News. Given such popularity, the group is in steady rotation for Cars.com’s regular multicar comparisons.
The 2019 Compact SUV Challenge pits the popular Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue against several 2019 model-year refreshes (the Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Cherokee) and redesigns (the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4), plus the winner of our last Compact SUV Challenge in 2017, the Volkswagen Tiguan. (We excluded two other popular models, the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape, because the Equinox ranked low in the group’s last Challenge and hasn’t been significantly updated, while the Escape is due for an imminent redesign.)
After a week of testing that included handling and fuel-economy loops plus evaluations of car-seat accommodation and cargo space, Cars.com’s expert judges — Senior Editor Mike Hanley; Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Fred Meier; and Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder — deemed the class pretty darn good overall. Even the last-place finisher, the Rogue, isn’t that bad. Judges dinged its outdated multimedia system and a few hard-to-reach buttons but lauded the Nissan’s ProPilot Assist driving aids.
At the other end was the Tiguan, whose drivability, room and quality stood out. Volkswagen’s player topped the class a second consecutive time despite different judges and a newer field of rivals. That’s proof the Tiguan’s enduring strengths can stand the test of time.
Between the Volkswagen and Nissan were the Forester (second place), Tucson (third), CR-V (fourth), RAV4 (fifth) and Cherokee (sixth). Why did each car place how it did? Watch the video for more or check the detailed results above to read Cars.com’s full 2019 Compact SUV Challenge.
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