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The Frugal Five: Compact Crossover Comparison (2008 Honda CR-V vs. 200 - Motor Trend

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2008 Honda CR-V vs. 2008 Nissan Rogue vs. 2008 Saturn VUE Green Line vs. 2009 Subaru Forester vs. 2008 Toyota RAV4

By Kim Reynolds
Photography by Brian Vance

"Cappuccinos?"Absolutely! The waiter at the Star Caf, just north of L.A. in Montrose, scribbles our order and hurries off to the espresso machine. Art St. Antoine, Ed Loh, Scott Mortara, Julia LaPalme, and I are going to need some seriously distillated java-juice to shake off our lunch-induced stupors and formulate some conclusions about these cars. Cars? Those would be the five compact SUVs we've parked nearby and are still occasionally popping and ticking to each other after pounding out evaluation loops, which have included swift climbs up Angeles Crest Highway, swifter descents, and several miles of choppy concrete freeway. Pull up a chair and listen in.


1st Place Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium
Exorcized of cramped rear legroom and graceless styling, the Subie's charm becomes hard to resist.
2nd Place Nissan Rogue SL
The 'ute for the PlayStation generation. Fun and affordable-but bring a kidney belt.
3rd Place Honda CR-V EX
Quality construction and a handsome interior don't trump a busy ride and soupy handling.
4th Place Saturn VUE Green Line
Price premium isn't erased by its tax credit and better mileage, but it's fun to poke OPEC in the eye, isn't it?
5th Place Toyota RAV4
College-entrance committees are looking for more than solid SATs these days. You need a compelling story, too.

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