2019 BMW X1 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X1 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The X1’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the X1’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the X1 and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW X1 is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

X1

CX-5

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

31%

37%

Neck Stress

175 lbs.

205 lbs.

Neck Compression

68 lbs.

86 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

309/268 lbs.

449/262 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW X1 is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

X1

CX-5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

193

208

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

278

449

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The X1 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-5’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-5’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CX-5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 41 more horsepower (228 vs. 187) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X1 is faster than the Mazda CX-5 (base engine):

 

X1

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.5 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X1 xDrive28i gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5 Turbo AWD (22 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X1 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X1, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CX-5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X1’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-5:

 

X1

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-5 are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

X1

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The X1’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .85 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The X1 is 3.7 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The X1 has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X1. The CX-5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The X1 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-5 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 71% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the X1 and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-5 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X1’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-5’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X1 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X1’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CX-5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The X1 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The X1’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

When the X1 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The CX-5’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X1 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-5 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X1 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature.

Both the X1 and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X1 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-5 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X1 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X1 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X1’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-5 isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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