2019 Buick Envision vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Envision and CX-5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Envision has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The CX-5’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Envision Premium offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-5 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Envision 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, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Buick Envision is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Envision

CX-5

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

76

81

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

81

208

Spine Acceleration

23 G’s

65 G’s

Hip Force

492 lbs.

524 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

HIC

247

449

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

Warranty

The Envision 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.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Envision 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-5 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Envision’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-5’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Buick pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Envision. Buick will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

There are over 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Envision’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Envision first among compact 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 Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Envision’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (197 vs. 187) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (192 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Envision’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 Envision has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.3 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Envision has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.3 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Envision Premium, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Envision

CX-5

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

The Envision stops shorter than the CX-5:

 

Envision

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Envision Premium’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (235/50R19 vs. 225/65R17).

The Envision’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The Envision Premium’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

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

The Envision has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The CX-5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Envision’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The CX-5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Envision’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the CX-5 (108.3 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

The Envision Premium handles at .81 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Envision Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Envision uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Envision uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CX-5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Envision has .3 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Envision’s 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 Envision 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.

The Envision has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-5 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 64% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

The Envision Essence/Premium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Envision and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Envision 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 Envision’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The CX-5’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

The Envision has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Envision’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 Envision Essence/Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-5’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Envision has standard 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 Envision 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 Envision and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Envision 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.

The Envision Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Envision Premium’s optional Automatic Park Assist 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Envision is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Envision than the CX-5, including $144 less for fuel injection.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Envision third among compact 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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