2019 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Equinox are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Equinox Premier 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.

Compared to metal, the Equinox’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 Equinox 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, 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 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Equinox

CX-5

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

17%

23%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

274 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

23 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

37%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

205 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

86 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 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 Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Equinox

CX-5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

55 G’s

65 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

13 inches

HIC

377

449

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

Warranty

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

Chevrolet pays for scheduled maintenance on the Equinox for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Chevrolet will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

There are over 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

The Equinox’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

 

Equinox

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5:

 

 

 

MPG

Equinox

 

FWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

28 city/39 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

28 city/38 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

CX-5

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

 

 

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Equinox’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 Equinox has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

Equinox

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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

The Equinox Premier’s optional 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 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

The Equinox 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the CX-5 (107.3 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

The Equinox Premier handles at .83 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 250 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The front grille of the Equinox 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 Equinox 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 Equinox has .3 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-5 with its rear seat folded (63.5 vs. 59.6 cubic feet).

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

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mazda CX-5 is limited to 2000 pounds. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Equinox 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.

Ergonomics

The Equinox Premier’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 Equinox’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The CX-5 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Equinox and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Equinox 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 Equinox’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.

On a hot day the Equinox’s driver can lower all 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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior keypad. The CX-5 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Equinox 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 Equinox’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 Equinox Premier 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 Equinox Premier 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.

Both the Equinox and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Equinox 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 Equinox (except L/LS) offers an optional 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Equinox than the CX-5, including $63 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Mazda CX-5 by over two to one during 2018.

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

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