2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CX-5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle 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 middle 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 Acadia 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 Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The CX-5 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Acadia Denali offers an optional Surround Vision System 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 Acadia’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 Acadia 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 GMC Acadia is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Acadia

CX-5

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

23%

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

274 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

23 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 GMC Acadia is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Acadia

CX-5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

65 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

319

449

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

Warranty

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

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC 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 almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Acadia has a standard 150-amp alternator (155-amp - Acadia V6 and 170 V6). The CX-5’s 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 20th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (193 vs. 187) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (310 vs. 250) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

 

Acadia

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Acadia 4 cyl.’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.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 6.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 15.3 gallons).

The Acadia 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Acadia

CX-5

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

The Acadia’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 Acadia stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

Acadia

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia has larger standard tires than the CX-5 (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (255/65R17 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia offers optional 20-inch wheels. The CX-5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda CX-5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia 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 Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the CX-5 (112.5 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-5.

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Acadia All Terrain has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (7.8 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Acadia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. 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 Acadia 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 Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the CX-5 can only carry 5.

The Acadia has 40 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-5 (143.8 vs. 103.8).

The Acadia has .6 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-5.

 

Acadia

CX-5

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

30.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

59.6 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the CX-5’s in almost every dimension:

 

Acadia

CX-5

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

18.5”/48”/83”

n.a./n/a

Min Width

42.5”

41.3”

Height

33”

32.4”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’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 Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Acadia 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 Acadia 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 Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional 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 Acadia and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Acadia 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 Acadia’s standard front power windows 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 Acadia’s optional front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The CX-5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Acadia 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 Acadia’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 Acadia with available tilt-down mirrors 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 Acadia SLT/Denali 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 Acadia 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 Acadia and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Acadia 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 Acadia SLT/Denali 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Acadia than the CX-5, including $1 less for a starter, $46 less for fuel injection and $45 less for front struts.

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

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