2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 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 CR-V’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 CR-V 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 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda CR-V is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

CR-V

CX-5

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

23%

Neck Stress

194 lbs.

274 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

58/91 lbs.

160/307 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

29%

37%

Neck Stress

124 lbs.

205 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

183/200 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 Honda CR-V is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

CR-V

CX-5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

208

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

65 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

390

449

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

Warranty

There are over 79 percent more Honda dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third 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 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (190 vs. 187) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the CR-V LX is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

 

CR-V

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CR-V

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda CR-V 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 CR-V 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

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

CR-V

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the CX-5 (235/65R17 vs. 225/65R17).

Suspension and Handling

The CR-V Touring AWD 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 CR-V LX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (8.2 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Honda CR-V may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The front grille of the CR-V 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 CR-V 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 CR-V has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-5 (105.9 vs. 103.8).

The CR-V has .4 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-5 with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 30.9 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-5 with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 59.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CR-V easier. The CR-V’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the CX-5’s liftover is 29.2 inches.

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

 

CR-V

CX-5

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

n/a

Max Width

54”

57”

Min Width

41.5”

41.3”

Height

41”

32.4”

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

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CR-V Touring’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 CR-V 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 CR-V EX-L/Touring’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 CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, 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 CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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.

Both the CR-V and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CR-V is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because it costs $207 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CR-V than the CX-5, including $66 less for a muffler, $14 less for front brake pads and $5 less for fuel injection.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

CX-5

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its August 2017 issue and the Honda CR-V Touring AWD won out over the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first 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.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The CX-5 has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Mazda CX-5 by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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