2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Discovery Sport and CX-5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the CX-5.

The Discovery Sport HSE offers an optional Surround Camera 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.

The Discovery Sport (except SE)’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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Engine

The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (237 vs. 187) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (251 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (286 vs. 250) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Land Rover Discovery Sport (base engine) is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

 

Discovery Sport

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

7.9 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85.9 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Discovery Sport has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, 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 Discovery Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-5:

 

Discovery Sport

Discovery Sport 286 HP

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

The Discovery Sport stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

Discovery Sport

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Discovery Sport has larger standard tires than the CX-5 (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Discovery Sport HSE/HSE LUX’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (245/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The Discovery Sport SE’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 Discovery Sport HSE/HSE LUX’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 Discovery Sport SE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring. The Discovery Sport HSE/HSE LUX’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Discovery Sport offers an optional 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 Discovery Sport’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the CX-5 (107.9 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery Sport is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-5.

The Discovery Sport HSE 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 Discovery Sport HSE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (8.3 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Discovery Sport offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the CX-5 can only carry 5.

The Discovery Sport has .4 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Discovery Sport

CX-5

Third Seat Removed

34.6 cubic feet

30.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

62.8 cubic feet

59.6 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Discovery Sport’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

The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-5’s (4409 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury’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 Discovery Sport and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Discovery Sport’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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Discovery Sport 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.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Discovery Sport has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The CX-5 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport HSE 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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport HSE’s optional 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.

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

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