2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Audi Q3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

The CX-5 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q3 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CX-5 has standard Smart City Brake Support, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Q3 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The CX-5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Q3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

To help make backing safer, the CX-5’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Q3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The CX-5 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Q3 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the CX-5 and the Q3 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 and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 45 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-5 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-5’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (250 vs. 200) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 207) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 207) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Audi Q3:

CX-5

Q3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.7 sec

21.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

127 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

On the EPA test cycle the CX-5 gets better fuel mileage than the Q3:

MPG

CX-5

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

GT Reserve 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.2 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

27 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

GT Reserve/Signature 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Q3

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 2.5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Q3 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda CX-5 higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi Q3 (3). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q3 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q3:

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Q3

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Q3:

CX-5

Q3

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Q3 (106.2 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Q3.

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the Q3’s (36 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q3 (7.5 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The CX-5 has 2.7 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 8.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The Q3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 16.7 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 50.3 cubic feet).

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Q3’s in every dimension:

CX-5

Q3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

38”

34.4”/65.3”

Max Width

57”

41.4”

Min Width

41.3”

38.8”

Height

32.4”

29.6”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q3 is limited to 2200 pounds. The CX-5 offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The CX-5 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Q3 doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CX-5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-5 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-5’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q3’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the CX-5 and the Q3 offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 Grand Touring also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CX-5 (except Sport/Touring) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-5’s optional (except Sport/Touring) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-5 offers an optional Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Q3 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-5 will cost $310 to $2536 less than the Q3 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Q3 because it costs $261 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Q3, including $401 less for a water pump, $26 less for front brake pads, $322 less for a starter, $46 less for fuel injection, $436 less for front struts, $362 less for a timing belt/chain and $640 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-5 will be $6649 to $10182 less than for the Audi Q3.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-5 and the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Q3 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Audi Q3 by almost 9 to one during 2018.

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

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