2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Honda CR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the CX-5 and the CR-V 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 and lane departure warning systems.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 14 points higher than the CR-V.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (187 vs. 184) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 180) than the CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 179) than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (250 vs. 190) and 131 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 179) than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CR-V (15.3 vs. 14 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

CX-5

CX-5 Turbo

CR-V

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

10.2 inches

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

 

CX-5

CR-V

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 19-inch wheels. The CR-V’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-5 has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The CR-V doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the CR-V (106.2 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the CR-V Touring AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the CR-V’s (36 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has .1 inches more front hip room and 5.8 inches more rear hip room than the CR-V.

The front step up height for the CX-5 is 1.4 inches lower than the CR-V (17.6” vs. 19”).

Towing

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CR-V’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The CR-V LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

Consumer Reports rated the CX-5’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the CR-V’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 CR-V doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the CX-5 and the CR-V 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 CR-V.

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 CR-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the CR-V is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the CR-V because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the CR-V, including $17 less for a water pump, $217 less for a starter, $155 less for a fuel pump, $10 less for front struts, $20 less for a timing belt/chain and $143 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The CR-V hasn’t been picked since 2017.

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

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