2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Infiniti QX30

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 QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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 QX30 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 QX30 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 QX30 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-5’s warranty.

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 23 points higher than the QX30.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Infiniti is ranked 6th.

Engine

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (250 vs. 208) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 258) than the QX30’s 2.0 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature for maximum performance). The QX30 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda CX-5 higher (7 out of 10) than the Infiniti QX30 (3). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the QX30 every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

The CX-5 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the CX-5 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the QX30 AWD’s (36 feet vs. 36.6 feet). The CX-5’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the QX30’s (36 feet vs. 37.3 feet).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (103.8 vs. 88.8).

The CX-5 has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 6.1 inches more rear legroom, 6.3 inches more rear hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The QX30’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the QX30 with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CX-5 (except Sport) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CX-5 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The QX30 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 QX30 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 QX30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-5 has standard extendable sun visors. The QX30 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the CX-5 and the QX30 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 QX30.

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 QX30 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-5 will cost $1250 to $2985 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the QX30, including $496 less for a water pump, $214 less for a muffler, $7 less for front brake pads, $48 less for a starter, $22 less for fuel injection, $133 less for a fuel pump, $74 less for front struts, $403 less for a timing belt/chain and $979 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 $5515 to $7717 less than for the Infiniti QX30.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, 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 QX30 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Infiniti QX30 by over 17 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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