2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the CX-5 and the EcoSport 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, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Ford EcoSport:

CX-5

EcoSport

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

82

250

Neck Injury Risk

23%

36%

Neck Stress

274 lbs.

403 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

60 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

160/307 lbs.

495/441 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

325

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

38%

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 Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Ford EcoSport:

CX-5

EcoSport

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.9 inches

Hip Force

189 lbs.

337 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

524 lbs.

685 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

37 G’s

Hip Force

435 lbs.

549 lbs.

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

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 EcoSport has not been tested, yet.

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 EcoSport.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 64 more horsepower (187 vs. 123) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. The CX-5’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (187 vs. 166) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 84 more horsepower (250 vs. 166) and 161 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 45 more horsepower (168 vs. 123) and 165 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 2 more horsepower (168 vs. 166) and 141 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-5 is faster than the Ford EcoSport:

CX-5 4 cyl.

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

EcoSport turbo 3 cyl.

EcoSport 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

11.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

14.9 sec

18.2 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

80.4 MPH

93.6 MPH

76.7 MPH

77 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

CX-5

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.2 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

27 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

EcoSport

FWD

1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

27 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the EcoSport (14.8 vs. 13.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the EcoSport (15.3 vs. 13.6 gallons).

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 Ford EcoSport (3 to 5). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the EcoSport every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

EcoSport

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.7 inches

The CX-5 stops much shorter than the EcoSport:

CX-5

EcoSport

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the EcoSport (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the EcoSport. The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the EcoSport.

The Mazda CX-5’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mazda CX-5 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The EcoSport 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The CX-5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CX-5 flat and controlled during cornering. The EcoSport 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the EcoSport (106.2 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 3 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the EcoSport.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the EcoSport SE pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the EcoSport SE (27.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 12.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the EcoSport (103.6 vs. 91.1).

The CX-5 has .1 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 4.4 inches more rear hip room and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

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

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the EcoSport with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 20.9 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the EcoSport with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 50 cubic feet).

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

The CX-5’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Towing

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the EcoSport’s (2000 vs. 1400 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford EcoSport is only 2000 pounds. The CX-5 offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer memory seats.

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

The CX-5’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 EcoSport’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

The CX-5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the CX-5 and the EcoSport 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 EcoSport.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 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. The EcoSport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-5 has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 EcoSport is rated higher at a number “7” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the EcoSport because it costs $45 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the EcoSport, including $15 less for a muffler, $18 less for front brake pads, $113 less for a fuel pump, $54 less for front struts, $579 less for a timing belt/chain and $424 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford EcoSport isn't recommended.

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

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Ford EcoSport by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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