2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-5 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the CX-5 and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 Acadia was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

The CX-5’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 45 points higher than the Acadia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. GMC is ranked 25th.

Engine

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

CX-5

Acadia

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/31 hwy

21 city/26 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

18 city/25 hwy

V6/Auto

4WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/30 hwy

21 city/25 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

2.5 Turbo/Auto

22 city/27 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

V6/Auto

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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 GMC Acadia (5 to 6). This means the CX-5 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Acadia every 15,000 miles.

The EPA certifies the Mazda CX-5 as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The GMC Acadia is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Acadia:

 

CX-5

Acadia

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (7.5 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Mazda CX-5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 550 pounds less than the GMC Acadia.

The CX-5 is 1 foot, 2.5 inches shorter than the Acadia, making the CX-5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.2 inches, while the Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

Towing

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (2000 vs. 1000 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Acadia’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The CX-5’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Acadia’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Acadia doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 $355 less than the Acadia over a five-year period.

The CX-5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-5 will retain 49.11% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the Acadia only retains 42.28% to 47.72%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $495 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Acadia, including $226 less for a water pump, $144 less for a muffler, $110 less for front brake pads, $179 less for a fuel pump, $754 less for a timing belt/chain and $675 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 $5696 to $15317 less than for the GMC Acadia.

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 Acadia has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the GMC Acadia by 65% during the 2018 model year.

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

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