2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Honda HR-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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-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.

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 Honda HR-V:

CX-5

HR-V

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

82

481

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

205

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

41%

Neck Stress

205 lbs.

218 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

449/262 lbs.

574/500 lbs.

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 Honda HR-V:

CX-5

HR-V

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

81

148

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

126 G’s

158 G’s

Hip Force

189 lbs.

321 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

208

357

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

435 lbs.

799 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 HR-V is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Reliability

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 46 more horsepower (187 vs. 141) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 109 more horsepower (250 vs. 141) and 183 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 27 more horsepower (168 vs. 141) and 163 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 is faster than the Honda HR-V:

CX-5 4 cyl.

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

HR-V

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

n/a

4.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

6.4 sec

10.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

n/a

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

14.9 sec

18.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

93.6 MPH

81.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 HR-V doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

HR-V

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The CX-5 stops much shorter than the HR-V:

CX-5

HR-V

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the HR-V (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 19-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

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 Honda HR-V 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 HR-V 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the HR-V (106.2 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the HR-V.

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

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

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 3.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the HR-V (103.6 vs. 100.1).

The CX-5 has .2 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom, 7.9 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the HR-V with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 24.3 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the HR-V with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 58.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CX-5 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 HR-V LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. 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 HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 HR-V’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the CX-5 and the HR-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 HR-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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the CX-5 and the HR-V offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The HR-V doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 HR-V is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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 HR-V only retains 47.71% to 48.19%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the HR-V because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the HR-V, including $77 less for a water pump, $248 less for a starter, $131 less for a fuel pump, $47 less for a timing belt/chain and $161 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Honda HR-V by 76% during 2018.

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

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