2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Kia Sportage

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 Sportage doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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 Sportage 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 Sportage 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.

Warranty

The CX-5’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Sportage runs out after 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 24 points higher than the Sportage.

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

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (187 vs. 181) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 175) than the Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (250 vs. 240) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 (base engine) is faster than the Kia Sportage 4 cyl.:

 

CX-5

Sportage

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

9.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

CX-5

Sportage

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/31 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

4 cyl./Auto LX

 

 

n/a

22 city/29 hwy

4 cyl./Auto EX

 

 

n/a

21 city/26 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./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

20 city/23 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./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 Sportage 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 Kia Sportage (3 to 7). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Sportage every 15,000 miles.

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 Sportage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Sportage (106.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sportage (7.5 vs. 6.8 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Sportage (103.8 vs. 98.6).

The CX-5 has .4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear hip room than the Sportage.

The front step up height for the CX-5 is .9 inches lower than the Sportage (17.6” vs. 18.5”). The CX-5’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the Sportage’s (18.2” vs. 19.4”).

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Sportage’s in every dimension:

 

CX-5

Sportage

Max Width

57”

52.3”

Min Width

41.3”

41”

Height

32.4”

29.5”

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

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 Sportage doesn’t offer memory seats.

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 Sportage 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 Sportage’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 Sportage’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the CX-5 and the Sportage 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 Sportage.

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 Sportage 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 Sportage is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Sportage because it costs $216 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Sportage, including $108 less for a water pump, $151 less for a muffler, $17 less for front struts, $130 less for a timing belt/chain and $846 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Kia Sportage by almost two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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