2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

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 Outlander 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 Outlander 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 Outlander 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 corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 62 percent more Mazda dealers than there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-5’s warranty.

Reliability

The camshafts in the CX-5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Outlander GT 3.0 SOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Outlander’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (187 vs. 166) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 26 more horsepower (250 vs. 224) and 95 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

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

 

CX-5

Outlander

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

CX-5

Outlander

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/31 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

4WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/30 hwy

24 city/29 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

2.5 Turbo/Auto

22 city/27 hwy

20 city/27 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 Outlander 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 Mitsubishi Outlander (5). This means the CX-5 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander 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 Outlander:

 

CX-5

CX-5 Turbo

Outlander

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Outlander:

 

CX-5

Outlander

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 19-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 Outlander 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 Outlander (106.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

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

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Outlander SEL AWC pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (28 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

The CX-5 is 5.7 inches shorter than the Outlander, making the CX-5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear hip room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

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

Towing

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

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 Outlander 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 Outlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Outlander’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The CX-5’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

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

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

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 Outlander doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the CX-5 and the Outlander 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 second row seats aren’t available in the Outlander.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because it costs $270 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Outlander, including $203 less for a water pump, $8 less for front brake pads, $19 less for a starter, $290 less for a fuel pump, $18 less for front struts, $114 less for a timing belt/chain and $148 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The Outlander has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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