2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-5 and the XC40 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, crash mitigating brakes, 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 XC40 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-5 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC40. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC40 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-5’s warranty.

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 43 points higher than the XC40.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Volvo is ranked 29th.

Engine

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (250 vs. 248) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 258) than the XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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 XC40 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature for maximum performance). The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (15.3 vs. 14.2 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 Volvo XC40 (5). This means the CX-5 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the XC40 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-5 stops shorter than the XC40:

 

CX-5

XC40

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the XC40’s (36 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has .7 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear hip room than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the XC40 with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 20.7 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the XC40 with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the XC40’s in every dimension:

 

CX-5

XC40

Max Width

57”

47.8”

Min Width

41.3”

39.5”

Height

32.4”

29.4”

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 XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC40 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 XC40 because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the XC40, including $166 less for a water pump, $147 less for a muffler, $50 less for front brake pads, $32 less for a starter, $324 less for a fuel pump, $2 less for front struts, $252 less for a timing belt/chain and $7 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC40 isn't recommended.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The XC40 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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