2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Highlander Hybrid. But it costs extra on the CX-5.

The Highlander Hybrid Platinum has a standard Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-5 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Highlander Hybrid’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 1000 to 1424 pounds more than the Mazda CX-5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Highlander

CX-5

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

32%

37%

Neck Compression

55 lbs.

86 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 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is safer than the Mazda CX-5:

 

Highlander

CX-5

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

54

81

Abdominal Force

88 G’s

126 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

208

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

65 G’s

Hip Force

440 lbs.

524 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

372

449

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

There are over 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

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

Engine

The Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 119 more horsepower (306 vs. 187) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 56 more horsepower (306 vs. 250) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Highlander Hybrid

 

AWD

LE 3.5 V6 Hybrid

30 city/28 hwy

 

 

XLE/Limited/Platinum 3.5 V6 Hybrid

29 city/27 hwy

CX-5

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

 

 

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Highlander Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Highlander Hybrid has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Highlander Hybrid has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Highlander

CX-5

CX-5 Turbo

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The Highlander Hybrid stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

Highlander

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Highlander Hybrid has larger tires than the CX-5 (245/55R19 vs. 225/65R17).

The Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the CX-5 (109.8 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-5.

The Highlander Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (46.6% to 53.4%) than the CX-5’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Highlander Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Highlander Hybrid has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (8 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Highlander Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the CX-5 can only carry 5.

The Highlander Hybrid has 41.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-5 (144.9 vs. 103.8).

The Highlander Hybrid has 1 inch more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear hip room and 4.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-5.

 

Highlander Hybrid

CX-5

Third Seat Folded

42.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

30.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.7 cubic feet

59.6 cubic feet

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

 

Highlander Hybrid

CX-5

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

17.5”/43”/80”

n.a./n/a

Max Width

56”

57”

Min Width

45.6”

41.3”

Height

32.6”

32.4”

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander Hybrid. The CX-5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Highlander Hybrid’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The CX-5’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-5’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard front power windows 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 CX-5’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches.

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

The Highlander Hybrid has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature.

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

The Highlander Hybrid XLE/Limited/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

The Highlander Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Highlander Hybrid will retain 51.94% to 53.43% of its original price after five years, while the CX-5 only retains 49.11% to 49.47%.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Highlander Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Highlander outsold the Mazda CX-5 by 62% during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos