2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/06

The Sportage offers optional Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Sportage’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.

Compared to metal, the Sportage’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Sportage and the CX-5 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, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Sportage comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-5’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-5 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 32 percent more Kia dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sportage has a standard 140-amp alternator. The CX-5’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CX-5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Mazda CX-5 2.4 4-cylinder:

Sportage

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Sportage 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 Sportage has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Sportage has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/06

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

Sportage

CX-5

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.7 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the CX-5:

Sportage

CX-5

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (245/45R19 vs. 225/65R17).

The Sportage LX’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. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sportage has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-5.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the CX-5 Signature AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the CX-5’s (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sportage has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-5 with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 59.6 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage’s liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/06

The Sportage has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-5 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Sportage and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sportage is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-5 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CX-5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Sportage 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.

Both the Sportage and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Sportage (except LX) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Sportage than the CX-5, including $162 less for a starter, $118 less for fuel injection and $9 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/06

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Sportage and the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-5 isn’t in the top three.

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

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