2020 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart City Brake Support in the CX-5 as “Superior.” The Golf Alltrack scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The CX-5 Signature has a standard 360° Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf Alltrack only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the CX-5 and the Golf Alltrack 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available all-wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf Alltrack last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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

The CX-5’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Golf Alltrack’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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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 12 points higher than the Golf Alltrack.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.

Engine

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The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 19 more horsepower (187 vs. 168) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 82 more horsepower (250 vs. 168) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

CX-5

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.7 sec

22.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

87 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

129 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/05

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 2.5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Transmission

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The Mazda CX-5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

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

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

10.7 inches

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

CX-5

Golf Alltrack

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Golf Alltrack (225/65R17 vs. 205/55R17).

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

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (106.2 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf Alltrack.

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (7.5 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The CX-5 has 9.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (103.6 vs. 94.3).

The CX-5 has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The CX-5 has a larger cargo volume than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 30.4 cubic feet).

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The CX-5 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The CX-5 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf Alltrack has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-5’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf Alltrack’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Both the CX-5 and the Golf Alltrack offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Golf Alltrack.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-5’s optional (except Sport/Touring) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The CX-5 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-5 will cost $335 to $2775 less than the Golf Alltrack over a five-year period.

The CX-5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-5 will retain 49.18% to 50.13% of its original price after five years, while the Golf Alltrack only retains 38.44% to 40.76%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-5 will be $2996 to $4183 less than for the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/05

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-5 and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 3 years. The Golf hasn’t been picked since 2019.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by over four to one during 2019.

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

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