2020 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2020 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/01/19

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart City Brake Support optional in the CX-5 as “Superior.” The NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the CX-5 and the NX Series 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

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

CX-5

NX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

82

209

Neck Injury Risk

23%

46%

Neck Stress

274 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

24 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

160/307 lbs.

480/609 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

355

Neck Injury Risk

37%

42%

Neck Stress

205 lbs.

295 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

449/262 lbs.

442/307 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 Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Lexus NX Series:

CX-5

NX Series

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

81

192

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

126 G’s

148 G’s

Hip Force

189 lbs.

352 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

208

317

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

449

542

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

38 G’s

Hip Force

435 lbs.

828 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 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 2020/01/19

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

Engine

© 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 2020/01/19

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (250 vs. 235) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 258) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 (base engine) is faster than the NX 300h:

CX-5

NX Series

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

8.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

84.6 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the CX-5 Turbo is faster than the NX 300:

CX-5

NX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

90.7 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 2020/01/19

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 2.5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The NX Series 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 NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/01/19

The CX-5 stops much shorter than the NX Series:

CX-5

NX Series

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/01/19

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

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/01/19

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the NX Series (106.2 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

The CX-5 Signature AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (7.5 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CX-5’s minimum ground clearance is .6 inch higher than on the NX 300 (7.5 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

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The Mazda CX-5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The CX-5 is 3.6 inches shorter than the NX Series, making the CX-5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/01/19

The CX-5 has 32 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (103.6 vs. 71.6).

The CX-5 has 1.5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/01/19

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 54.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.4 inches, while the NX Series’ liftover is 31.2 inches.

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

CX-5

NX Series

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

38”

36”/71.5”

Max Width

57”

53”

Min Width

41.3”

44.3”

Height

32.4”

27”

Towing

© 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 2020/01/19

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (2000 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/01/19

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’s power window, power lock and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The NX Series’ power lock and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The CX-5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The NX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the CX-5 and the NX Series 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 NX Series.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/01/19

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-5 will cost $125 to $1400 less than the NX Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $727 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the NX Series, including $294 less for a water pump, $370 less for a muffler, $194 less for a starter, $235 less for fuel injection, $172 less for a fuel pump, $17 less for front struts, $926 less for a timing belt/chain and $38 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-5 will be $3124 to $8569 less than for the Lexus NX Series.

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 2020/01/19

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-5 and the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its June 2018 issue and the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD won out over the Lexus NX 300.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 2 years. The NX Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Lexus NX Series by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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