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The CX-5 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The CX-5 Signature has a standard 360° Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Trailblazer 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.
Both the CX-5 and the Trailblazer 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras 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 Trailblazer has not been tested, yet.
The CX-5’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Trailblazer’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the CX-5’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Trailblazer’s camshafts. If the Trailblazer’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 25th.
The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 50 more horsepower (187 vs. 137) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 162) than the Trailblazer’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The CX-5’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 32 more horsepower (187 vs. 155) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 174) than the Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 95 more horsepower (250 vs. 155) and 146 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 174) than the Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
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 Trailblazer doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons).
For better stopping power the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trailblazer:
CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature
For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Trailblazer (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trailblazer L. The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Trailblazer RS.
For superior ride and handling, the Mazda CX-5 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Trailblazer has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The CX-5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CX-5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Trailblazer’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The CX-5 has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the Trailblazer (106.2 inches vs. 103.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Trailblazer.
For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Trailblazer’s (36 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The CX-5 has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .2 inches more rear legroom, 9.6 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Trailblazer.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The Trailblazer’s rear seats don’t recline.
The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Trailblazer with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Trailblazer with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 54.4 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 Trailblazer’s liftover is 30.8 inches.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Trailblazer’s (2000 vs. 1000 pounds).
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 Trailblazer 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 Trailblazer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The CX-5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Trailblazer’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
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 Trailblazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Both the CX-5 and the Trailblazer 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 Trailblazer.
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 Trailblazer 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 Trailblazer doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 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. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
Both the CX-5 and the Trailblazer offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The CX-5 Signature’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trailblazer’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, 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 Trailblazer has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
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