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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 Seltos 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 Seltos only offers a rear monitor.
Both the CX-5 and the Seltos 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, 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 Seltos has not been tested, yet.
The CX-5’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Seltos runs out after 100,000 miles.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Kia is ranked 9th.
The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 41 more horsepower (187 vs. 146) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 132) than the Seltos’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The CX-5’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 12 more horsepower (187 vs. 175) than the Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 75 more horsepower (250 vs. 175) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 195) than the Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-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 Seltos 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 Seltos (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 Seltos (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons).
For better stopping power the CX-5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Seltos:
CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature
For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Seltos (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R17).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard 19-inch wheels. The Seltos’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.
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 Seltos 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
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 Seltos doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Seltos (106.2 inches vs. 103.5 inches).
For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Seltos (7.5 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The CX-5 has 1.7 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom, 2.5 inches more rear hip room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Seltos.
The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume than the Seltos with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 26.6 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer a power liftgate.
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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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.
The CX-5’s front and rear power windows all 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 Seltos’ power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens 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 Seltos’ 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 Seltos doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Both the CX-5 and the Seltos 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 Seltos.
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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
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 Seltos has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
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