2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Atlas Cross Sport has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas Cross Sport 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-5 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Compared to metal, the Atlas Cross Sport’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 Atlas Cross Sport and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Atlas Cross Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-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 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CX-5’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas Cross Sport for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

There are over 15 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Atlas Cross Sport’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the CX-5’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 48 more horsepower (235 vs. 187) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 26 more horsepower (276 vs. 250) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas Cross Sport’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Atlas Cross Sport has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Atlas Cross Sport has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Atlas Cross Sport

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-5 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas Cross Sport has larger standard tires than the CX-5 (245/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (265/45R21 vs. 225/65R17).

The Atlas Cross Sport’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 Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas Cross Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas Cross Sport’s wheelbase is 11.1 inches longer than on the CX-5 (117.3 inches vs. 106.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas Cross Sport is 4.2 inches wider in the front and 4.8 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-5.

For greater off-road capability the Atlas Cross Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (8 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Atlas Cross Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 8.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-5 (112 vs. 103.6).

The Atlas Cross Sport has .6 inches more front legroom, 4.4 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom and 5.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

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The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-5 with its rear seat up (40.3 vs. 30.9 cubic feet). The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-5 with its rear seat folded (77.8 vs. 59.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Atlas Cross Sport. The CX-5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Atlas Cross Sport’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, 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.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mazda CX-5 is limited to 2000 pounds. The Atlas Cross Sport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Atlas Cross Sport uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-5 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Atlas Cross Sport and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Atlas Cross Sport 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.

If the windows are left open on the Atlas Cross Sport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas Cross Sport SEL 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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Atlas Cross Sport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CX-5 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

When the Atlas Cross Sport SEL is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The CX-5’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Atlas Cross Sport (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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