2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CX-5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and CX-5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The CX-5’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-5 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.

The XC40’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The XC40 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 XC40’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-5’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

Engine

The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

XC40

CX-5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5:

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

CX-5

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC40’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 XC40 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-5:

XC40

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

The XC40 stops much shorter than the CX-5:

XC40

CX-5

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the CX-5 (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (245/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The XC40’s optional 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 XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .2 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-5.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the CX-5 Signature AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-5 (8.3 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The XC40 is 4.9 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .1 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The CX-5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC40’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, 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

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CX-5’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Mazda CX-5 is only 3500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The XC40 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.

The XC40 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-5 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the XC40 and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC40 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 XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC40’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 window (except driver window) and power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The XC40’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 CX-5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The XC40 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The XC40’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 XC40 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-5’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC40 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-5 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC40 and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the XC40 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-5 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo XC40 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The XC40’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the XC40 than the CX-5, including $119 less for fuel injection.

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

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