2021 BMW X2 vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X2’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-5 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the X2 and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The X2 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 X2’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-5’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X2 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X2 has a 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X2 third among small premium suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The CX-5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The X2’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 41 more horsepower (228 vs. 187) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The X2 M35i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 51 more horsepower (301 vs. 250) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 320) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X2 2.0 is faster than the Mazda CX-5:

X2

CX-5 4 cyl.

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8.7 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.7 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

78.3 MPH

93.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X2 xDrive28i xDrive with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature AWD (24 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X2’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X2’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 X2 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X2, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-5.

The X2’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CX-5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X2’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-5:

X2

X2 M35i

CX-5

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The X2’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.

The X2 stops much shorter than the CX-5:

X2

CX-5

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The X2’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The X2 M35i’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X2 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CX-5 Sport/Touring. The X2 M35i’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X2 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The X2 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X2 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 X2 xDrive28i handles at .91 G’s, while the CX-5 Signature AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X2 sDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (25.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The X2 is 6.9 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the X2 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X2 xDrive28i is quieter than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD:

X2

CX-5

At idle

37 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

76 dB

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 2020/10/27

The front step up height for the X2 is 1 inches lower than the CX-5 (16.6” vs. 17.6”). The X2’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the CX-5’s (17” vs. 18.2”).

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X2. The CX-5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X2’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.

Servicing Ease

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The X2 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 X2 and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X2 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 X2 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X2’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.

The X2’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 X2 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.

The X2’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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.

The X2 has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature.

Both the X2 and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X2 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 BMW X2 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X2’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/10/27

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X2 and the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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