• Comparisons

Mazda CX-5 vs Honda CR-V: Which is better?

By Autolist Staff | March 4, 2019

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Honda CR-V

Our User's Take

What owners think


75%

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What’s better about the CX-5?

Handling. Many people don’t prioritize how their crossover drives — which makes sense considering you buy them for other reasons. But this Mazda does many things well and then on top of that, includes sharp handling as a bonus — like all other Mazda models do.

Sharp styling. In addition to the class-leading handling, the CX-5 has another ace up its sleeve — how it looks. Mazda’s entire lineup is one of the sleekest non-luxury brands in the industry and the CX-5 continues that trend with aplomb. It’s far more refined than anything else in its segment, including the Honda. Inside and out, the CX-5 looks like it should be wearing a German luxury brand label while paying mainstream prices. We won’t tell if you don’t.

Automatic transmission. While nearly all of its peers also offer a CVT style of automatic gearbox, the Mazda continues to use a traditional six-speed automatic. While CVTs do have a reputation for being less thirsty at the gas pump, they’re also less enjoyable than a conventional automatic. So while the fuel economy on the CX-5 suffers some, it makes up for it in driving enjoyment.


What’s better about the CR-V?

All-aroundedness. Yes, it’s a word. The best word to describe the CR-V. No other mainstream (non-luxury) compact crossover does so many things so well as the CR-V. The Toyota RAV4 comes close but the CR-V is top of the segment in our book. Nothing against the Mazda CX-5, but if you’re looking for one vehicle that can do it all, it’s the Honda.

More interior space. You’re buying a CUV for its practicality right? So pay attention to the CR-V’s superior cargo space (39.2 cubic feet compared to the Mazda’s 30.9 cubic feet) and its additional legroom in both the front and rear seats.

More fuel efficient. Both versions of the Honda CR-V (base non-turbo and the remaining lineup of turbo models) beat both versions of the CX-5 (non-turbo and turbo) for fuel efficiency by fairly respectable numbers. That’s just money in your pocket.


Autolist’s take:

This is a tough call since we’re huge fans of both models. On paper, the CR-V is the most well-rounded model in its segment, followed closely by the Toyota RAV4. As we mentioned, Honda just does everything well; it’s safe, functional, comfortable and efficient. Meanwhile, the Mazda sacrifices some fuel efficiency and interior space but definitely has the edge when it comes to styling, refinement and driving dynamics. Ultimately, that’s a tradeoff we’re willing to make, so we say Buy the Mazda.

Cost of Ownership

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Honda CR-V

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,594
15k miles at $2.55/gal
$1,417
15k miles at $2.55/gal
Fuel Economy

22 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
27 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
31 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Honda CR-V

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Honda CR-V

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Honda CR-V

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
FWD
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders