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Compare The 2019 Mazda CX-5 vs 2019 Subaru Outback

There are some sensational compact crossover SUVs around right now, but you probably won't find two more different models at car dealerships in Las Vegas than the 2019 Mazda CX-5 and the 2019 Subaru Outback. The CX-5 is the ultimate modern, stylish and carlike crossover for the urban environment, while the Outback is a more off-road focused model that lives up to its name. Let's find out which one is the best.

You can expect the 2019 Mazda CX-5 to be more reliable than the 2019 Subaru Outback. According to the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners, Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. Subaru had 15 more problems per 100 vehicles than Mazda. Additionally, Consumer Reports found that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles.

Compare Price

Both the Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Outback are reasonably priced, especially at the entry level. If you check them out at Las Vegas area car dealers, you'll find the CX-5 is quite a bit more affordable than the Outback. The starting Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2019 Outback is $26,345, while the 2019 CX-5 has a starting MSRP of just $24,350, nearly $2,000 less.

Compare Exterior

Perhaps the biggest difference between the 2019 Mazda CX-5 and the 2019 Subaru Outback is the way they look. The Outback has a unique style that's very Subaru, and the overall look is more of a tall wagon than a classic SUV. The 2019 CX-5 has one of the most stunning designs in the segment at the moment. Even by the standards set by more expensive luxury models, the CX-5 is right up there with the best.


Both the Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Outback offer buyers a choice of two engines, but the two models go in slightly different directions. The Outback comes with a standard 2.5-liter flat-four that develops 175 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, which is eclipsed by the CX-5's standard 2.5-liter inline-four that generates 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.

The optional engine for the 2019 Outback is a flat-six while the 2019 CX-5 goes with a turbo-four. The Outback’s 3.6-liter flat-six puts out 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, while the Mazda CX-5’s 2.5-liter turbo-four is good for 250 hp and 310 lb-ft. While the Outback here has more horsepower, the CX-5 has a significant amount more torque, which means it sends more power to the wheels than the Outback.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 provides more space where it matters — in the back. Rear seat passengers in the Outback only get 38.1-inches of legroom, while those in the back of the Mazda CX-5 gets a much more generous 39.6 inches.

The Last Word

The Subaru Outback is a popular crossover, but when you examine the important categories, it’s easy to see the Mazda CX-5 wins this competition. The CX-5 is less expensive, has more powerful engines, gets superior styling, has a more comfortable back seat, and is more reliable than the Outback.