Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota Rav4
If you have read automotive industry news lately or even just observed what is driving around you on your daily commute, it should come as no surprise that compact crossover vehicles are immensely popular right now, and why shouldn’t they be? Touting impressive fuel economy ratings, plenty of space and a fun driving experience, a compact crossover is a great alternative to many different segments of more traditional vehicles.
However, while functional and popular, it seems that most options in this segment are underwhelming when it comes to looks and driving experience. Mazda, like it is known for, eliminates the generic feel in its offering to the automotive marketplace. With sharp lines, striking design and Mazda’s legendary KODO “Soul of Motion” design, the Mazda CX-5 is the crowd pleaser that will attract the most attention amongst its peers.
The Mazda CX-5 takes the crossover game to a whole new level that ignores what the segment frequently puts out. In a way that only Mazda vehicles can, the Mazda CX-5 is exciting, practical, efficient and affordable all in one vehicle. While the Mazda CX-5 is excellent in its own regard, that doesn’t mean it stands alone. In a segment that is getting so much attention, competitors are bound to join at the table, making it seem overwhelming to make the right choice: we’ve taken the work out of the process and have compared some of the segment’s best players: The Mazda CX-5, Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Price is an important consideration factor in any vehicle purchase. When it comes to these options, there is a price difference that may be just enough to sway a driver’s decision. While the Toyota Rav4 begins at a relatively fair cost of $24,350, drivers who choose to add additional options will quickly find themselves creeping into the low $30,000 range, well within the range of more luxurious and larger competitors. The Mazda CX-5 starts at a staggeringly low price of just $21,795, giving the driver the flexibility to add options and features to the Mazda before it even reaches the base price of the Rav4. The Escape starts at $23,600 but suffers from the same issue as the Rav4, with price creeping upwards quickly with even few upgrades. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport begins at just $19,595, though driver’s will miss out on some of the refinement and comfort that the others on this list can provide.
Power and Performance:
The Rav4 offers only one engine choice after its V-6 engine option was dropped following the last full re-design in 2013. The Rav4 is fitted with a 2.5L I-4 engine that outputs 176 horsepower. For drivers who prefer an option in performance, the Mazda CX-5’s two engine choices are likely to fill the flexibility void that you are seeking. The base engine, a 2.0L produces 155 horsepower. A more powerful, 2.5L I-4 offers 184 horsepower, besting the Rav4 in terms of power overall. When it comes to performance, the Toyota leaves some to be desired, Edmunds comments that:
"Overall, the RAV4 is similar in personality to Honda's CR-V, and more demanding drivers might find it less enjoyable to drive than sportier crossovers like the Mazda CX-5… which have more responsive steering and sharper acceleration.”
The Ford Escape offers three engine choices as well, all four cylinders: a 168 horsepower 2.5L, a 1.5L 179 horsepower option and a 2.0L, 245 horsepower that utilizes Ford’s EcoBoost technology to its advantage. The Outlander Sport offers two engines, a 2.0L 145 horsepower four cylinder and a 2.4L, 168 horsepower four cylinder.
If fewer stops at the gas station is a priority for you, then the Mazda CX-5 is the preferable option of the bunch. While the Toyota achieves a fuel economy rating of 22/29 city/highway respectively, the Escape 22/29 respectively and the Outlander Sport 24/31 respectively, the Mazda CX-5’s higher 26/35 city/highway will have thousands of extra miles per gallon over the course of your ownership, saving you both time to stop for fuel as well as money.
U.S. News and World Report comments that drivers of the Rav4 frequently lament over the unresponsive touchscreen, which controls a majority of the audio and infotainment features within the vehicle. The Ford Escape offers an upgraded, Sync 3 infotainment system that technology buffs will enjoy as well as a fairly well executed interior. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a multitude of features but lacks a large amount of the comfort and aesthetics that you will find in the other options. As technology has always been a specialty that Mazda prides itself in, consumers will find a large number of Bluetooth and Audio features standard that will not be found amongst competitors. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and standard rearview camera systems are added technological extras that drivers will be delighted to find in the Mazda CX-5.
While all four crossovers offer many benefits, in terms of technology, performance and fuel economy, the Mazda CX-5 offers advantages that the others simply cannot. Kelley Blue Book praises the Mazda CX-5 in their own words, stating:
"The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has the versatility, taller ride height and economic sensibility of other compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. Yet it stands apart from rivals with what we'll call its Mazda-ness. That is, it has surprising spunk and sporty handling. Among compact crossover SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 is among the most fun to drive."
Visit CardinaleWay Mazda in Las Vegas today and take the exciting and versatile Mazda CX-5 for a test drive today!