2023 Mazda CX-5 vs. Honda CR-V

March 24th, 2023 by

If you’re in the market for a two-row compact crossover, you’ve probably looked at the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V as two top options. Both vehicles have a lot to offer, including spacious interiors, efficient powertrains, and a range of the latest infotainment technology. But how do they stack up against each other, and which one comes out on top? Our car experts here at Capistrano Mazda in San Juan Capistrano, California, took a look at both SUVs to help answer these questions.

2023 CX-5 vs. CR-V Engine and Performance

Both crossovers have similar base engines, but the CX-5 has an optional upgrade while the CR-V doesn’t. Mazda fits the CX-5 with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in its standard setup. This unit puts out 187 horsepower and pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. CR-V drivers get a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 190 horsepower and works with a continuously variable transmission.

If you opt for the CX-5, you have the chance to upgrade to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can make 227 horsepower or 256 horsepower with premium fuel. Another advantage with the CX-5 is that all-wheel drive (AWD) comes standard, while the CR-V only offers AWD as an optional add-on.

The CR-V has a slight advantage when it comes to fuel economy, but keep in mind that this is partly because it operates on front-wheel drive. The CR-V achieves 28 mpg on city roads and 34 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the CX-5 returns 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg at highway speeds. On the other hand, the CX-5 is a better option if you plan on towing, since it has a maximum capacity of 2,000 pounds compared to the CR-V’s 1,500-pound limit.

CX-5 vs. CR-V Interior

Both SUVs have a similar layout, with two rows of seats providing seating for up to five people and a decent-sized cargo area at the rear offering space for your things. The CR-V and CX-5 have cloth upholstery in their base trims, but you can upgrade to leather upholstery, heated front seats, and other luxuries as you move up through the trim lineup.

The CX-5 has a slightly more compact body style than the CR-V. This translates into less cargo space at the rear in the Mazda. With both rows of seating in use, you’ll have just under 30 cubic feet of storage space at the rear, while the CR-V offers 39 cubic feet.

Mazda vs. Honda Infotainment and Safety Features

The infotainment screen in the Mazda measures 10.2 inches compared to the 7-inch screen in the CR-V. The larger display makes it easier to see the graphics so you can select your favorite radio station or streaming service. Other standard features available in both crossovers include a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and smart phone compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The CR-V has a six-speaker stereo, while Mazda equips the CX-5 with a four-speaker sound system.

You can add optional features in both vehicles. The CR-V offers a 9-inch screen and an eight-speaker stereo. As for the CX-5, you can add a 10-speaker stereo and a navigation system. Both vehicles offer satellite radio, rear-row USB ports, and wireless device charging so you can keep your phone fully charged while you’re on the go. You can also stay on top of your crossover’s performance by adding a digital gauge cluster.

Honda and Mazda both equip their compact crossovers with a long list of standard safety features. Among them are forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. You’ll also find adaptive cruise control, which can adjust your speed on the highway to maintain a safe distance from other motorists. The blind-spot monitoring feature lets you know when vehicles are approaching from an angle that you can’t see. The CR-V offers traffic sign recognition, which the CX-5 has as an optional add-on.

Both vehicles offer optional parking sensors, but the CX-5 also has a surround-view parking camera for added convenience. You can also add a head-up display to stay on top of your CX-5’s performance and a driver attention monitor.

2023 CX-5 vs. CR-V Trims and Pricing

The CX-5 offers significantly more trim levels than the CR-V, with the Mazda available in eight configurations compared to the Honda’s two. The CX-5’s trims are S, S Select, S Preferred, S Carbon Edition, S Premium, S Premium Plus, Turbo, and Turbo Signature. Honda offers the CR-V in EX and EX-L trims. The greater variety in the CX-5’s lineup allows you to opt for a cheaper trim if you’re on a tight budget or go more upscale if you can afford it. The CX-5’s base MSRP is $26,700, which compares favorably with the CR-V’s $31,610.

In addition to the standard features we’ve already discussed, the base CR-V EX gets a power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats. You can add a heated steering wheel and rear-row USB ports. The EX-L trim adds leather upholstery, power adjustments for the passenger’s seat, and the larger infotainment screen.

The base CX-5 S has a split-folding rear seat and manually adjustable front seats. The S Select gains synthetic leather upholstery and power adjustments for the driver’s seat, while the S Preferred trim gains genuine leather seating and heated front seats. The S Carbon Edition gets you some stylistic upgrades, such as black exterior accents.

The S Premium adds paddle shifters and a digital speedometer, while the S Premium Plus has ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. The Turbo and Turbo signature trims are the only ones available with the higher-powered engine. The Turbo adds gloss black accents, while the Turbo Signature gets wood trim and ambient lighting.

While both new vehicles are strong competitors, our comparison shows that the CX-5 has its nose in front. The Mazda has better powertrain options, a higher towing capacity, and a broader range of trim levels to suit everybody’s budget. Whether you’re looking for an SUV on a budget or a crossover on the verge of luxury, you’ll find just that with the 2023 CX-5. Would you like to test drive a CX-5 in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, California? Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more from our friendly sales team.

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