2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. Its Competition

2013 Mazda CX-5 road test, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2012
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

Mazda says the 2013 CX-5 will compete with the mainstays of the compact crossover category.

Those include the popular Ford Escape—entirely redesigned for 2013—and the new 2012 Honda CR-V.

We haven’t driven the Escape, so we can’t comment on its handling, but the most efficient of its three four-cylinder engines will likely go head-to-head with the CX-5 on fuel economy—and it offers a few unique features, including a hands-free power tailgate and the MyFordTouch voice and touch-screen control system.

The restyled CR-V has a new and nifty fold-down rear seat, and slightly higher gas mileage, but is no longer the front-runner it used to be—and the same applies to the Chevrolet Equinox, which may have the most stylish interior.

Some buyers may view the all-wheel drive Nissan Juke as a CX-5 competitor; while it handles well and has a very nice interior, it’s only a subcompact.

The unremarkable Nissan Rogue, a secondary player in the category, might be a more logical competitor.

Other entries in this large category include the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage, and the pricier Volkswagen Tiguan.

While the CX-5 is a strong competitor to all of these, Mazda admits that its challenge is simply to get on buyers’ radar for the category in the first place.

2013 Mazda CX-5 road test, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 20122013 Mazda CX-5Browse Used Listings2013 Chevrolet Equinox2013 Chevrolet EquinoxBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Escape FWD 4-door S Angular Front Exterior View2013 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX-L w/Navi Angular Rear Exterior View2013 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings2013 Nissan Juke NISMO2013 Nissan JukeBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota RAV4 EV FWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2013 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an attractive and modern crossover with great handling and surprising space, but sluggish acceleration.
8.0
The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox is a good, affordable choice for cost-conscious families, but it doesn't skimp on comfort, safety, or the latest connectivity features.
8.0
After eleven years, a change-up: the 2013 Ford Escape drops the faux-SUV pitch and reels off authentically athletic looks and performance.
7.8
The 2013 Honda CR-V hits all the right marks for cost-conscious families—with its interior layout and safety ratings both best-in-class—although it doesn't feel as sprightly as former CR-V models.
6.8
The 2013 Nissan Juke is road candy, from its zippy powertrain to its wacky looks--but tight space and low real-world gas mileage leave an aftertaste.
7.2
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 excels at mass-market talents like gas mileage and interior room--but for turbocharged fun in a crossover, you'll have to look elsewhere.
MSRP From     
$20,995$24,225$22,470$22,795$18,990$23,300
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas/Ethanol I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Turbocharged I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport UtilitySmall Station WagonSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door Manual SportFWD 4-Door LSFWD 4-Door S2WD 5-Door LX5-Door Wagon CVT S FWDFWD 4-Door LE (SE)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleCrossover4 Door
Transmission     
ManualAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Chevrolet Equinox2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Ford Escape2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Honda CR-V2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Nissan Juke2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2013 Toyota RAV4