The 2014 Mazda CX-5, thanks to its stronger engine this year, now competes with some of the mainstays in the compact-crossover category, like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, as well as the new Toyota RAV4.
Compared to the Escape the CX-5 has a package that's essentially the same size, although it drives with a lighter, more athletic feel (it weighs a few hundred pounds less, too).
However the Ford 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 even see 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 Nissan Rogue is an unremarkable secondary player in the category.
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