2013 Mazda CX-5 vs. Its Competition

2013 Mazda CX-5 road test, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2012

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-5
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2013 Chevrolet Equinox2013 Chevrolet Equinox
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2013 Ford Escape FWD 4-door S Angular Front Exterior View2013 Ford Escape
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2013 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX-L w/Navi Angular Rear Exterior View2013 Honda CR-V
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2013 Nissan Juke NISMO2013 Nissan Juke
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2013 Toyota RAV4 EV FWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2013 Toyota RAV4
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Quick Specs
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an attractive and modern crossover with great handling and surprising space, but sluggish acceleration.
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.
After eleven years, a change-up: the 2013 Ford Escape drops the faux-SUV pitch and reels off authentically athletic looks and performance.
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.
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.
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     
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
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)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleCrossover4 Door
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