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When it comes to buying used cars, it can be difficult to find one, especially if you’re looking for a reliable model that will keep your family safe. Two compact SUVs that offer many of the features you want are the 2018 Mazda CX-5 and the 2018 Ford Escape. Here we help you decide by showing what each one offers and where its weaknesses may be so you can make an informed decision. Let’s compare the two

 2018 Mazda CX-5   2018 Ford Escape
Average Price    $23,813-$28,556 $19,831-$26,380
Engines2.5-liter four-cylinder 2.5-liter Inline-four
Horsepower/Torque187 hp/186 lb-ft  168 hp/170 lb-ft
Transmission/DrivetrainSix-speed/FWD   Six-speed auto/FWD
Acceleration/Top speed7.7 seconds/130 mph    9.1 seconds/NA
Fuel efficiency   25 mpg city/31 mpg hwy    21 mpg city/29 hwy
Safety ratings      Four stars (NHTA)         Five stars (NHTSA)

2018 Mazda CX-5: The good and the bad

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the brand’s crossover SUV offerings. With this model, you get excellent ride quality, great fuel economy, an impressive interior, and many standard and available safety features, like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. 

When it comes to its weaknesses, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls short with its cargo storage, its touchscreen is only useful when the vehicle is in park, and it has one recall concerning the side curtain airbag, which may not deploy as it should, according to U.S. News

2018 Ford Escape: Pros and cons

The pros of the 2018 Ford Escape include sharp steering with excellent handling, premium materials in the cabin, good engine options, a quiet cabin, and good reliability scores, which J.D. Power gave a rating of four out of five. 

When it comes to its drawbacks, it doesn’t come with a standard touchscreen like most of its rivals, like the 2018 CX-5, have, and fuel economy ratings that aren’t quite as competitive as others in its class. It has two recalls, which include brake fluid leaking due to poorly designed hoses and failing airbag inflator components, which could dislodge and travel about the cabin. 

2018 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Ford Escape: driving and performance

When it comes to performance, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive, which is standard. You can upgrade to an all-wheel drive if you choose. Paired with this engine is a six-speed automatic transmission, which performs quite well. 

As for speed, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 is capable of getting to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds, which is slower than some other models but faster than most others, like the Escape, which only gets a time of 9.1 seconds for the same run. According to CarHP, its top speed is 130 mph.

Ford’s compact SUV also has great handling and suspension, making it fun to drive. But it does offer a trio of engines to choose from, which the CX-5 doesn’t. You get the 2.5-liter four-cylinder standard, but you can upgrade to a higher trim to get a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which produces 179 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 245 hp and 275 lb-ft. 

2018 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Ford Escape: Interior and tech


2023 Mazda CX-5 Tops Ford Escape in 1 Important Area

The interior of the 2018 Mazda CX-5 has comfortable seating and plenty of room for tall adults to sit pretty comfortably.  As for storage, you get, you get a total of 59.6 cubic feet of space. 

When it comes to tech features, the CX-5 offers Bluetooth connectivity, a MyLink infotainment system, a 7.0-inch display screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps. 

Ford’s 2018 Escape model offers a fair amount of space for five passengers. As for tech, you get the SYNC 3 infotainment system, a 4.2-inch manually controlled screen, an available 8.0-inch touchscreen, an available 10-speaker Sony stereo, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. 

2018 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Ford Escape: Trim levels and features

The reliable 2018 Mazda CX-5 has three trim levels to choose from. The base model, Sport, offers cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a push-button start, and remote keyless entry. The middle trim, which is the Touring model, gets you the dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and synthetic leather upholstery. The highest trim, which is the Grand Touring, offers a 10-speaker stereo, premium leather upholstery, a power tailgate, and power-adjustable front seats. 

With the 2018 Ford Escape, you get four trims. The S model, the base, gets you a USB port, cloth seats, and a six-speaker stereo. Upgrading to the SE version will get you the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, heated front seats, satellite radio, and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. 

Next up is the SEL trim, which offers a power liftgate, leather-trimmed seats, rear parking sensors, and everything the other two trims come with. The top-level model is the Titanium, which gets you a 10-speaker sound system, HD radio, remote start, and proximity keyless entry. 

Which used compact SUV is the right fit for you?

You can’t go wrong picking either of these used compact SUVs. You will have to make the decision based on what your needs are. If affordability is important, the 2018 Ford Escape gives you a savings of around $2,000 when compared to the 2018 Mazda CX-5. 

If fuel efficiency is high on your list of wants, consider the CX-5 because it offers 4 mpg more in the city and 2 mpg more on the highway. When it comes to safety, the Mazda eeks out a win with a 9.8 U.S. News score over Ford’s 9.1 rating. 

If you have a family and don’t want to compromise on storage space, the Escape is the way to go with a total of 67.8 cubic feet to work with, while the CX-5 only offers 59.6 cubic feet of storage.