The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Killed the 2021 Porsche Macan on Consumer Reports

The world of crossovers and SUVs is getting more crowded than $1 beer night at the bowling alley. SUVs used to be giant rectangles on top of four little circles. They were loud, slow, and basically the same experience as $1 beer night at the bowling alley, fun, cheap, and inexplicably dirty. These days we have things like the 2021 Mazda CX-5 and the 2021 Porsche Macan fighting for dominance over the same segment as Jeep Wranglers and Broncos. Although Consumer Reports has the CX-5, The modern world is a strange place, indeed. 

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a sneaky killer, according to Consumer Reports

You’d be hard-pressed to find a positive list of SUVs that the CX-5 isn’t on. Not only does Consumer Reports love the CX-5, but customers do too. CR gave the 2021 Mazda CX-5 an overall score of 83/100, making it one of the highest-ranked SUVs on the market. 

Across the board, the CX-5 got solid marks. Reliability, fuel efficiency, and ride comfort all ranked highly on CR. The only thing that left the testers wanting at all was the smaller than average rear cargo space. What it lacks in rear cargo space, it more than makes up for in noise isolation and ride comfort. Consumer Reports goes on at length about how well the CX- isolates the driver and passengers from all manner of road noise, tarmac imperfections, and wind noise. In fairness, the Macan also excels in this category. 

A red 2021 Mazda CX-5 driving down a highway road
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 in action | Mazda

Although the CX-5 isn’t nearly as sporty and exciting as the Porsche Macan, it still brings a little bit of pizazz to the SUV game. The CX-5 doesn’t have the peppiest engine of all time. It comes with a 187-hp four-cylinder as standard. The upper trims get a turbocharged verison of that same 2.5-liter engine that makes 227 horsepower.

Although neither version is powerful, the CX-5 makes up for that in the corners. It is far more nimble and capable than it feels like it should be. The steering and suspension are crisp and fun to drive.

Is the 2021 Porsche Macan a good SUV?

Of course, it is. It’s just that the Porsche Macan falls victim to what most luxury and sports cars are often subject to. Consumer Reports gave the Macan a score of 74/100. 

Unlike the CX-5, the Macan has a variety of engine options. The base model is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter making 248 hp. The other options include a 2.9-liter V6 turbo making 375 hp and a tuned version of that same setup that makes 434 hp. And, as you probably assumed, the Porsche has crisp, exciting handling that minimizes body roll and firm, reactive steering. The Mazda, on the other hand, isn’t bad but is from handling like a Porsche. 

Miami Blue 2021 Porsche Macan GTS ripping through a canyon
2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Porsche

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Well, as is the case with most otherwise great luxury and sports cars/ SUVs, the Porsche Macan simply isn’t made to last or be overly practical. This is a problem, particularly within this specific segment; utility is a part of the name, after all. 

CR gave it a predicted reliability rating of only three out of five compared to the CX-5, which earned a five out of five. It’s a thirsty SUV as well. The Porsche Macan only gets 19 mpg compared to the CX-5’s 24 mpg. I know it’s Porsche, but it is also an SUV, and like the CX-5, the cargo space is minimal. The Porsche Macan is a kind of “death by a thousand cuts” type thing. The Macan is great to drive and looks beautiful, but it just doesn’t have the practicality and reliability we have come to expect from this segment at the end of the day.

A good SUV has to hit all three; Sports, Utility, and, uh, Vehicle

Clearly, they are both vehicles. I think we can all agree on that part. While the Porsche has the “sports” part locked, it struggles in the “utility” department. Even though the CX-5 isn’t going to rip your face off with its blistering power and performance, it is a proper fun thing to rip through a corner. Mazda has built its name off offering a lot from only a little. The CX-5 is reliable, fun, comfortable, and much cheaper. 

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,370 and runs up to $37,505. The 2021 Porsche Macan, on the other hand, starts at $52,100 and goes up to an eye-watering $84,600.