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It can be challenging to decide between the popular Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 because both options are excellent SUVs to consider. However, while the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has tons of advantages, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 actually wins in one area that can’t be ignored. 

Is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 or 2023 Mazda CX-5 more reliable?

Surprise, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is considered to be more reliable than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. This could be a significant upset because Toyota SUVs have a stout reputation for being durable and long-lasting. 

RepairPal points out that the RAV4 earned a score of 4.0 out of 5.0 for its reliability ranking, while the CX-5 got a 4.5 out of 5. This provides a narrow victory, and the CX-5 is actually in first place on the list of most reliable midsize SUVs. 

The reliability rankings are based on repair costs, how frequently a vehicle needs to visit a shop, and how severe the problems are. Both vehicles have above-average scores and can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles. 

But the repair invoices and reports show that the RAV4 has slightly more server issues than the CX-5. While the RAV4 has an annual repair cost of $429, the CX-5 rings in at $447. Both are more affordable compared to the average yearly midsize maintenance cost of $573. 

Does the RAV4 or CX-5 have a better performance? 

While the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is a practical and robust vehicle, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is considered to be more athletic and refined. It has a smoother ride over the pavement and a quieter interior. 

The CX-5 has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.7 seconds. This is adequate.

You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for up to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This engine helps the CX-5 reach 60 mph in around 6.6 seconds. It’s much more exciting.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 kicks things off with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 183 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds, which is slower than the class average and the standard CX-5. 

However, the RAV4 Hybrid and PHEV are faster and more efficient. The CX-5 currently doesn’t have a hybrid powertrain. Why the Mazda CX-5 has a sportier advantage, the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is well equipped to go a bit further down the trails. 

Does the CX-5 or RAV4 have better features?

2023 Mazda CX-5 off-roading
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

While the 2023 Mazda CX-5 has more comfortable front seats, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has more passenger space in the front and rear. Plus, the RAV4 has more cargo space and can tow up to 3,500 lbs. The CX-5 maxes out at 2,000 lbs. 

But the CX-5 may offer more value with a long list of standard features that includes all-wheel drive. The interior is also crafted with higher-quality materials. It provides a more premium feel. 

Both the CX-5 and RAV4 have tech that’s easy to use. But the RAV4 has a touchscreen, and a rotary dial controls the infotainment system in the CX-5. 

There are lots of pros and cons to consider with the RAV4 and CX-5. However, the CX-5 has a shocking advantage by being deemed more reliable than the RAV4.