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Are you a compact crossover SUV shopper that’s considering the Mazda CX-5 or the Honda CR-V for your next vehicle purchase? The CR-V is much improved with its complete overhaul in 2023. However, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 has one giant advantage over the 2023 Honda CR-V. It has better driving dynamics.

2023 Mazda CX-5 has better driving dynamics than the 2023 Honda CR-V

White 2023 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover SUV driving on a street
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Compact SUVs have significantly increased in popularity in recent years. They are appealing for their spaciousness, high ride height, and utility — especially compared to most sedans and coupes. A weakness for many models in the segment, though, is the less-than-stellar driving dynamics. 

However, an exception is the 2023 Mazda CX-5. It has better driving dynamics than all other mainstream compact SUVs, including the 2023 Honda CR-V. The CX-5 carries the Mazda brand’s reputation for outstanding road manners. Driving it is comparable to the experience of a luxury SUV — but at a much lower cost. 

Per Car and Driver, the CX-5 especially stands out with its agility, which makes it a joy to drive through curves and around corners. It’s more maneuverable than the CR-V — with a tighter turning circle (36.0 vs. 37.3 feet). The Mazda SUV provides precise and responsive steering, as well as confident braking. And the suspension is tuned for a nice balance of athletic driving — and a smooth and comfortable ride. 

2023 CX-5 has a more powerful engine and quicker acceleration than the 2023 CR-V

Front angle view of white 2023 Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

Another element that contributes to the better driving dynamics of the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is its potent optional engine. While the base-level engines for the two compact SUVs have similar outputs, the CX-5’s available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is much more powerful than anything the 2023 Honda CR-V offers. 

The 2.5-liter turbo churns out a mighty 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, CR-V’s strongest performer, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, produces 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. 

With its more powerful engine, the CX-5 delivers quicker acceleration. It has a 0-60 mph time as low as 6.2 seconds, compared to 7.9 seconds for the CR-V.

Other advantages of the Mazda CX-5 over the Honda CR-V

The 2023 CX-5 has other advantages over the 2023 CR-V. This includes its traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, which comes standard for all models. However, AWD is optional for the CR-V, so customers have to pay extra. 

Also, the CX-5 can tow a heavier load. It has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, compared to 1,500 pounds for the CR-V

Furthermore, the CX-5 is more affordable. It has a starting price of $26,700 MSRP, while the CR-V starts at $28,410 MSRP. Also, when factoring in all that the CX-5 offers, it provides greater value. 

The excellent driving dynamics give the 2023 Mazda CX-5 a giant advantage over the 2023 Honda CR-V. For automotive shoppers choosing between the two compact crossover SUVs, the better driving dynamics are an important factor to take into consideration.


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