Driven: The Sporty Mazda CX-5 vs. The Practical Toyota RAV4

We’ve taken this SUV battle to the streets! We’ve driven the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4, but determining which vehicle is better is a little rough. The 2022 Mazda CX-5 and 2022 Toyota RAV4 have unique advantages. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4 

2022 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2022 Mazda CX-5
2022 Toyota RAV4 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 kicks things off at $26,250, and higher trim levels top out around $39,000. You can get started with the 2022 Toyota RAV4 for about $26,975, while the top-spec trim reaches $36,750. 

The highest trim level for the RAV4 is the TRD Off-Road model, which is more capable than the CX-5. However, the CX-5 sweetens the pot with standard all-wheel drive. 

Also, the RAV4 gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. The CX-5 gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway. 

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

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds, which is adequate. It could have more responsive handling around curves, but it feels stable and confident. 

The base engine in the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. You can reach 0 mph in about 8.7 seconds with this engine. 

You can upgrade to the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine for up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds with responsive handling and excellent cornering. 

The CX-5 is slightly stiffer over the pavement, and the RAV4 has a marginally louder interior at highway speeds. The CX-5 has a tighter turning radius, but the RAV4 feels more confident and in control in slippery conditions. 

When properly equipped, the RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 lbs, and the CX-5 can tow up to 2,000 lbs. That’s a 1,500 lb difference which could matter when it comes to towing smaller trailers and campers. 

The front seats of the CX-5 provide a little more padding for enhanced comfort and support. But the RAV4 has more room in the back for passengers. 

Does the RAV4 or CX-5 have better features? 

2022-Mazda-CX-5 vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4
2022-Mazda-CX-5 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 provides 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 69.8 cubes total. With the 2022 Mazda CX-5, you get 29.1 cubes of cargo space behind the rear seat with up to 58.1 cubes total. The RAV4 has more storage space for smaller items. 

With the RAV4, you get a 7.0-inch screen that can be upgraded to an 8.0-inch unit. The CX-5 comes with a 10.3-inch unit. While the RAV4’s tech is easier to use, the screen is a little blurry. The CX-5 doesn’t have a touchscreen, but the rotary dial can be mastered in minutes. 

Both options have a wireless phone charging pad, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and premium audio systems. However, the CX-5 spices things up with a head-up display. 

Both SUVs have standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. 

If you want more of a luxurious and sporty experience, go with the engaging and value-packed Mazda CX-5. But if you want more off-roading capabilities, towing power, and space for installing kid seats and cargo, go with the Toyota RAV4.

RELATED: 2022 Mazda CX-5 Review, Pricing, and Specs