The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Dominates the Honda CR-V

Sorry, Honda CR-V, there’s a new leader in town. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is currently ranking above the 2021 Honda CR-V. But this was a little surprising. It made us wonder what the Mazda CX-5 has on the CR-V. 

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 vs. the 2021 Honda CR-V 

According to CNET, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is the best small SUV you can buy. The 2021 Honda CR-V landed in second place as a close runner-up. They didn’t have many negative things to say about the CR-V, just that not on par with the Mazda CX-5. 

A red 2021 Mazda CX-5 driving down a city road with a building and tree in the background
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 in action | Mazda

They didn’t explain how they ranked the vehicles or go into a lot of detail. The Mazda CX-5 is praised for providing value, being fun to drive, and for being family practical. The Honda CR-V is praised for providing excellent value on a budget despite not having the best tech or fuel economy. But let’s take a closer look at both options. 

Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 features 

You can get started in the 2021 Mazda CX-5 for about $25,370. The 2021 Honda CR-V has an MSRP of about $25,350. Wow, these SUVs are only about $30 apart before destination fees, and dealership markups have been added. 

The Mazda CX-5 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that pumps out 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. You can also upgrade to the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. 

RELATED: 3 Reasons to Choose the Mazda CX-5 Over the Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. With the Honda CR-V hybrid, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with two electric motors to provide 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. 

These SUVs aren’t the best options for towing. When properly equipped, the CR-V can tow up to 1,500 lbs, and the CX-5 can tow up to 2,000 lbs. Both SUVs can be equipped with all-wheel drive too. 

According to Edmunds, the Honda CR-V is fun to drive. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, has responsive handling, precise steering. The body roll is also limited. The ride is smooth, and the cabin is fairly quiet. 

Edmunds noted that with the base engine, the Mazda CX-5 reaches 60 mph in about 8.7 seconds. The turbocharged engine helps it reach 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. It corners well and has excellent handling. The ride is a little firm but not too uncomfortable, and the cabin is quiet. 

Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V features 

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 has a backseat with limited space. Adults may need a little more legroom back there. The 2021 Honda CR-V has one of the largest backseats in the segment, so there’s plenty of room. 

A blue 2021 Honda CR-V Touring driving down a highway road
The 2021 Honda CR-V Touring in action | Honda

With the Honda CR-V, you get a 7-inch touchscreen, but an auxiliary input is missing. The CX-5 comes with a 10.3-inch infotainment system, but it isn’t a touch screen. Both SUVs come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Both of these SUVs are also very safe and include tons of standard safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.