It’s easy to see why the Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V are among the top picks in the 2020 compact SUV class. These two models boast excellent reliability ratings and creature comforts. But if you’re a specific type of person, you’ll want to pick the CX-5 over the CR-V.
The type of driver that would favor the 2020 Mazda CX-5 over the 2020 Honda CR-V
The CR-V and the CX-5 have their unique charms. But if you’re a driver who wants a more luxurious feel, the CX-5 is the more appealing choice. As Consumer Reports noted, the CR-V is excellent, but the CX-5 expresses a “bit of joie de vivre.”
The CX-5’s luxury-focused features are why CR recommends it and why other critics, including Car and Driver and U.S. News, love it. With the CX-5, you get the luxury-inspired performance and an upscale atmosphere on the inside too.
Many drives will be happy with the standard 2020 CX-5, which offers sporty driving dynamics and sharp steering. Base models have a swift 187-horsepower four-cylinder. For an even quicker experience, buyers will prefer the optional 250-hp turbocharged engine on models with all-wheel-drive. Additionally, there’s an available turbodiesel engine that makes 168-hp, but some critics aren’t sure if this option is worth the higher price tag.
The CX-5’s interior can compete with actual luxury models
On the inside, the CX-5 is near-perfect. And if you go up to the upper-level trims, you’ll find that this Mazda is reminiscent of a Mercedes. If you’d like to splurge a little, consider the Touring trim levels. The Grand Touring trim replaces the CX-5’s standard cloth seats with leather, offers a seat memory function, and enhanced driver information displays.
Regarding in-car tech, the CX-5 comes with few infotainment niceties, including Bluetooth, 7-inch touchscreen, and HD Radio. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t standard features for the 2020 model, but they are on the upcoming 2021 CX-5. Critics also recognize the CX-5 for its active safety features, including standard adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning.
Why pick the Honda CR-V?
The CR-V doesn’t offer the same punch that the CX-5 does, but it’s still an enjoyable vehicle. And if your main priority is practicality and fuel economy, the CR-V is more of a standout in these areas. Furthermore, the CR-V is available as a hybrid, and the CX-5 is not.
For 2021, the CR-V keeps things simple, and there aren’t any significant changes compared to the 2020 version. The new CR-V has a 190-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that critics appreciate for its compliance and peppiness. Although, some reviewers warn that drivers might be disappointed by how this Honda holds up at higher speeds.
The CR-V’s practical nature continues on the inside. It offers plenty of room for five passengers across its two rows. Plus, the CR-V has more cargo space than some of its competitors.