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2018 Mazda CX-5 vs 2018 Honda CR-V Comparison

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV that pleases Phoenix Mazda shoppers with its attractive styling, athletic handling, spacious and sophisticated cabin, and outstanding safety scores. In addition, the CX-5 delivers excellent fuel economy.

The 2018 Honda CR-V is a popular vehicle in this segment. Whether you’re considering buying the Mazda CX-5, the Honda CR-V, or you’re interested in learning about either of these vehicles, read on as we compare them side by side to discover which one is a better buy.

Transmission
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s connected to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The 2018 Honda CR-V has a base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Most drivers prefer a traditional automatic transmission over a CVT. CVTs can be noisy, don’t provide the same road feel as a conventional automatic and cost more to repair.

Handling
While both vehicles handle well, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 has the edge here, with more athletic handling than the 2018 Honda CR-V. The CX-5's responsive road manners make it a joy to drive. The CX-5 comes with G-Vectoring Control technology, which helps the CX-5 remain composed when cornering and taking turns. Edmunds wrote this about the CX-5: “Mazda's penchant for handling prowess is alive and well. If your commute involves many twists or turns, you might not consider any other crossover.”

Available Features
The CX-5 and CR-V both offer a nice feature set, but there are some features you’ll only find on the CX-5. Mazda's Active Driving Display was developed to allow drivers to read useful information while keeping their eyes on the road. The head-up display includes traffic sign recognition and projects directions and vehicle speed on the windshield, along with other data. The Mazda CX-5 also has optional heated rear seats. These features are unavailable on the Honda CR-V.

Appearance
Ultimately, the criteria that make a vehicle attractive is a matter of taste. But when you view the 2018 Mazda CX-5 and the 2018 Honda CR-V side by side, we think you’ll agree that the CX-5 has more curb appeal, with sleek body lines and a sporty profile. It’s a cut above the CR-V.

Safety
When you buy a compact crossover for your family, you want it to be safe. While both vehicles have impressive safety scores, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 was named a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle by the IIHS, while the 2018 Honda CR-V was named a Top Safety Pick model. Top Safety Pick+ models must meet all the criteria used to qualify as a Top Safety Pick, and must also earn an Acceptable or Good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Additionally, CR-V doesn't include any standard advanced safety features. The CX-5 includes standard Smart City Brake Support, which can prevent low-speed collisions, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, which detects vehicles in the CX-5’s blind spot.

Our Conclusion
While the 2018 Honda CR-V is a nice compact crossover, it doesn’t quite measure up to the 2018 Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 handles better, is more attractive, has more available features and gets better safety scores than the CR-V.