2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Toyota RAV4 (Car&Driver)

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17 CX-5 GT 14 CX-5 GT (sold)
Interesting. Thanks for that.

It's also interesting to see what that 8 speed must do for the RAV-4. At 0-60 MPH it's 0.3 seconds faster. At 88 MPH (the standing ) it's narrowed to 0.1 second faster (seems like the CX-5 is catching up). But from 88 MPH to 100 MPH the RAV-4 pulls way and it's a full 1.3 seconds faster.
I think you looked at it wrong. The 2017 CX5 is faster 0-60 and quarter mile, but the RAV4 is faster to 100.

Where the CX5 really destroys the RAV4 is in top gear 30-50 MPH and 50-70 MPH, which are stats that truly matter in normal driving, unlike 0-60.
Of course the CX5 turbo truly embarrasses the RAV4 in these stats.
 

Avoidin Deer

Central Virginia
Contributor
V
2019 CX-5 Reserve
I think you looked at it wrong. The 2017 CX5 is faster 0-60 and quarter mile, but the RAV4 is faster to 100.

Where the CX5 really destroys the RAV4 is in top gear 30-50 MPH and 50-70 MPH, which are stats that truly matter in normal driving, unlike 0-60.
Of course the CX5 turbo truly embarrasses the RAV4 in these stats.
Whoops. You're right. I misread the numbers. The CX-5 outpaces the RAV-4 until you approach 90, then the RAV-4 really pulls away. And I agree, those dragstrip-driving figures are meaningless, except for those idiots who completely stop at a highway's entrance ramp before merging ;)

It makes one think that if some folks find the CX-5 to not have sufficient acceleration when passing at highway speeds, then they'd really have issues with the RAV-4.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
L
Plano, Texas, USA
V
16 CX-5 GT AWD Tec
I agree that this comparison between a 2019 RAV4 and a 2019 CX5 Signature is really not fair. The engine and interior puts the Reserve and Sig in a class above as the reviewers state.

A better comparison would be to see how far Toyota has come against the 2017 Mazda CX5 GT released 2 years ago, which is the same as the 2019 CX5 GT. Plus, the horsepower is a little closer to equal, 203 for the Toyota and 187 for the Mazda.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD VS 2017 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring FWD



EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway
RAV4 28/25/33 mpg
CX5 27/24/31 mpg
CX5 AWD 26/23/29 mpg

So very similar specs, although the CX5 is still better in most. You do get a larger sunroof and a slight improvement in MPG with the RAV4, but initial MSRP is $3000 more, which would buy a lot of fuel.

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15094826/2017-mazda-cx-5-fwd-test-review/
I think your comparison is unfair too as you compare an AWD RAV4 to a FWD CX-5. I noticed you've edited the EPA MPG ratings as your original post showed their ratings were closer due to unfair comparison.

It's interesting to see some figures are worse on 2019 CX-5 with 2.5T than 2017 CX-5 2.5L. This's something Mazda should do better. MPG on new RAV4 is not just slightly better, especially if you go for the hybrid. For long-term reliability consideration the RAV4 is on better side too with naturally asperated engine as well as direct and port dual fuel injection.

Yeah, RAV4 definitely is more expensive than CX-5 with similar trim level. Especially in Texas there's a middleman, Gulf States Toyota, as a distributer who has always been jacking up Toyota's new-car price from about $700 to $1,500 with some useless accessories (pin stripes, rust-proofing, and/or "premium" floor mats for example). This's not happening in California I'm currently visiting and the Toyota's here are cheaper than in Texas which is a rarity that something is cheaper here than in Texas!
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
L
Denver, CO
V
2014 CX-5 Touring
Yeah but you'll likely pay the difference in those outrageous California taxes.
 
V
17 CX-5 GT 14 CX-5 GT (sold)
I think your comparison is unfair too as you compare an AWD RAV4 to a FWD CX-5. I noticed you've edited the EPA MPG ratings as your original post showed their ratings were closer due to unfair comparison.

It's interesting to see some figures are worse on 2019 CX-5 with 2.5T than 2017 CX-5 2.5L. This's something Mazda should do better. MPG on new RAV4 is not just slightly better, especially if you go for the hybrid. For long-term reliability consideration the RAV4 is on better side too with naturally asperated engine as well as direct and port dual fuel injection.

Yeah, RAV4 definitely is more expensive than CX-5 with similar trim level. Especially in Texas there's a middleman, Gulf States Toyota, as a distributer who has always been jacking up Toyota's new-car price from about $700 to $1,500 with some useless accessories (pin stripes, rust-proofing, and/or "premium" floor mats for example). This's not happening in California I'm currently visiting and the Toyota's here are cheaper than in Texas which is a rarity that something is cheaper here than in Texas!
Well I was just comparing my 2017 CX5 FWD to the all new 2019 RAV4, and my 2017 FWD performs better or very close in every measurable category, including MPG, has a nicer, quieter interior, and the 2019 CX5 GT FWD costs thousands less than a comparably equipped 2019 RAV4. So that's a great option if MPG is a concern or "long term reliability". I added AWD for comparison as well, and it is still really not that much difference, 29 HWY vs 33 HWY is about $200 per year at 15,000 miles year and I consider that slightly better and I think most would accept that as a fair trade for a superior vehicle in almost every category.

To sum it up, a loaded 2019 RAV4 is, at best, comparable to a loaded 2019 CX5 (non turbo) for $3000 more up front,and all the numbers show that. But looking closely at the numbers it's actually a worse overall vehicle that costs more.
 

tex2670

Grand Poobah
V
2012 CX-9 GT AWD, Copper Red/Sand
I'm looking to replace my 2014 CX5 Touring with about 125k on it now. The new Rav4 XSE has everything I want, pano sunroof, hybrid, more open and airy interior. Then I rented a Rav4 LE for a weekend and that all changed. While even the non-hybrid had great mileage I felt it was not up to the same standard as my girlfriends 2018 GT in refinement, not even close. Ride was odd, ate the small bumps quietly and completely, however tar strips and the repaired cracks so common in upstate NY were absolutely jolting. It also wallowed on the winding roads through the Adirondack mountains, so much so that my 22 yo daughter got car sick for the first time in her life. After about a 500 mile weekend we both felt that the Rav4 was a wonderful appliance, just not a vehicle I want to spend 40k 0n. I felt the ride, handling, and interior comfort were better on the 18 CX5 GT. Currently looking at a new Forester Touring and liked it on a short test ride, now I have to find one to rent for the weekend. Looking forward to whatever interior changes happen in the 2020 CX5. The Rav4 is off my list. Having owned four Mazda vehicles and finding them very reliable I have no qualms about buying another CX5. For me Mazda has been at least as reliable as the Honda's I have owned.
This is consistent with every single review I have seen and read. The biggest knock on the RAV4 is that the engine sounds extremely unrefined. It's a shame--it's a nice car. I know the styling is take it or leave it, but I do really like it. Especially in the higher trim levels.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
L
Plano, Texas, USA
V
16 CX-5 GT AWD Tec
Yeah but you'll likely pay the difference in those outrageous California taxes.
Yep. Car sales tax is 7.5% in California, with additional local taxes up to 2.5% depending on where you live. Texas charges 6.25% flat everywhere with no additional local taxes on car purchase. Registration is a lot more in California, and it depends on the value of the vehicle. In Texas it charges a flat $76.25 doesn't matter the value of the car. My 2018 Toyota Yaris iA costs $259 for yearly registration in California, but it's be $76.25 in Texas. The insurance premium for the same car is doubled in California than in Texas too. A friend of mine here in California pays ~$500 yearly for registration on his 2017 Lexus RX!
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
L
Denver, CO
V
2014 CX-5 Touring
Yep. Car sales tax is 7.5% in California, with additional local taxes up to 2.5% depending on where you live. Texas charges 6.25% flat everywhere with no additional local taxes on car purchase. Registration is a lot more in California, and it depends on the value of the vehicle. In Texas it charges a flat $76.25 doesn't matter the value of the car. My 2018 Toyota Yaris iA costs $259 for yearly registration in California, but it's be $76.25 in Texas. The insurance premium for the same car is doubled in California than in Texas too. A friend of mine here in California pays ~$500 yearly for registration on his 2017 Lexus RX!
Wow, that's nice for Texas. While my taxes were 2.5% (thereabouts, don't recall exactly) when I bought my CX-5, my registration that first year was something like $630. Even this year in 2019 I just got my renewal and it is still $187 which I believe it was last year, so I can only think some fee went up.

Thank you democrats in 2006 for fucking us with your new registration fee structure. *grumble*

So I drove a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee up until I bought this CX-5 in 2013. It used to cost me $10-$15 a year to register by 2005ish then suddenly in 2006 or 2007 it was closer to $100 and it was a 10 year old vehicle! I think even in 2013 it was still something like $75.

I'm a bit pissy my 6 year old CX-5 is still almost $200.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
L
Plano, Texas, USA
V
16 CX-5 GT AWD Tec
Well I was just comparing my 2017 CX5 FWD to the all new 2019 RAV4, and my 2017 FWD performs better or very close in every measurable category, including MPG, has a nicer, quieter interior, and the 2019 CX5 GT FWD costs thousands less than a comparably equipped 2019 RAV4. So that's a great option if MPG is a concern or "long term reliability". I added AWD for comparison as well, and it is still really not that much difference, 29 HWY vs 33 HWY is about $200 per year at 15,000 miles year and I consider that slightly better and I think most would accept that as a fair trade for a superior vehicle in almost every category.

To sum it up, a loaded 2019 RAV4 is, at best, comparable to a loaded 2019 CX5 (non turbo) for $3000 more up front,and all the numbers show that. But looking closely at the numbers it's actually a worse overall vehicle that costs more.
FWD vehicle will have better acceleration and MPG than AWD, hence all the 0-60 or 30-50 comparisons you posted are unfair.

I do agree getting a new RAV4 will be more expensive, especially in Texas. But most people don't really care the trim quality, but care about reliability, fuel efficiency, and space. For those who have those on their higher priority, they would be willing to pay more to get RAV4, me included. And that's why RAV4 out-sells CX-5 3 to 1 each year and every year.
 
V
17 CX-5 GT 14 CX-5 GT (sold)
FWD vehicle will have better acceleration and MPG than AWD, hence all the 0-60 or 30-50 comparisons you posted are unfair.

I do agree getting a new RAV4 will be more expensive, especially in Texas. But most people don't really care the trim quality, but care about reliability, fuel efficiency, and space. For those who have those on their higher priority, they would be willing to pay more to get RAV4, me included. And that's why RAV4 out-sells CX-5 3 to 1 each year and every year.
You are correct, to make a fair comparison I changed all the specs to AWD only. It's funny how close they are in almost every measurable category except price.

But in the end, if you want to spend the money on a RAV4 Limited, why not just get the CX5 Signature for almost the exact price?
Fuel might cost another $250 per year (unless you use premium and then maybe $650 per year), but you would be driving a far superior vehicle that would only cost $1250-3250 more over 5 years and you could still have a conversation with passengers while cruising.

"The RAV4's sound-level readings of 76 decibels at full throttle and 70 decibels at a 70-mph cruise both are 3 decibels louder than the CX-5's. Toyota's 2.5 is so obtrusive that one driver claimed he could feel the engine noise through the steering wheel. Another called the transmission's shift quality "chunky."

As far as RAV4 selling in higher numbers than the CX5, I don't think most on this forum consider the buying habits of the general population a good measure of which vehicle to pick. If that were the case, maybe you are also looking at the Nissan Rogue?
2019 Year-to-Date Sales Through April:

Nissan Rogue 117,973
Toyota RAV4 117,959
Honda CRV 115,624
Subaru Forester 55,438
Jeep Compass 50,003
Mazda CX5 47,086

I think it just reaffirms what most of us think, that people are buying cars based on what used to be, and not what is.

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2019/05/april-2019-the-best-selling-suvs-in-america-every-suv-ranked/
 
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ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
L
Denver, CO
V
2014 CX-5 Touring
Agreed on buying numbers. The Nissan Rogue has to be one of the biggest turds out there when it comes to CUVs yet there it is.

Everyone things Honda is up there in reliability, yet tell that to the oil dilution folks having to change their oil every 1k miles.

Sales numbers don't tell you much in terms of why people are buying what they do.

I likewise suspect it has to do with brand perceptions more than anything else, and often those perceptions are way outdated. People buy Toyotas and Hondas because they are Toyotas and Hondas. People buy Nissans because they are heavily discounted and back in the day they made genuinely good cars.

I think you read to much into that Yrwei.
 
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Avoidin Deer

Central Virginia
Contributor
V
2019 CX-5 Reserve
If you want to see what drives buying habits, there's an abundance of commercials from which to choose. I think the brand of SUV you choose depends on whether you want to (a) confuse the parking valet, (b) stop your girlfriend from leaving, (c) pretend you're a hippy while enjoying the fruits of capitalism, or (d) drive your kid to hear the trees converse. I'm sure that price and brand recognition fall in there somewhere. But I bet it's rarely a rational choice beyond second-hand reputation (which is amazing given the $$$ involved).

I've stated that I started out to buy a used CR-V based solely on broad availability/selection and its brand reputation among CUVs. The sticker shock of prices on low-mileage used cars caused me to expand my search. So I "just stopped by" the Mazda dealer who happened to be next to CarMax. THEN--since I expanded my search beyond a used CR-V--I started researching (which brought me to this and other forums).

Mazda has never been on my radar screen when buying a car or truck. I come from a family of 8. None of us has ever owned an Asian car. We've had several Austin Healeys, a couple of MGs, a Vauxhall, a Simca, a Spider, some Nash Metropolitans, and various American standards and oddities, but no Asian cars (and therefore no Mazdas).

The only people I've known who owned Mazdas were coworkers who purchased Miatas in the early days. That was 30 years ago. I think that volume generates volume, and the lack of volume inhibits gaining volume (if that makes sense), since there is no "I see them around all the time" recognition factor. I don't know enough about Mazda corporate to know if they're happy with their global market position. But a lot of manufacturers get sales they likely don't really earn merely because there are so many of them already on the road.
 
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V
2014 CX 5 Touring AWD Bose and Tech
2019 Toyota RAV4 just came out and my Toyota dealer only has very few of them, and you can find one at a car rental company?

Ride comfort can be a personal preference and C&D article centainly doesn*t have such complaint to their test RAV4.
Rented one from Hertz in Utica Ny. It is my personal experience with about a 500 mile weekend and you may well feel differently. However in my opinion the CX5 was far better overall than the Rav4.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
L
Denver, CO
V
2014 CX-5 Touring
If you want to see what drives buying habits, there's an abundance of commercials from which to choose. I think the brand of SUV you choose depends on whether you want to (a) confuse the parking valet, (b) stop your girlfriend from leaving, (c) pretend you're a hippy while enjoying the fruits of capitalism, or (d) drive your kid to hear the trees converse. I'm sure that price and brand recognition fall in there somewhere. But I bet it's rarely a rational choice beyond second-hand reputation (which is amazing given the $$$ involved).

I've stated that I started out to buy a used CR-V based solely on broad availability/selection and its brand reputation among CUVs. The sticker shock of prices on low-mileage used cars caused me to expand my search. So I "just stopped by" the Mazda dealer who happened to be next to CarMax. THEN--since I expanded my search beyond a used CR-V--I started researching (which brought me to this and other forums).

Mazda has never been on my radar screen when buying a car or truck. I come from a family of 8. None of us has ever owned an Asian car. We've had several Austin Healeys, a couple of MGs, a Vauxhall, a Simca, a Spider, some Nash Metropolitans, and various American standards and oddities, but no Asian cars (and therefore no Mazdas).

The only people I've known who owned Mazdas were coworkers who purchased Miatas in the early days. That was 30 years ago. I think that volume generates volume, and the lack of volume inhibits gaining volume (if that makes sense), since there is no "I see them around all the time" recognition factor. I don't know enough about Mazda corporate to know if they're happy with their global market position. But a lot of manufacturers get sales they likely don't really earn merely because there are so many of them already on the road.
Yep, I will readily admit that Mazda was totally not even on my radar due to...myou guessed it....outdated brand perceptions and seeing other vehicles on the road and assuming they must be good.

Until I happened into a Mazda dealer after disappointing test drive, after disappointing test drive. CX-5 sold me immediately and here I am.

My buddy on the other hand? He hates driving, views a car as little more than an appliance to get from point A to point B and owns a Kia Soul as a result. His criteria? Cheap.
 
V
CX5 GT-R
Yep. Car sales tax is 7.5% in California, with additional local taxes up to 2.5% depending on where you live. Texas charges 6.25% flat everywhere with no additional local taxes on car purchase. Registration is a lot more in California, and it depends on the value of the vehicle. In Texas it charges a flat $76.25 doesn't matter the value of the car. My 2018 Toyota Yaris iA costs $259 for yearly registration in California, but it's be $76.25 in Texas. The insurance premium for the same car is doubled in California than in Texas too. A friend of mine here in California pays ~$500 yearly for registration on his 2017 Lexus RX!
I'll probably owe around $500/year on my CX5 GTR, here, as well. Texas has some STOOPID property taxes though, as my whole estate will run me less than $1K, there. Cali is just insane all around.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
L
Denver, CO
V
2014 CX-5 Touring
I'll probably owe around $500/year on my CX5 GTR, here, as well. Texas has some STOOPID property taxes though, as my whole estate will run me less than $1K, there. Cali is just insane all around.
Cali is insane. Colorado is going that way much to my dismay.
 
V
2019 CX-5 Sig Soul Red
Mazda was not on my list either, but as a car enthusiast , I had to do my due diligence. Driving has to be Fun and engaging. (Or just take an Uber). I read reviews, I test drove, I visited car forums and ultimately CX-5 turbo was for me. Is it perfect, no - but no vehicle is. It is extremely difficult to quantify the *emotional quotient* into the equation of a car purchase. Reliability is important, but I assume we all know someone that has a Toyota or Honda that isn*t reliable. (Not often, there are lemons) Worse case, my CX-5 (hopefully picking up next week) doesn*t meet my expectations and I trade it in 3 - 4 years. Best case, my research pays off and I keep it for 8 to 10 years and enjoy the ride e every day.
 
V
13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
As a long time owner of a CX-5 I tend to agree with yrwei.
The CX-5 was definitely not the most reliable vehicle I owned, though not terrible. While, unlike yrwei I don't cringe at the introduction of cylinder deactivation as an engineering mistake, I do see multiple reasons why I would be considering other vehicles, if I would to buy now.
Keeping in mind that C&D tend to prefer more power when possible, but since many would not be buying the 2.5T, it would be more interesting to compare naturally aspirated engines from both. It also sounds like C&D liked the interior refinement of the CX-5, most of which is available only on higher trims only. For people like me, which do not care too much about the latter but would prefer better fuel economy and better handling, the RAV-4 (and CR-V) are a better choice. In fact, I was surprised how much better the RAV-4 has become (finally!).
At the time I purchased the CX-5, I also test drove the RAV-4. At the time, the CX-5 was clearly better in handling, weight, fuel-economy and the RAV-4 was just good enough.
Now, the CX-5 still has the same fuel-economy, more weight and the RAV-4 has surpassed it in almost everything, except engine noise and wind noise. Similarly, the CR-V.

You may claim the 1.5T has oil dilution issue, but it is likely resolved by now and it only affected small number of all CR-Vs anyway. It does have a CVT, so may be a deterrent for some, but Honda makes the best CVTs in the business and does provide MPG advantage. Get a RAV-4 with traditional 8 speed, if its critical for you.

Bottom line, the competition has improved significantly while the CX-5 improved only in interior refinement and availability of an engine which is N/A for many.
For many, it will not be a good enough reason to get a CX-5.
Honda is extending warranties on 1 million CRVs/civics according to the article https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/honda-extends-warranty-on-troubled-turbo-engines/
Might truly be a small number but word of mouth travels fast I guess?
 

7eregrine

The man, the myth, the legend
L
Land of Cleve
V
2016.5 CX5
Mazda wasn't on my list either. Wanted a Cherokee. Did a lot of research... That's how I found Mazda.
Test drive a Subaru Crosstrek. Not bad, a tad slow.
Test drove a Mazda CX-5. Crosstrek off the list.
Drive a Cherokee. Ok, not bad.
Drove CRV: Ok, so it's Mazda vs Jeep.
 
L
Lakewood, CO
V
2016.5 CX-5 GT
...
Test drive a Subaru Crosstrek. Not bad, a tad slow...
A tad? Surely you jest.

On my Crosstrek test drive, I was sitting in the inside lane of a double left turn onto a down sloping freeway entrance ramp. Next to me was a fully loaded cement truck sitting and spinning.

The arrow came on and I punched it. I could not go fast enough to get in front of the mixer. I ended up getting behind him for a slowwww merge. Turned around the next exit and said no thanks, this thing is an absolute dog.
 
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