Anyone cross shop the CX-5 with a Subaru Outback?

Cuz

Contributor
Hey all,
I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited with 190k miles. I bought it new, and plan to replace it with a 2019/2020 vehicle. Right now Im thinking another Outback or a CX-5 Signature model. I have no Mazda experience and was wondering if anyone has compared them yet.

Thanks.
 
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2016 CX-5 (white), 2019 CX-5(red), 2019 Miata (white)
Hey all,
I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited with 190k miles. I bought it new, and plan to replace it with a 2019/2020 vehicle. Right now I*m thinking another Outback or a CX-5 Signature model. I have no Mazda experience and was wondering if anyone has compared them yet.

Thanks.

Drive the CX-5 and you will know your preference.
 
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2019 CX-5 White Pearl Sig
The Outback will ride on a new global platform next year and can't be compared to what is currently available on dealer's lots. If your current Suby is able to go a little longer, wait until the end of the year and then test drive both as 2020 models.
 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
The Outback will ride on a new global platform next year and can't be compared to what is currently available on dealer's lots. If your current Suby is able to go a little longer, wait until the end of the year and then test drive both as 2020 models.

Agreed. It doesn't hurt to get some time behind the wheel of the CX-5 now, but you'll definitely want to test them back to back in order to weigh the pros and cons fairly.

Just a friendly suggestion as well - make sure you're as thorough as you can be during your test drives. There have been a few cases of people overlooking certain features/characteristics about the car they bought because they didn't spend enough time behind the wheel before putting pen to paper.

I'm not familiar with the Outback, but if yours doesn't have a CVT, that's something to consider/research as well. I think Subaru has one of the best CVTs on the market, but some people prefer the feel of a traditional transmission over a CVT.
 
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2017 CX-5 GT AWD
My husband and I both bought new cars in 2017. He bought the Outback and I bought the CX5. I've driven it a few times and it drives nice enough, but he constantly complains about the infotainment system in the Outback. His biggest complaint is the glare from it when the sun is at certain angles. As the passenger most of the time, it is rather infuriating to use the touchscreen for everything (except for changing the radio stations which there are buttons on the steering wheel for). I much rather prefer my CX5 over the Outback. :)
 

Cuz

Contributor
My husband and I both bought new cars in 2017. He bought the Outback and I bought the CX5. I've driven it a few times and it drives nice enough, but he constantly complains about the infotainment system in the Outback. His biggest complaint is the glare from it when the sun is at certain angles. As the passenger most of the time, it is rather infuriating to use the touchscreen for everything (except for changing the radio stations which there are buttons on the steering wheel for). I much rather prefer my CX5 over the Outback. :)

Nice, Ill have to check back in with you guys towards the end of the year for another update.
Thanks.
 

Cuz

Contributor
Agreed. It doesn't hurt to get some time behind the wheel of the CX-5 now, but you'll definitely want to test them back to back in order to weigh the pros and cons fairly.

Just a friendly suggestion as well - make sure you're as thorough as you can be during your test drives. There have been a few cases of people overlooking certain features/characteristics about the car they bought because they didn't spend enough time behind the wheel before putting pen to paper.

I'm not familiar with the Outback, but if yours doesn't have a CVT, that's something to consider/research as well. I think Subaru has one of the best CVTs on the market, but some people prefer the feel of a traditional transmission over a CVT.

I do have a CVT transmission. It was replaced under warranty at 117k miles. Other than that its been fine, I dont mind it at all.

I do like the looks of the Mazda, and that its just a bit smaller than the Outback.
 
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CX5 GT-R
Hey all,
I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited with 190k miles. I bought it new, and plan to replace it with a 2019/2020 vehicle. Right now I*m thinking another Outback or a CX-5 Signature model. I have no Mazda experience and was wondering if anyone has compared them yet.

Thanks.

No, the outback just didn't appeal to me. I did cross-shop with the Forester 2.0XT, and may have gone with one except a good friend lost his CVT and A/C in his at only around 90K miles.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
I traded in my 15 Outback Limited for the 19 CX5 Signature. Sometime I do miss the Outback, but its rare lol. The CVT in mine had a couple of problems throughout the 40k miles I had it. There were TSB fixes, reprogramming, and at one point a pan drop to replace the seal which had failed prematurely.

I will say this, wait on the 2020s with the turbo. I regularly felt I didnt have enough power or was irritated going up on ramp. This has now been completely resolved with the turbo in the CX5.

Having both the Subaru CVT and the Mazda 6 speed they both have their pros and cons. However my preference is the Mazda tranny.
 
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2019 CX-5 Sig
We just purchased a 2019 CX-5 Signature a week ago to replace my wife's 2016 BMW 428ix Convertible when the lease expired. I have a 2017 Outback 3.6R Touring that I have been very happy with, but my wife wanted something different. She is beyond thrilled with the Mazda.

While I had planned to get another Outback when my current lease expires in November, the CX-5 is definitely causing me to reconsider. In my opinion, Mazda has done a spectacular job with the exterior and interior appearance (the latter especially, being equal in many ways to BMW), and handling/performance. The amenities that come with the Signature option add to the perception of quality. Time will tell regarding Mazda reliability; the Outback has been flawless in this regard, and my expectations for the CX-5 are high. I'm eager to compare the AWD capabilities of the Outback against the Mazda, but based on reviews I've read and viewed, I expect them to be about equal.

I'll wait to see and drive the 2020 Outback on the Global Platform. There's a very good chance that the CX-5 will beat Subaru, when I choose my next vehicle.
 
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Cuz

Contributor
Thanks for the info. While Im very happy with my Subaru, I am not too crazy about the giant touch screen coming to the new outbacks. I prefer the Mazda setup.
 
We are comparing the 2019 versions of the Outback and the CX5 for purchase...this thread is timely. There are two specifications that have not been discussed: ground clearance (8.7* vs 7.5) & fuel capacity (18.5 gal vs 15.5 gal). Have either been an issue for you CX5 owners? Thanks.
 

Cuz

Contributor
Im not really concerned about the ground clearance, but I definitely wish the Mazda had a bigger tank.
 
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2013 Mazda CX-5 GT
Hey all,
I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited with 190k miles. I bought it new, and plan to replace it with a 2019/2020 vehicle. Right now I*m thinking another Outback or a CX-5 Signature model. I have no Mazda experience and was wondering if anyone has compared them yet.

Thanks.

We have a 2013 Mazda CX 5 and a 2015 Subaru Outback. I like them both but they are very different. Subaru drives like a large car but makes the roughest roads feel smoothe. The CX 5 is very tight (drives like a car) but you also get lots of road feedback (good and bad). For our family of four, the main difference is you can fit more stuff in the Outback for vacation so we rarely take the CX 5 on vacation (unless it's overnight or just taking suitcases). The Outback, with it's bigger gas tank, can easily go 400+ miles with the whole family but I don't think I've ever hit that high with the CX 5 on a trip (probably 320ish).

I have no real preference between the Subaru CVT and the Mazda six speed. The CVT in the Subaru is good (we've had no problems with it) and I think it's a big contributor to the high gas mileage in the Subaru. Mazda's 6 speed is fantastic. Auto rags complain Mazda has too few gears when other makes offer 8, 9 and 10 speed transmissions. I don't see the problem if Mazda can hit it's mileage numbers and reliability.

The 17+ CX 5 definitely have a more premium feel over the Subaru Outback (even considering what is coming from Subaru in 2020). The new Outback has a much larger center screen in the 2020 model but the rest of the interior looks about the same. The Subaru interior isn't bad, it's just not as premium as Mazda as of late. I'm looking at trading up in a few years and I would compare the two especially in turbo form.
 
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Cuz

Contributor
You started comparing the Mazda to the Outback and then midway you switched to the Forester. Which one is it?
 
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2018 Mazda CX5 Machine Gray
You started comparing the Mazda to the Outback and then midway you switched to the Forester. Which one is it?

Oops.. .Forester.. uh not applicable to this thread I'll just delete it... I'll save that comparison for a different thread!
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
Test drove the current gen Outback and did not like the feel at all. The 2.5L, the only one I've considered, felt heavy, slow and wallowy.
I actually wanted to like the Outback, because it is a very practical vehicle. What I really wanted was an unraised wagon, as ground clearance is not important to me. The Outback in that sense is closer to a crossover vehicle. The Outback is definitely a longer vehicle, but about the same actual curb weight as the CX-5 at the time. Back seat was definitely better. Overall cargo capacity with the seats up was pretty similar to the CX-5 (34.3 vs 34.1 in mine), though more usable and more space when the seats are folded.

The new Outback will have a 2.4 Turbo, which is not the gas guzzler the 3.6L was, at least by the official fuel-economy numbers. Perhaps with a stronger engine and new chassis it would feel better to drive.
On the other hand, if you are one to take it easy in turns and prefer long distance comfort, the Outback is great for that.
 
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CX-5 2016.5
I'm actually considering trading in my CX5 for a manual Forester. The gist of my reasoning come down to:
1)For my needs I need a wagon
2)I love manuals
3)I hate the auto tranny in CX5
4)It has to be reliable
5)I don't particularly care about AWD unless is a true 4WD
6)Yes - I'm aware that CX5 was sold with a manual, but only with the 2L engine (which is too small for it) and no sunroof...

And living in North America my choices are very-very limited in that regard... Besides some very used and very unreliable Audi, VW and BMW wagons - there isn't much out there besides Subaru-s. Outback has had that stupid e-brake since 2011 or 12 - so it's out. Hence - the Forester. Test drove a few used specimens so far... and I haven't been too impressed to be perfectly honest by the way it drives. Forester does drive a lot better than Outback - that's for sure, but it's nowhere close to CX-5 and yet alone - my previous Mazda 6 - Mazdas being very sharp, lively, responsive and just plain fun. And truth to be told - Subaru's manual does feel mushyyyyy to say the least... WRX would have been an option - but these too were only imported in sedan version here in their last generation.

Hard truth about Subaru - these aren't made for drivers anymore, but for soccer moms.

Sooooooo, I'm still thinking... Like they say, good is the the enemy of best. CX5 is good enough for my needs - if it wasn't for that idiotic auto-tranny.
 
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CX5 GT-R
I'm actually considering trading in my CX5 for a manual Forester. The gist of my reasoning come down to:
1)For my needs I need a wagon
2)I love manuals
3)I hate the auto tranny in CX5
4)It has to be reliable
5)I don't particularly care about AWD unless is a true 4WD
6)Yes - I'm aware that CX5 was sold with a manual, but only with the 2L engine (which is too small for it) and no sunroof...

And living in North America my choices are very-very limited in that regard... Besides some very used and very unreliable Audi, VW and BMW wagons - there isn't much out there besides Subaru-s. Outback has had that stupid e-brake since 2011 or 12 - so it's out. Hence - the Forester. Test drove a few used specimens so far... and I haven't been too impressed to be perfectly honest by the way it drives. Forester does drive a lot better than Outback - that's for sure, but it's nowhere close to CX-5 and yet alone - my previous Mazda 6 - Mazdas being very sharp, lively, responsive and just plain fun. And truth to be told - Subaru's manual does feel mushyyyyy to say the least... WRX would have been an option - but these too were only imported in sedan version here in their last generation.

Hard truth about Subaru - these aren't made for drivers anymore, but for soccer moms.

Sooooooo, I'm still thinking... Like they say, good is the the enemy of best. CX5 is good enough for my needs - if it wasn't for that idiotic auto-tranny.

What issue do you have with the transmission? Obviously it's not a manual, but what's wrong with it otherwise?
 
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CX-5 2016.5
What issue do you have with the transmission? Obviously it's not a manual, but what's wrong with it otherwise?

That one would be very hard to answer as everyone has different needs and different driving style. For my part - CX5's tranny is perfectly fine while I granny-drive it, but for everything else - let's just say that whatever logic there is behind how it shifts - it rarely aligns with what I want it to be doing.

Another good example would be highway driving. Often - when going uphill, the engine is already waaaaay out of it's optimal RPM range, but the tranny just keeps feeding it the 6th for the sake of fuel millage. So whenever hitting hilly stretches - I'm almost always switching into manual mode anyways to use appropriate gears. Might just as well be driving a real manual.
 
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