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Aug. 10, 2022, 1:57 p.m. EDT

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 vs. the Toyota RAV4—which is better?

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By Eric Brandt

The Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 are two of our highest-rated choices in the crowded compact SUV class. Each has a unique set of strengths, so let’s take a closer look at these two SUVs to see which might be right for you.

2022 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda /zigman2/quotes/206326885/delayed MZDAY -0.98% CX-5 is a sporty and semi-premium choice in compact SUVs. It benefits from one of the nicest interiors in its class, standard all-wheel drive, and a fun driving experience, especially with the optional turbo engine. Pricing starts at $26,250. 

Mazda CX-5 highlights

Upscale interior:  The Mazda CX-5 has a premium interior without a premium price tag. The upscale interior design is something you might expect to see in a more expensive car, and the material quality is excellent for this price point. It’s especially fancy in the Turbo Signature model with features like Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats and real wood trim.

Lower base price:  The CX-5 has a starting price of $26,250 and comes standard with AWD, while the most affordable AWD-equipped RAV4 starts at $28,375. If your climate or activities dictate a need for AWD, the CX-5 can be a strong value proposition.

Don’t miss: Car quality is slipping: These are the brands with the most and least complaints, study finds

Fun to drive:  The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most entertaining SUVs in its class from behind the wheel. Driving enthusiasts who need a practical SUV will appreciate the CX-5, especially when upgraded with the available 256-horsepower turbocharged engine.

2022 Toyota RAV4

The Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +0.09% RAV4 is America’s bestselling SUV for good reasons. It’s safe, reliable, and practical, and the size is just right for many drivers. Some of its best perks are the roomy interior and variety in its model range, which includes two hybrids. Pricing starts at $26,975. 

Toyota RAV4 highlights

Excellent fuel economy:  The Toyota RAV4 gets great fuel economy regardless of your configuration. The Toyota has two hybrid options (a conventional hybrid and the plug-in hybrid RAV4 Prime) , while the Mazda doesn’t offer any hybrid versions. Even the least efficient variant of the RAV4 is still more efficient than the most efficient CX-5.

See : Toyota will soon max out its electric vehicle tax credits

Roomy interior:  The RAV4 has a bigger interior than the CX-5 by a considerable margin. The Toyota has a couple of extra inches of rear legroom and significantly more cargo space versus the Mazda. The RAV4 has about 7 more cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and a significant 10.5 more cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the back seats folded compared with the CX-5.

Rugged TRD Off-Road model:  Although the CX-5 comes standard with AWD, it’s not much of an off-roader. The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road model has some impressive off-road capabilities. On top of standard torque-vectoring AWD, the TRD model comes with an off-road suspension, all-terrain tires, and a rugged appearance package.

Also see: The 2022 Honda CR-V hybrid vs. the Toyota RAV4 hybrid—which is better?

Similarities

Good safety ratings, standard Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, similar driver assistance tech features

Conclusion

The Toyota RAV4 is more practical and family-friendly, thanks to its bigger interior and better fuel economy. However, the Mazda CX-5 is the more stylish and athletic choice, especially with its available turbo engine. Which is right for you depends on your priorities.

2022 Mazda CX-5 2022 Toyota RAV4
Starting Price $26,250 $26,975
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 24 city/30 highway/26 combined mpg 27 city/35 highway/30 combined mpg
Also Available 2.5-liter turbo-4 Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, AWD
Specs
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.2 inches 105.9 inches
Overall Length 180.1 inches 180.9 inches
Width 72.6 inches 73.0 inches
Height 65.6 inches 67.0 inches
Turning Diameter 36.0 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 39.7 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.0 inches 39.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.0 inches 41.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.6 inches 37.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 57.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.8 inches 56.4 inches
Cargo Volume 30.8/59.3 cubic feet 37.6/69.8 cubic feet

This story originally ran on 

/zigman2/quotes/206326885/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.79
-0.04 -0.98%
Volume: 185,374
Sept. 27, 2022 3:47p
P/E Ratio
6.58
Dividend Yield
1.35%
Market Cap
$4.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
$515,714
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/zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 135.74
+0.12 +0.09%
Volume: 303,405
Sept. 27, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.19
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
$188.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$729,987
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