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/composite MZDAY -4.04% 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.
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 -1.46% 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.
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.
Good safety ratings, standard Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, similar driver assistance tech features
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|
|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|
|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|