Home Automotive AdviceMarket Advice & Buyer's Guides CRV Vs CX 5: Which Is The Right Crossover For You?

CRV Vs CX 5: Which Is The Right Crossover For You?

by Jordan Harris
CRV vs CX 5

CRV vs CX-5? This is a question that several people in the market to buy a crossover are asking. Both these cars hold a special place in the market. They have been the best sellers for their respective manufacturers. Crossovers have become a sensation in the modern automotive market, and the 2 leading brands in this segment have to be Mazda and Honda. The compact SUV market is huge and the CRV and CX-5 have proven their caliber generation after generation.

The Honda CRV is elegant and extremely reliable while on the other hand the Mazda CX-5 is sporty and adds a sense of fun for the driver. Both these cars have an up to date infotainment systems and have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available.

The CRV vs CX-5 debate has been going on for a while now and here is all the information you need to know about making the correct choice for you!

Mazda CX-5

Whenever we talk about Mazda, the picture the old school sports heritage and the name Mazda has made for itself in the JDM culture. But Mazda has more to offer than meets the eye. Mazda might be the most underappreciated manufacturer in the international Japanese market. Mazda has some cards under its sleeves and they play a beautiful hand with the new generation CX-5.

Mazda’s best-selling entry-level compact SUV is the CX-5 and it has been from the beginning. Mazda comes swinging with more aggressive looks, new headlights, new brake lights, new rims, and a lot more. The new generation comes equipped with all the new features like Apple CarPlay (make sure you also know how to turn CarPlay off) and Android Auto.

Alongside that, all the sporty lines, sleek exterior, and astonishing interior make this crossover a car you must own. This entry-level, compact SUV has a sporty interior and exterior which calls out to a younger crowd, and the punchy Skyactiv-G 2.5 T engine is something that many enthusiasts are excited about.

The Engine

When we talk about Mazda the first thing we have to talk about is the engine. Powering the new generation CX-5 is still the engine from the previous generation and makes about 50 horsepower less. But it does make up for the increased torque.

The new generation CX-5 comes equipped with the 2.2 SKYACTIV-D twin-turbocharged diesel inline-4 that puts out 148 bhp and 380 Nm of torque. The engine carries on the same 6-speed manual transmission from the previous generation. It has a top speed of 127 mph and is capable of accelerating 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds.


The new CX-5 is more aggressive and sport than before, the headlights are slimmer, alongside the new lower lip and stealthy mesh grill that comprises all the perfect ingredients for a sporty front end. The CX-5 comes with polished and simple lines that give out an elegant look.

Mazda lowered their crossover by 30mm and the new ‘Sport Nav’ trim has everyone in awe. The simple yet so stylish outfit makes the car seem like it belongs in the luxury segment. It is one of the best-looking exterior available at this price point.


The biggest update to the latest generation of the Mazda CX-5 has to be the interiors. The CX-5 consists of the perfect combination of elegance packed with some top-of-the-line technology. The interior is designed beautifully with bits of wood (plastic wood) along with aluminum trim. The instrument cluster is a perfect blend of part of the instrument cluster is a high-tech screen with all the important information, while the other part still uses the traditional, old-school analog gauge.

The CX-5 comes equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and that is not where the list ends. It also comes equipped with heated and cooled seats, in the front as well as back seats. The seats come in three options, leather, cloth, and leatherette. This is the perfect recipe for a plush interior and at this price point, it is a deal worth taking a look at.


The base model, the sport, comes at a price of $26,340. The model above the base is the Touring variant that costs about $26,615. Then comes the Grand Touring model which costs about $30,045. The next model in the line is the Grand Touring Reserve which will take about $34,870 out of your pocket. The last and the top model of the CX-5 costs $36,890.

Honda CRV

Honda is another manufacturer that holds a respectable place in the JDM culture. When we talk about Honda all we can imagine are the highly modified Civics with neon lights under the car. But there is more to this brand than meets the eye. Honda has an amazing line-up that doesn’t only portray the sports cars that they have to offer but also compact SUVs that are packed with comfort features and up-to-date technologies.

crv vs cx-5

For generations, the Honda CRV has been the best-selling vehicle in Honda’s lineup, and the new generation CR-V has done nothing but made its customers fall instantly in love with this compact SUV. The CR-V is futuristic, well equipped, and has several features to choose from which makes it one of the best options available on the market. The new 1.5L 4 cylinder hybrid engine is something that everyone is talking about.

The Engine

The 2021 CRV comes with a 2.0L 4 cylinder hybrid engine that produces about 190 horsepower. This engine might not be the biggest engine available on the market but the new hybrid doesn’t shy off when pushed to the limit. The CRV also comes with a 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine for people who do not want or like the hybrid system. The top speed of the CRV is 127 mph and does 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds.

All the CRVs’ have an option of something called a real-time all-wheel drive. It uses an array of sensors that calculate the amount of power that needs to be sent to the rear wheels. This vehicle can handle any and every terrain. Be it snow, bad weather, or rough terrain, the Honda CR-V can handle it.


The new generation of the Honda CRV comes with a very futuristic exterior. But when we compare it to the old generation there are not a lot of changes made to the newer model. The latest CRV comes with a new chrome grille and with a completely redesigned front bumper and new fog lamps. The wheels have also been changed to bigger and better looking 18” and 19” inches alloy wheels.

The rear lights are also revised with a black tint and there is a darkened chrome garnish below the back glass. And at last, the exhaust comes with chrome tips. Even though there aren’t any major changes in the new generation CRV but the changes Honda has made does give the car some extra character.


The interior also wasn’t lucky enough to get some major changes. The Honda CRV’s interior comes standard with wood trims. There also are black and beige trims that give this vehicle a certain charm. The biggest change seen in the CRV is the replacement of the gear shifter with push-button gears.

Honda Interior

Even the center console gets an upgrade with a new console bin. This opens up more storage and allows more flexibility to store more than the last generation. Not only that, but the push-button gears free up space in the cabin. It also gives the cabin and the center console a cleaner look.


The Base model of the CRV is called the LX and it costs around $25,750. The model after that is the Special Edition which will cost around $26,950. The third or the mid-model called EX will take around $28,260 out of your wallet. The model that the EX is called the EX-L and the price for this is around $30,850. The top model of the CR-V is called the Touring and the cost to get your hands on one is around $35,550.

CRV vs CX-5

The market for buying a compact SUV or a crossover has grown immensely in the modern era. People want the fun of owning an SUV with the practicality of a small vehicle. Hence several manufacturers have diversified their lineup into the crossover market. But the two biggest players in this segment have to be the Honda CRV and the Mazda CX-5.

These cars have led the crossover segment years after years now, but the question on everyone’s mind is CRV or the CX-5. CRV vs CX-5 is a debate going on for a while now, especially for people who are in the market to buy or already own any of the two crossovers.  The choice between these two cars can be very difficult. So here is a list of differences that will put the “CRV vs CX-5” discussion to settle down.

CRV vs CX-5: Style And Design

The design language of the Honda has always been futuristic and it oozes off a sense of sensibility and reliability. Even though the CRV carries the design from the previous generation. There are some updates that add to the style of this compact SUV, the design still looks futuristic and very elegant. Honda has done an amazing job keeping the style of the CRV something that helps gain the attention of several buyers.

On the other hand, the Mazda CX-5 has always been the sportier and aggressive out of the two. The front grill combined with the stylish headlights and the sleek lines that run across the body of the CX-5 is everything that makes owning the Mazda is exciting and absolutely fun. The design language of the Mazda is timeless and it speaks to potential buyers. The open grill replicates that to a classic sports car, and the flowing bodywork adds a lot of excitement to this vehicle that was designed to be practical.

When we talk about choosing between the two, the choice boils down to preference, for someone who wants to own a practical and elegant design, CRV is the perfect crossover for them. On the other hand, Mazda has always had a sense of thrill and fun with the minimalist sporty design. Hence, for people who want to go for a sportier design and have fun with their cars, CX-5 is definitely the better choice for them.

CRV vs CX-5: Interior Design And Technology

In today’s day and age, almost every manufacturer tries to sweeten the deal with a tip-top interior and the latest technology that might help the buyers steer into buying their cars. So it can be very difficult to choose between so many options.

When we talk about the CRV’s interior, it has a very roomy interior alongside a roomy interior. The standard CRV has a practical, logical, and easy-to-use interior and everything available in the field of vision. The CRV Touring trim has a mixture of faux wood accents, chrome plastic, and brushed satin finishes.

The seats of the CRV are extremely comfortable for a long drive. The base model has a 5-inch screen while the other has about 7 inches. These infotainment systems come equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. They come with navigation and a nine-speaker audio system, which makes long drives very easy.

While on the other side of the ring we have the CX-5 which must like its exterior and has a very sporty interior. The CX-5 interior uses high-quality materials with good quality plastic and an intelligent layout.

It also has a floor-hinged accelerator, that we can find in only high-end sports cars. One of the best features of the CX-5 is the beautiful steering wheel. On the infotainment front, CX-5 takes a lead over the CRV because of its 10.3-inch infotainment system that comes standard in all the CX-5 lineup. This infotainment system also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and for all the music lovers, it comes with a Bose audio system as an optional choice.

When we talk about the interior and infotainment system, it again depends more upon the customer. For someone looking for a low-key, comfortable interior CRV is the right choice. On the other hand, for someone looking for a sporty and technologically advanced interior, the CX-5 is the better out of the two.

CRV vs CX-5: Powertrain Options

 The CRV vs CX-5 debate gets more interesting when we talk about the engine both of the manufacturers have to offer. Both the CRV and the CX-5 base models produce a similar amount of power but in different ways.

Honda uses forced induction also known as a turbocharged engine to power their best-selling crossover. The engine not only is sporty but is also extremely fuel-efficient. The standard 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in the CRV is good for producing 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Despite such strong stats, the CRV is highly fuel-efficient. The mileage claimed by Honda is 28/34 mpg city/highway.

Honda SUV engine

On the other hand, the 2.0-liter hybrid engine is where the CRV really shines bright. Both of them combined, the CRV produces about 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid engine excels in fuel economy, returning a frugal EPA-rated 40/35 mpg city/highway.

The Mazda focuses more on performance but is not the most fuel-efficient out of the two. Instead of using a forced induction engine like the CRV, Mazda took a different approach. They went ahead with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (if you want to learn more, check out our explainer on what does naturally aspirated mean), that produces about 187 bhp and 186 lb-ft of torque. The place where the CX-5 shies away from is the gas milage giving about 25/31 mpg city/highway.

The other engine option available for the CX-5 is the Skyactiv-G 2.5 T engine. This engine is something that will attract buyers in the market for a sportier engine. With the Dynamic Turbo system offered by Mazda, the CX-5 produces about 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Irrespective of the amazing power stats, the CX-5 gives the gas mileage of 23/28 mpg city/highway.

Shedding the light on CRV vs CX-5 situation, the CX-5 is a vehicle that produces more power but fuel economy is something that is not one of Mazda’s strong suits. While the CRV produces a little less power than the CX-5 but the fuel economy is where it shines brightly.

CRV vs CX-5: Safety Features

Safety features are very important for buyers in today’s day and age. Technology is something that keeps increasing every year, and almost everyone wants the latest technology for their cars.

The Honda CRV comes equipped with several features that make driving safer and easier for the owners. Basic features like side impact airbags, stability control, front impact airbags, and overhead airbags are some features that are available in all of the CRVs.

Alongside that, some new features have made the CRV desirable. Features like automatic start-stop, cruise control, a lane monitoring sensor, and the blind spot information system that makes driving even easier

The Mazda CX-5 also has several other safety features that people might find extremely attractive. Things like airbags, stability control, and ABS is something that is also available in the Mazda. Where the Mazda really shines bright is the Mazda is the i-ACTIVSENSE safety features like radar cruise control with Stop and Go Function, smart brake support, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Safety features are not something that really sheds a light on our whole CRV vs CX-5 discussion. Both of these manufacturers almost have the same features available for both of their compact SUVs. The Mazda might have some extra features but when we talk about the overall safety features both of them have the same amount of points.

Honda CR-V vs. Mazda CX-5: Compact SUV Comparison

  1. Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are leading players in the compact SUV segment that offer all-wheel-drive utility, cargo space, and technology.
  2. Styling and design of Honda CR-V give off an air of reliability and sensibility, while Mazda CX-5 has swooping, elegant lines with a touch of excitement.
  3. Honda CR-V’s turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, while Mazda CX-5’s naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque.
  4. Honda CR-V aims for higher fuel economy with optional CR-V Hybrid trim level, which returns an EPA-rated 40/35 mpg city/highway, while Mazda CX-5 goes for increased performance with its Skyactiv-G 2.5 T engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.
  5. Base models of both Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels of each.
  6. Honda CR-V has a roomy interior that’s a comfortable place to be, while Mazda CX-5 offers high-quality materials and an intelligent layout with a standard 10.3-inch touchscreen.
  7. Honda CR-V has a spacious 75.8 cubic feet of storage with rear seats folded down, while Mazda CX-5 has 30.9 cubic feet of storage in the same configuration.
  8. The Honda CR-V is the better choice for the buyer who wants a compact SUV that focuses on well-engineered, everyday function, especially with its CR-V Hybrid trim level that offers excellent fuel economy.
  9. The Mazda CX-5 is the way to go for the buyer who wants a little passion with their utility, especially with its dramatic styling, high-end interior, and optional 250 horsepower turbocharged engine.
  10. Both Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 offer value-driven pricing that starts at $26,370 and $26,525, respectively, and buying used can save thousands of dollars.

Which Is The Right Crossover For You

The discussion between the CRV vs CX-5 has been going on for a long time. Everyone who’s looking to buy a crossover has or is considering these two options. Both of these vehicles have put up a good fight in beating the other, but the last and final decision boils down to the choice of the buyer.

The Honda CRV is reliable and elegant, the Honda engine never disappoints, and the introduction of the smart all-wheel drive system is something that will call to a number of enthusiasts. The interior of this car is clean and open, alongside the futuristic exterior is something a lot of buyers will be looking at purchasing.

The CRV has been one of the best-selling vehicles in Honda’s lineup for years after years, which is why the CRV can be a very good choice for some people. Honda’s beloved crossover is cheaper than that of the Mazda but there is not a huge price difference.

The Mazda CX-5 is a sportier option out of the two, the aggressive look matched with all the new upgrades made by Mazda is something that has made the CX-5 very desirable for a younger crowd. The interiors are also very sporty and the CX-5 shares a lot of its DNA with several other sports cars (the floor accelerating pedal).

The exterior of the CX-5 is clean and sportier than the old generations. Honda might have an upper hand in the milage sector, but the Mazda engine produces more power and has a sportier feel for anyone who owns this compact SUV.

Both of these cars have similar infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, the choice of safety technology makes the whole CRV vs CX-5 choice very difficult. Both these cars excel in different areas and both these cars are absolutely amazing. The choice between the two depends upon the customer who has to daily drive this vehicle.

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