The compact crossover segment is a popular one. Combining the best of an SUV and a car, the models generally offer a car-like driving experience with the visibility of an SUV, better gas mileage than SUV’s and better headroom than cars, these kinds of mixtures of features seems to satisfy a fairly broad market. Today, we’re putting two models, the CR-V, a Honda that has been around for quite some time, and the Mazda MX-5, a newcomer to the segment, head to head to see how the newcomer stacks up to the elder.
Starts at: $22,945
Powered by: 185hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder
MPG: 23 city/ 31 Hwy
Outside: 16-inch wheels, remote entry, power side mirrors, halogen headlights with auto off, daytime running lights
Inside: Rearview camera, Bluetooth, SMS texting, power windows, power door and tailgate locks, illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, USB, Pandora compatible, econ button, eco assist, intelligent Multi-information display, heated front seats, moonroof, leather wrapped steering wheel
Performance: all wheel drive available with intelligent control system, hill start assist grade logic control
Safety: Vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, tire pressure monitoring
Starts at: $21,545
Powered by: 155hp Skyactiv 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 184hp Skyactiv 2.5-liter 4-cylider
MPG: 26 city/35 hwy
Outside: HID Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, adaptive front lighting system, halogen fog lights, rain sensing windshield wipers, advanced keyless entry
Inside: leather trimmed steering wheel, seats and shift knob, heated front seats, power sliding glass moonroof, auto-dimming rear view mirror, SMS texting, Bluetooth, Pandora compatibility rear view camera
Performance: Skyactive chassis, traction control system, available all wheel drive, aerodynamic body
Safety: Dynamic stability control, E911 automatic notification, Smart City brake support, blind spot monitoring
While the Honda CR-V has a more powerful base engine and a few more safety features, overall I think it’s safe to say the Mazda CX-5 offers more than enough to compete. The CX-5 could easily be considered more attractive, and having personally driven the model, it’s actually fun to be behind the wheel of. Both models do offer several variants to choose from, front and all wheel drive options, and just about the same in all categories.