A tricky alternative: 2017 Honda CR-V vs. 2017 Mazda CX-5

One has to really feel for the standard new-car purchaser. The one not studying Autoblog and the one who acknowledges a V8 as vegetable juice. For them, choosing between compact crossovers should seem to be selecting between numerous identically sized cardboard bins. Which one would you like? “Ah, I will take the one with the greatest deal.”

Besides, with the 2017 Honda CR-V and now the 2017 Mazda CX-5, Joe P. Everyman has an opportunity to decide on between two autos which might be fairly clearly completely different, but additionally clearly leaders in what they do. All the things else looks like alternate options primarily based on value or maybe off-road readiness (Jeeps Compass and Cherokee, maybe a Subaru Forester).

As scheduling would have it, a 2017 CR-V Touring simply occurred to be sitting in my storage the week I used to be set to drive the brand new CX-5 Grand Touring in San Diego. This is not an entire, scientifically enacted comparability check, however there was sufficient drive time in shut succession on the identical roads and with comparable value tags to attract conclusions.

At its easiest, the CX-5 is your best option for the motive force whereas the CR-V is your best option for everybody else aboard. That is to not say they’re myopic in these classifications – the CX-5 may nonetheless ably deal with household responsibility, whereas the CR-V is impressively well-rounded to drive in a method that should not flip off these looking for some driving involvement. Nevertheless, every has a transparent focus that units it down a unique path towards completely different goal consumers.

2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V

Let’s begin with the newer child on the block from Mazda. It’s best suited to the individual whose life adjustments have dictated the swap from an agile automotive to some kind of household hauler. Its spot-on steering and throttle response evoke Porsche, whereas the six-speed computerized transmission favors efficiency over gas financial system (whereas nonetheless getting actually good gas financial system). These dynamic parts, plus a fastidiously crafted, best driving place ought to make the CX-5 really feel “excellent” for these used to extra sporting, non-family-oriented transport.

Inside, the most recent CX-5 boasts a good-looking, upscale design with supplies to match. Aesthetically, to those eyes no less than, it is the most effective of a crowded bunch. High quality-wise, solely the also-impressive CR-V would appear to return shut. Together with the slick new exterior, the cabin conveys the extra premium vibe that Mazda was taking pictures for with the brand new CX-5 – it additionally makes a extra emotional connection than the standard cardboard field on wheels.

The most recent CR-V is much less cardboard than ever earlier than, however you’d need to be fairly the cubist to choose its seems over the slinky CX-5. Nevertheless, the Honda’s quite bulbous rear-end proportions make its unmatched stuff-carrying potential potential. Its 75.eight cubic toes of most cargo quantity is best-in-class (the CX-5 is down by 5 cubes to 59 cubic toes for 2017) and its low load ground makes lifting in that heavy suitcase or getting the Golden Retriever onboard that a lot simpler.

2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V

It is a comparable story within the again seat. Honda added two inches of rear legroom for 2017, producing a sprawl-out area for adults and an abundance of clearance for a rear-facing youngster seat. Even with the motive force’s seat pushed all the best way again for my 6-foot-Three self, I nonetheless had about Three inches of area remaining within the again. Within the CX-5, my knees had been grazing the seatback – that is wonderful and an excessive instance, however worse nonetheless.

Area for smaller objects up entrance is healthier too, as Honda’s Division of Cubby Bins as soon as once more flaunts its abilities with a pair of huge cupholders and an enormous, versatile purse-friendly bin that may be partitioned with a helpful, moveable tray.

Expertise is a blended bag for each automobiles. Honda’s touchscreen receives some much-needed enhancements within the CR-V (further touch-operated menu shortcut buttons, an actual quantity knob), however it’s nonetheless a bit sluggish to react, going between Apple CarPlay and the Honda techniques can frustrate, and the navigation system feels rudimentary.

2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V2017 Mazda CX-5 vs 2017 Honda CR-V

The CX-5 will get Mazda’s normal system with an Audi-like combo of a dash-mounted display and console-mounted controller (the display is technically touch-operated, however solely when the automobile is stopped). On the entire it really works nicely, however there are sometimes too many steps required when utilizing the audio system and the controller is positioned too far rearward. For those who’re shorter, count on to make use of what can solely be described as “dinosaur arms” to succeed in it. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are additionally not obtainable … but. Mazda says they’ll finally arrive and may be retroactively utilized to already bought automobiles.

Below the hood, you will almost certainly be evaluating the CX-5’s normal 2.5-liter 187-horsepower naturally aspirated four-cylinder to the 1.5-liter, 190-hp turbo 4 discovered on all however the base CR-V. The CX-5’s is the way more responsive engine, whereas the CR-V’s is a bit smoother and quieter. However actually, each are excellent, providing robust acceleration and wonderful gas financial system. The Honda is finally extra environment friendly, although, probably by two or three mpg mixed. You may save about $100 per yr on gasoline.

So there you may have it: two crossover SUVs, each class leaders, however in fully other ways. Which is healthier? That actually is dependent upon you. Nevertheless it would not seem to be a stretch to say that collectively they sit above the cardboard heap. For Joe P. Everyman, begin your search with these two.

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