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2018 Honda CR-V

Starting Price: $25,145 | Price Yours

Above Average: Honda reliability, Honda resale, available turbocharged engine, big back seat and cargo area

Below Average: Latest driver assists cost extra, missing some high-end options, lackluster infotainment system

Consensus: The segment leader continues to shine, offering value, safety and peace of mind at a very affordable price

 

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2018 Mazda CX-5

Starting Price: $25,125 | Price Yours

Above Average: Expressive styling, upscale interior, sporty ride and handling, standard low-speed automatic emergency braking

Below Average: Small cargo space, infotainment touchscreen lockouts, advanced driver assists cost extra

Consensus: If you fancy yourself a driving enthusiast, this is the compact crossover for you.

 

The 2018 Honda CR-V remains a favorite for a number of reasons. It’s priced right, offers a roomy interior and cargo area, sips gas and earns top marks for its crash test results and resale values. So good is the CR-V that it won KBB’s Small SUV Best Buy of 2018 Award. And, while the 2018 Mazda CX-5 hasn’t made our Best Buy list, it certainly has a number of impressive attributes. The CX-5 may be the best driving compact crossover in the segment, and its interior looks as though it could have been pulled from an expensive European luxury car. As with the CR-V, you have to pay more to get the full suite of active driver assists, although with the CX-5 a low-speed automatic emergency braking system is standard. Later this year Mazda plans to offer the CX-5 with a diesel engine, but delays in EPA certification make giving an exact date impossible.

Similarities

Good resale values, numerous upgrades and optional advanced collision avoidance systems are common to both the CR-V and CX-5

Honda CR-V Advantages

Smooth ride, excellent resale values, big cargo bay, available road departure mitigation, available turbocharged engine, 5-star safety rating, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Mazda CX-5 Advantages

Sporty ride, available diesel engine, standard low-speed automatic emergency braking, upscale interior

Final Recommendation

The CR-V is a win-win proposition, offering a nearly unbeatable combination of price, value, features and fuel economy. However, if you’re looking for a small SUV that handles like a nimble sport sedan, gets good fuel economy and stands out in a crowd, the Mazda CX-5 deserves a look.

  2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Mazda CX-5
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 184 hp @ 6,400 rpm 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 180 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm 186 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 28 mpg (26 city, 32 hwy) 28 mpg (25 city, 31 hwy)
Also Available 1.5L turbo I4, AWD AWD
Specs    
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 4 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 104.7 inches 106.2 inches
Overall Length 180.6 inches 179.1 inches
Width 73.0 inches 72.5 inches
Height 66.1 inches 65.4 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 36 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 39.7 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.2 inches 39.0 inches
Legroom, Front 41.3 inches 41.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 40.4 inches 39.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.9 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.6 inches 54.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 105.9 cu. ft.  103.6 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 39.2 cu. ft. 30.9 cu. ft.
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