In the 21st century the automobile industry evolved on a major scale, transforming into something very big and beautiful. With the economy these days people are able to own not one, but two, three, or even more cars, and so, as you could imagine, the industry had a big boost in profit. Worldwide sales are going up for about 10 years in a row now (despite the common fear of crashing), and that’s the strongest statement for a healthy and prosperous market. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of combinations, including crossovers, hybrids – you name it. And it’s not just a fool’s errand. All of the niche markets have their loyal fan base, and there’s a very tense yet fair competition happening in each and every last one of them.
The Best Of The Best
The compact crossover segment had a long way to go, but, in the last couple of years it managed to squeeze into the major market. And, if you happen to be searching for one, I suggest you take a very up-close and personal look at today’s contestants: Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5. With the 2015 editions of both brands doing exceptionally well on the market, I’ve decided to make a very detailed comparison of the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015.
These cars are definitely on top of the best small SUVs list, with selling points such as affordable pricing, amazing fuel-efficiency, great equipment levels, and very spacious and comfortable interiors. So, no wonder that these two are one of the best-selling SUVs out there, and not only in the compact crossover segment, but on a larger scale as well. Alright, so, before we dig into the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs. Mazda CX-5 2015 battle, let’s take a quick look at what’s new with the 2015 editions of the RAV4 and the CX-5.
Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 – Tradition vs Innovation
As far as big changes go, the 2015 edition of the Toyota RAV4 isn’t really a major redesign, or even a swift reshape. That’s ok, because it already went through some significant changes in 2013, and the next major visit to the beauty parlor can be expected only in the 2016, or maybe even 2017 edition. Still, we’ve got some updates for the 2015 model year, including some brand-new colors, wheels, as well as a power liftgate, that’s available for the XLE trim level.
If you think that RAV4 is a lazy-ass brand, you should take a closer look at the CX-5. The 2015 edition of Mazda’s vehicle is almost identical to the previous model years, with the exception of keyless ignition and entry becoming standard on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Yep, not much for both brands, so, if you’re looking for a winner in the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 rivalry in terms of introducing lots of exciting new features for the 2015, then you’re out of luck – it’s a square round – can’t get any more square than that!
On the bright side though, I gotta say, that they don’t really need much change. As history shows us, there is always a time for any solid model in the automobile industry, when there’s literally nothing left to introduce. I’m not saying that we’ve got a Zugzwang on our hands, and that the companies won’t find some amazing new features and developments worthy of our attention – just talking about the state of affairs for today.
Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 – The Reliable Choice
The 2015 RAV4 is far ahead of the Mazda CX-5 in terms of reliability. According to J.D.Power, Toyota’s brand is significantly better than its rival. The specialists at J.D. gave the RAV4 4 circles in their Power Circle Ratings, which is a better than average rank. At the same time, the CX-5 got only two circles, and that’s a below average mark. If you’re interested in warranty coverage, then you should know, that both crossover SUVs are pretty much even:
They offer three years or 36K miles of back-to-front coverage along with five years or 25K miles of powertrain protection. Still, RAV4 has a bit of advantage here as well, providing 2 years or 25K miles of free maintenance. So, all in all, Toyota’s car is the obvious winner in the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 battle, if running cost and overall reliability are of big importance to you.
Both CX-5 and RAV4 come equipped with just 4-cyl engines. Toyota RAV4 offers only one powerplant, a 2.5-lit, 4-cyl engine with a horsepower of 176. Mazda CX-5, on the other hand, provides a choice of two: you can go either with the 2.0-lit 155Hp or the 2.5-li 184HP – it’s totally up to you. With the RAV4, fuel-efficiency equals 31 miles per gallon on the highways, and 23 MPG in the city with the 2WD (two-wheel drive), and 29 highway/22 city MPG with the 4WD.
Mazda’s steel friend is much more efficient, when it comes to fuel economy: The 2.0-lit engine provides up to 35 mpg on the highways and 29 in the city with the 2WD and a stick shift, and 32 hwy/26 city with the automatic transmission. With the 4WD (four wheel drive) you’ll get a MPG of 31 hwy/25 city. And even with the 2.5-lit engine, that provides 184HP, the CX-5 still manages to top the RAV4’s statistics, landing at 32 mpg hwy/25 mpg city with the 2WD, and 31 mpg hwy/25 mpg city with the 4WD.
So, as a result, the CX-5 is a much better choice for everybody trying to get the best fuel-efficiency from a modern-day crossover SUV. And that’s the first major win for Mazda in the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs. Mazda CX-5 2015 competition.
Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 – Safety Precautions
As it turns out, safety is CX-5’s strongest suit so far. It managed to outperform Toyota’s contestant in the government crash tests, gaining the highest score possible – 5 stars, as compared to RAV4’s 4-star rating (which is still pretty good). CX-5 also strongly outran the RAV4 in testing, conducted by the IIHS, obtaining the Top Safety Pick+. RAV4 wasn’t even close to that, but, strangely enough, it actually provides extra safety features that Mazda doesn’t.
Obviously, both vehicles have all the necessary basics, such as: traction control, anti-lock brakes, and curtain side bags. And while both contestants feature a back-up camera and blind spot monitoring (pretty standard these days, RAV4 takes it one step further by introducing a lane-departure warning system, as well a rear cross-traffic alert system.
So, in the long run, it all comes down to personal taste: if you’re a sucker for all kinds of cool gadgets, then you should go with the RAV4; and, if you’re looking for a crash-test champion, than Mazda CX-5 is your best pick.
Even though Mazda is a known leader in everything progressive and technological, the CX-5 isn’t the company’s most tech-packed brand. It doesn’t have some of the newest developments, like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Nevertheless, both RAV4 and CX-5 feature roughly the same equipment, including backup cameras, navigation systems, great sound systems, and even automatic headlights. So, this is another square round – none of the two stands out.
Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 – Price Tags
As for the value, both crossover SUVs provide pretty much the same equipment for the price. Fact – basic price for the CX-5 is cheaper, but it comes packed with a fairly lazy 2.0-lit engine, paired with a manual transmission. If you decide to go with the available combo of a 2.5-lit engine and an automatic transmission, then you’ll see that the price difference is gone. So, ultimately, the two brands are identical in price – yet another draw in the Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Mazda CX-5 2015 battle. You can get the 2015 RAV4 LE for 25K MSRP, which is the price for the CX-5 2015 Sport edition with the 2.5-lit engine.
If you’re looking for an overall solid small crossover, the RAV4 2015 and the CX-5 2015 are two amazing choices for you. Mazda’s strong suits in this competition are good MPG and impressive crash test results. RAV4 has the advantage of better reliability ratings from J.D. Power. For some people, that’s more than enough to go with Toyota. For others – fuel-efficiency and safety are above all. What is the most important thing to you? Take your pick, and let us know.
Watch also this video: 2016 Mazda CX 5 vs 2015 Toyota RAV4.
See also: Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Toyota 4Runner 2015