Ford Escape vs. Mazda CX-5 – Full Comparison
Ford Escape VS Mazda CX-5
If you find yourself being forced to flip a coin between the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5, you are not alone. These are two hot vehicles with their own list of fantastic qualities. On one hand, you have Escape, which pretty much dominates the small crossover segment. Then, you have CX-5, an all-new vehicle that has a lot to love. So, do you choose the vehicle with proven reliability, or do you opt for a vehicle that you won’t see very many of yet on the roads of wherever you happen to live?
There are three engine choices available in Ford Focus, but two for Mazda CX-5. Mazda gives its small crossover a hearty 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is good for 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but a six-speed automatic is available, and must be selected to have all-wheel drive. This is a fairly light vehicle, so despite the small engine, acceleration speeds are decent, taking 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. Mazda says it’s CX-5 will yield 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. For more power, there is a 2.5-liter SKYACTIVE®-G available that generates 184 horsepower.
The base engine on Escape is a little more powerful than CX-5. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder offers 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque, and returns 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. A turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 is standard on SE and SEL. It delivers 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and can generously tow 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped. Lastly, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 is standard on Titanium and optional on SE and SEL. It produces 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque yet manages to yield 25 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is available on all models, except the “S” trim.
Driving and Handling
When it comes to handling, Escape has earned its reputation as a spirited and easy-to-drive vehicle. Many slip behind the wheel expecting it to be awkward and clumsy, due to size, but it is surprisingly agile. Everything from the braking to the steering to the suspension is more than capable, and you don’t feel much body roll on winding roads.
CX-5 does not have the reputation Escape has, but it only takes one test drive to find that the new vehicle handles itself quite nicely on the road. It is not the fastest or quietest choice, but the ride is smooth, comfortable and capable.
There is something to be said about buying a vehicle with a trusted reputation, especially if safety is on your mind. However, CX-5 has already been put through roof, front and side-impact crash tests, and received top safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
CX-5 has high tensile steel reinforcements and side-impact door beams to help keep passengers safe. If there is an accident, the fuel cuts off, and blind-spot monitoring is also available. Escape gives you a long list of safety features that faithful Ford buyers have grown to appreciate and even expect, such as post-collision safety system, tire-pressure monitoring, turn signal mirrors and engine immobilizer.
You can’t go wrong with the exterior of either of these vehicles. Although CX-5 is a brand new vehicle, Escape is fully redesigned for the model year, so either way, you will be cruising around in something fresh and exciting.
Escape boasts a little international lineage that you can see in the harmonic balance created by an athletic stance and graceful lines. From its sculpted wheel arches to its trapezoidal-shaped lower grille to the bright dual exhaust tips, this is a vehicle that will turn heads from every angle.
CX-5 boasts Mazda’s “Soul of Motion” design philosophy with fluent and flowing lines that make the vehicle appear as though it is always in motion. It also offers some fantastic wheel choices in 17, 18 and 19-inch sizes.
The cabin in both of the vehicles will impress you. They are both thoughtfully designed and modern, and offer a surprising amount of room. Ford’s redesign for Escape leaves it with an upscale feel. Gauges are easy-to-read and controls are in reach. The materials used offer an improved quality; this is just a nice cabin to be in. Plus, the front seats are generously padded and given plenty of bolstering for support.
A highlight for CX-5 would have to be the black gauges that have white lettering. They are incredibly easy to read and almost soothing on the eyes. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, and an abundance of legroom can be appreciated in both rows.
These vehicles are neck-and-neck in terms of cargo space. Behind the front seats, Mazda CX-5 offers 65 cubic feet while Escape is at 68.1 cubes.
Technology and Entertainment
There is absolutely no shortage of technology in either of these vehicles. In fact, you may forget you are in such a modestly priced vehicle when you see all the bells and whistles. A huge highlight for Escape is the foot-activated tailgate. SYNC® lets you use voice commands to control just about everything from Bluetooth to audio. Speaking of audio, the available Sony® system is well worth upgrading to as it gives you 10 premium speakers, a dual-channel subwoofer, HD Radio, iTunes® Tagging and 355 watts of power.
CX-5 has a nine-speaker Bose® system available that offers Pandora®, HD Radio, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Plus, it has a fantastic optional navigation system by TomTom® that includes a 5.8-inch display with voice recognition.
Image thanks to www.goauto.com.au