Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

2012 Honda CR-V vs. 2013 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Mazda CX-5 Comparison Test and Video

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in Honda

image2012 Honda CR-V vs. 2013 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Mazda CX-5 Comparison Test and Video

We compare the top crossovers on the market today, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited and the 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L.

Read the full story here


Tagged:

Comments

  • sharpendsharpend Member Posts: 177
    Would have been nice to see a Ford Escape and Subaru Forester in the comparison as well.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    Oh look, another car (CX-5) has 19 inch wheels that it does not not and the ride is crap. Gosh, who'd a thunk it!?
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    You know what? I agree. While I would prefer the CX-5 since it drives and looks better (I also love what Mazda is doing these days), the CR-V really best accomplishes the roll of the CUV for most people. The Rav4 is a disappointment however, especially considering how good looking and no-nonsense it was two generations ago. It also lacks a cohesive design direction which I find irksome.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    Surprised by the RAV4's fuel economy numbers in this test; in other comparison tests it runs midpack, and Toyotas generally have no problem hitting the EPA marks. The 18 inch wheels on the Limited are a dumb idea and you guys aren't the only reviewers that mentioned the deterioration in ride quality because of them.

    A relative owns one of these, and the driver's armrest is NOT hard plastic. It's padded with the same faux leather as the seats. Get this stuff right if you are going to ding a vehicle for it.

    This is a very bland segment so it makes sense that the blandest vehicle here won it. But if it were me, I think I could sacrifice just a modicum of practicality and get the Mazda.
  • wdrauchwdrauch Member Posts: 22
    I noticed that no mention is made of the interior materials quality in the CRV. When I spent some time in one, I noticed that the build quality was very good, but there was nothing but hard cheap plastics wherever I touched, sort of like the pre-refresh Civic.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    I'm actually a bit surprised by the result, considering how the staff keeps singing praises about the CX-5 "driving like a Mazda". The numbers do suggest that that Mazda 2.5 is significantly more athletic than the CR-V, I'm a bit surprised by those numbers as well. I agree it would have been good to include the Ford Escape, since it's fighting the CR-V neck and neck for bestseller in this segment.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Member Posts: 501
    The Subaru Forester is the only one that has any potential for driving off road in the woods, on 4X4 only access beaches, etc. and it is not included in the test because apparently this is not even a factor to be considered for SUVs anymore. It is EPA / CAFE idiocy that these tall station wagons even exist. And it is a major oversight that Edmunds leaves out the only one of these vehicles that actually has utility.
  • themandarinthemandarin Member Posts: 436
    Everyone already knows Mazda is better
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    No Escape and no mention of why not? Ford sells a ton of them and I don't see any good reason why it wouldn't have been included in this comparison. I suppose the Forester should be included too, but it's absolutely awful powertrain would certainly have doomed it to last place. Too bad because Subaru's suspension tuning is spot on for urban driving in pothole filled rust belt cities like mine.
  • farvy_farvy_ Member Posts: 9
    There is no Escape in this comparison because the CRV already beat it in an earlier comparison test. This was noted early in the article.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    So they did. My bad. Still, that was the top line 2.0EB version. I would still have liked to see the 1.6 turbo vs these 3.
  • 09rich109rich1 Member Posts: 3
    Let's see... a VW Sportwagen TDI carries nearly as much stuff, drives better, and gets 30 city, 40 highway... hmmm.
  • 7driver7driver Member Posts: 145
    @09rich1,

    But you can't refuel the TDI at a lot of gas stations (an important one of them being Costco).
  • tom_bavistom_bavis Member Posts: 2
    NOBODY will buy with manual transmission? I won't buy one with an automatic - so that leaves the Forester, Mazda (only with 2.0 engine), and Tiguan which the dealers seem to think is a $40K car, and option them accordingly...
  • 7driver7driver Member Posts: 145
    This comparo test doesn't surprise me much. If the average someone asked me to recommend a CUV I'd probably also point them to the CRV. However, if I had to buy a CUV for myself or spouse I'd go with the CX-5. I imagine the Edmunds staff is probably the same way.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    Let's try again... "Oh look, another car (CX-5) has 19 inch wheels that it does not NEED and the ride is crap."
  • redbirdsportredbirdsport Member Posts: 1
    Really? Nobody wants a crossover in a manual?
    I sure do. I love my Mazdas including my current 3, but I would not have bought it without a manual. In fact my wife and I own three manuals. I am upset that Mazda didn't mate the new manual with the 2.5 liter Skyactiv. If they did, I'd be driving one
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Close enough to nobody as to be the same thing and offering it here for the low single digit percentage of buyers that would want one would not be worth the expense of getting it certified to sell here.
  • ford_hondaford_honda Member Posts: 9
    I am not sure why the only vehicle on this test with a C for "Off-Road" and less than 7" of ground clearance won this comparison. This test becomes even more irrelevant when the reviewer complains the CX-5's loading height is too high because it has 8.5" of ground clearance. The only reason I am looking to buy an SUV is for deep snow and 6.7" will not get the CR-V out of my driveway. Not every buyer of an SUV is a Soccer Mommy and needs enough space to load 3 rug rats along with all of their crap. I need the smallest SUV with the most ground clearance and only 2 manufactures produce one for some reason, Subaru Forrester and Mazda CX-5. Now I need to know which one of these two and the Forester was left off the comparison.I am not sure why the only vehicle on this test with a C for "Off-Road" and less than 7" of ground clearance won this comparison. This test becomes even more irrelevant when the reviewer complains the CX-5's loading height is too high because it has 8.5" of ground clearance. The only reason I am looking to buy an SUV is for deep snow and 6.7" will not get the CR-V out of my driveway. Not every buyer of an SUV is a Soccer Mommy and needs enough space to load 3 rug rats along with all of their crap. I need the smallest SUV with the most ground clearance and only 2 manufactures produce one for some reason, Subaru Forrester and Mazda CX-5. Now I need to know which one of these two and the Forester was left off the comparison.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,292
    What did you 3 guys do to get this duty? It must have been something bad.
    My wife has an Escape Titanium with 19 inch rims. We had some kick azz snow storms last winter and it never had a problem with traction.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • se_riouslyse_riously Member Posts: 94
    Too bad the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and CX-5 get "marginal" or "poor" on the small overlap crash test, despite their recent redesigns.

    Forester gets "good" ratings for all tests, and it would be a factor for me if I was in the market.

    Please note that I'm not a fan of any brand. Just pointing out the facts.
  • puertorican12puertorican12 Member Posts: 1
    Nice review, but why you don't include the Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport??
  • scdjngscdjng Member Posts: 1
    This comparison was very surprising, as any other car site has rated the CX-5 to be the best compact CUV on the market and the CR-V to be lacking.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,475
    good to see praise for the normal size tires with a real sidewall. The obsession with huge wheels and skinny sidewalls is out of hand, and is especially silly on a utility vehicle.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • vtx1vtx1 Member Posts: 2
    On paper th RAV-4's rear seat may look like it has less room than the CX5, but in reality the RAV4's rear seat is much roomier and more comfortable than the CX-5s. I know because I have a CX-5 and rented a RAV4 for a week during vacation. The reason the RAV4's rear seat is more comfortable is because first it reclines, and second it's simply roomier. Even when you put the drivers seat as far back as it will go, the rear seat on the RAV4 is roomy. Do that on the CX5 and the rear passeger will be bumping their knee caps on the back of the driver seat.

    And why is Edmunds complaining about the higher car floor height on the CX5? It's a SUV after all, not an autobahn cruiser wagon from Germany. If you want a lower cargo floor then get a wagon and not a SUV you sissies.
  • alex38alex38 Member Posts: 30
    what about a Kia with the 2.0L Turbo? Sure, looks are subjective, but that Honda is one of the NASTIEST looking vehicles on the road...and this from a Honda fan. I'd take the Kia over any of these in a heartbeat..
  • daharbindaharbin Member Posts: 7
    I don't understand why the Mazda gets a "B" and the Honda gets an "A" when each have different strengths. Mazda drives better, while Honda has a bigger cargo area and nicer plastics. That sounds like a tie where you just pick your preference.
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    So in short we have 3 crossover\CUV type vehicles with more or less no major differences between them.

    You could probably blindfold someone have them pick from the three sets of keys and they would be at "Ok" with whatever vehicle they picked.
  • normsky_normsky_ Member Posts: 9
    I just finished a 2,000 mile trip in an AWD Buick Encore averaging 34 mpg. This is mostly on side roads sight seeing and house hunting and doing allot of stopping and turning around over the week in hilly southeastern PA, with the AC on half the time. The Encore AWD handled like a dream eating up sweepers as fast I would want to take them along with the 15 mph hair pin turns that sent cell phones and sun glasses flying. Braking was there in loads of feedback and very easily to modulate even at the bottom of a big hill without fade. The transmission would downshift to 5th gear on the 5% grade hills and hold speed with no problems. I could accelerate at will going up. Some days were 7-9 hours in the saddle without an ache due to the excellent seating areas there was plenty of room to make adjustments. I never thought that I would find the CUV a pleasure to drive and live in for 8 days but this one is a good mate.

    So I happened on this review seeing all types of CUVs from every manufacturer along the long week on the road. Comparing this results to what little I could find on the Encore AWD is it brakes from 60-0 the same or better, out handles these on the skid pad with with smaller 215mm all season rubber, holds speed on 5% grades when it shifts down, gets almost 40 mpg on my all highway daily commute, and weighs 200 lbs less and is blast to hit the sweeping and 15 mph hair pin turns, and has about 65 cubic feet of cargo hauling space with the front passenger seat folded down.

    I thought these made in Japan, RAV4 in Canada, were the cream of the top. But this review sure changed my perspective.
  • martinbuckmartinbuck Member Posts: 3
    My sister's Nissan Xtrail 2 liter diesel 6 speed automatic gets 36 mpg as an average figure. You don't need petrol with these cars, diesel does it better, with 50% more torque enabling easier towing and economy. Whay doesn't America like diesels?
  • scmtbdoonscmtbdoon Member Posts: 3
    My 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring All-Wheel-Drive reminds me strongly of the driving "feel" of my first new car, a 1969 BMW 2002 -- no kidding!!
    The Mazda is very intuitive and easy to drive quickly -- almost sensing what you want from the steering, brakes, suspension and engine. And the high road clearance and interior volume gives you the ability to cart a bunch of stuff down dirt roads or up wet and snowy mountain roads.
    Despite the reviewer's finding of cheap interior plastics, I think the wide use of soft touch materials and understated design is elegant (versus bling-flashy).
    For those wanting a very engaging driving experience in an SUV the Mazda may be an even better choice than Honda CR-V, or even the Ford Escape.
  • steerpike_steerpike_ Member Posts: 8
    Thank you for being realistic about what matters in cars! 17" rims with plenty of sidewall (CR-V) give a BETTER ride than sporty-looking 18" or 19" rims. And a faster 0-60 does not mean overall better real-life behavior.

    I'm tired of reading reviews that focus on cornering and acceleration when these are the least of my concerns when actually driving on a long trip! I want comfort, silence, comfort, and comfort.
  • sj1417_sj1417_ Member Posts: 5
    Considering the newly discovered horrendous crash test results for the RAV and the already discovered horrendous retained resale value of...well, ANY Mazda, why would anyone buy either one?
  • ali34ali34 Member Posts: 1
    2012 Honda CR-V EX-L..Panalo...
Sign In or Register to comment.