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Mazda CX-5 vs. Subaru Forester

When we compare the Mazda CX-5 to the Subaru Forester, the Mazda CX-5 has the advantage in the areas of typical lower range of pricing for one- to five-year-old used cars and base engine power. The Subaru Forester has the advantage in the areas of new vehicle base pricing, fuel efficiency, interior volume and overall quality score. Based on this comparison of the Mazda CX-5 versus the Subaru Forester, the Subaru Forester is a better car than the Mazda CX-5.

Mazda CX-5 versus Subaru Forester Pricing

A one- to five-year-old used Mazda CX-5 ranges from $23,999 to $34,276 while a used Subaru Forester from the same model year range is priced between $26,279 to $37,409. For a new model, the Mazda CX-5's price is between $29,226 and $38,742, with the Subaru Forester priced between $27,341 and $37,623.

Mazda CX-5 versus Subaru Forester Quality Rating

The iSeeCars Overall Quality rating for the Mazda CX-5 is 8.3 out of 10 while the Subaru Forester's quality rating is 8.7 out of 10. This results in the Mazda CX-5 being ranked 8 out of 24 Best Small SUVs and the Subaru Forester being ranked 4 out of 24. Out of 61 Best Crossover SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 is ranked 61 and the Subaru Forester is ranked 4.

Engine Power and Fuel Efficiency Comparison

For engine performance, the Mazda CX-5’s base engine makes 187 horsepower, and the Subaru Forester base engine makes 182 horsepower. The CX-5 is rated to deliver an average of 26 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 459 miles. The Forester is rated to deliver an average of 29 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 548 miles. Both models use regular unleaded.

Passenger Space Comparison

While both models are crossover/compact SUVs, the Subaru Forester has the advantage of offering more interior volume, reflected in more front head room, front shoulder room, front leg room, rear head room and rear shoulder room. The Mazda CX-5 has the advantage in the areas of rear leg room trunk space.

Hauling, Towing, and Off-Road Capabilities Comparison

The Subaru Forester has the advantage of offering higher ground clearance and payload capacity than the Mazda CX-5.

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2023 Mazda CX-5

2022 Subaru Forester

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$29,226 - $38,742

Used Asking Price:

$23,999 - $34,276

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

39.8%

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$27,341 - $37,623

Used Asking Price:

$26,279 - $37,409

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

38.4%

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.3 / 10

Reliability:

7.2 / 10

Retained Value:

8.0 / 10

Safety:

9.9 / 10

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.7 / 10

Reliability:

8.1 / 10

Retained Value:

8.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Rankings

8 / 24
12 / 61
14 / 24
15 / 24
26 / 61
27 / 61
29 / 61

iSeeCars Rankings

4 / 61
4 / 61
4 / 24
4 / 24
8 / 24
11 / 61
16 / 61

Summary Review

The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover with seating for five and a reputation as a favorite for drivers. The current Mazda CX-5 was redesigned for the 2017 model year, with new models costing an average of $32,211 and recent models averaging $23,771.

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Summary Review

The Subaru Forester is a five-seat, compact SUV that foregoes the station wagon styling of other Subaru models for a more utilitarian, square-bodied design. The Forester has earned a reputation as a reliable and capable all-weather SUV with a spacious cabin and versatile cargo space. New models of the Forester cost an average of $32,632 and 3-year-old models average $23,752.

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Pros and Cons

  • Dynamic driving experience
  • Near-luxury interior design and materials
  • Available 250-hp turbo engine on newer models

  • No hybrid available
  • Fuel economy lags class leaders
  • Non-turbo models could use more power

Pros and Cons

  • All-wheel drive is standard
  • Better-than-average ground clearance and off-road capability
  • Large cargo area

  • Engine power could be stronger
  • Low tow rating may not match many buyers’ lifestyles
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) not to everyone’s liking

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Trim Levels

2.5 Turbo Signature, 2.5 S, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 Turbo, 2.5 S Premium Plus, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Select

Trim Levels

Touring, Sport, Wilderness, Base, Limited, Premium

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

4.85 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

187 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque:

186 foot-lbs @ 4000 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.050 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque:

176 foot-lbs @ 4400 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.053 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Inline

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Automatic

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

24 / 30 / 26

Range (city/hwy):

367 / 459 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Flat/Horizontally Opposed

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT Automatic)

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

26 / 33 / 29

Range (city/hwy):

432 / 548 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Standard

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

N/A

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

N/A

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Standard

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Standard

360-Degree Camera:

Available

Rear Seat Reminder:

N/A

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

N/A

Rear Seat Reminder:

Standard

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

39.7 inches

Front Leg Room:

41 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

57.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

54.8 inches

Cargo Space:

30.8 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

59.3 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

134.4 cubic feet

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

41.2 inches

Front Leg Room:

43.3 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

58.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.4 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

57.2 inches

Cargo Space:

28.9 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

74.2 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

140.5 cubic feet

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3717 lbs

Width:

83.3 inches

Height:

66.1 inches

Length:

180.1 inches

Wheelbase:

106.2 inches

Ground Clearance:

7.6 inches

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3454 lbs

Width:

80.9 inches

Height:

67.5 inches

Length:

182.7 inches

Wheelbase:

105.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

alloy

Tire Size:

P225/65R17

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

steel

Tire Size:

225/60R17