Compact crossovers have become the new greatest hits of the automotive industry because they combine numerous benefits without any serious drawbacks. For starts, a compact crossover is higher off the ground which offers you a better driving position, more visibility, and more utility. These also come with ample space, style, technology, and desirability.
The Hyundai Tucson and the Mazda CX-5 are the two heavyweights in this segment which means that these two are some of the most popular cars in the market as a whole. They look good, they drive well, they are reliable, efficient, and relatively affordable, but which one is the one to get? So, Hyundai Tucson vs Mazda CX5 – Which is better?
When it comes to engine choices, the Tucson follows the modern-day efficient and sophisticated engine formula which consists of gasoline and hybrid engines. The CX-5 on the other hand also comes in diesel variants, but there are no hybrid CX-5 models yet. Both of these are available with AWD as an option.
The driving experience is similar, yet the CX-5 feels a bit more dynamic. Reliability is excellent with both of these as Mazda and Hyundai are known to make some of the most reliable cars on the market. Practicality is also really good, but the Tucson is the slightly more spacious car overall.
The current Hyundai Tucson represents a huge leap from the previous model as Hyundai stopped offering diesel engines and because the design of the Tucson is five steps ahead of the previous model. You can expect to pay at least $27,000 for the Tucson while nicely equipped hybrid models can set you back for around $10,000 more.
You can choose between two engine options, a small 1.6L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 150hp or the 230hp/265hp hybrid 1.6L 4-cylinder that comes in both HEV and PHEV form. FWD comes as standard, but you can upgrade to AWD if you want. Most Tucson models in most markets get the automatic transmission while some also offer a manual. MPG is rated at 29MPG combined while the hybrid model can get up to 40MPG.
Design-wise, the Tucson is a really big leap over the previous model thanks to futuristic-looking headlights and equally futuristic design touches. The interior is laid out really nicely and is packed with lots of tech, especially the two widescreen displays. The Tucson drives in a normal fashion as it does not try to be sporty all that much.
Reliability is excellent as is the case with most new Hyundai SUVs. Practicality is also really good because the Tucson can sit up to four people without any issues. To top it all off, the Tucson also gets one of the largest trunks in this segment.
The current Mazda CX-5 has been on the market for a few years which means that it can be bought for $26,000 or so while well-equipped models will set you back for around $37,000. You can choose between two gasoline engines, a smaller 2.0L 4-cylinder with 165hp or a more powerful 2.5L 4-cylinder with 194hp. You can also get the CX-5 with a 2.2L 4-cylinder diesel engine with 184hp.
FWD comes as standard, but you can upgrade to AWD if you want. The CX-5 also comes with an automatic in most markets. When it comes to design, we can easily say that the CX-5 has aged really well as the current Mazda design really does stand the test of time really well. The interior also looks nice, but it is showing its age a bit more.
Reliability is also great, nothing short of excellent. The driving experience is where the CX-5 does make a difference as it is one of the most dynamic crossovers in this segment. It does fall short when it comes to interior space, and the rated fuel efficiency for the CX-5 is around 30MPG at best.
Verdict – The Hyundai Tucson is better
Even though the CX-5 is a tremendous SUV, the Tucson takes it because it is a newer model and is in line with the latest offerings from this segment. The CX-5 lacks certain features, especially in the technology department where the Tucson takes it with ease. We also need to mention that there are no CX-5 hybrid models on the market.
The Tucson offers more space and a better-looking exterior and interior design. The CX-5 is the one with better driving dynamics, but the Tucson manages to beat it when it comes to comfort. We can easily say that the Tucson takes it, but we will have to wait and see before Mazda comes out with the next-gen CX-5 as that is going to be a really interesting comparison.
Is the Hyundai Tucson safer than the Mazda CX-5?
IIHS rated both the CX-5 and the Tucson with its highest “Top Safety Pick Plus” award which means that both of these are excellent when it comes to safety. We do need to mention that the CX-5 performs slightly better when it comes to torso injuries and headlight technologies in all variants while the Tucson is better with ADAS, and seatbelt reminders.
We can easily say that it is neck and neck between these two as both Hyundai and Mazda managed to perfect the art of making safe and durable cars.
Is the Hyundai Tucson a better family car than the Mazda CX-5?
The Hyundai Tucson is noticeably bigger than the CX-5 which means that it offers more space throughout. We also need to mention that the Tucson is designed for family use primarily while the CX-5 isn’t as family-oriented. This does not mean that the CX-5 is not a good family car, but rather that the Tucson is better.
Is the Hyundai Tucson more reliable than the Mazda CX-5?
According to J.D. Power, the Tucson earned an 88/100 reliability rating while the Mazda CX-5 earned an 81/100 reliability rating. Both of these ratings are excellent and the differences aren’t substantial, but they do indeed iterate that the Tucson is slightly more dependable as a whole.
However, the Tucson is still way too fresh to see how well it is going to cope with long-term reliability, but this shouldn’t be an issue as most Hyundai models tend to be consistent in that regard.