Compare Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-5

Comparing the Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX-5

The Subaru Crosstrek and the Maxda CX-5 are two compact crossovers with considerable strengths. Both are good-looking, sporty SUVs that drive well, are known for their reliability, have great safety ratings and appeal to younger drivers who regularly travel from city to country with friends and/or lots of gear. There are some important differences, however, beginning with all-wheel drive.

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Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-5

  • All-wheel drive. Only the Subaru Crosstrek offers standard symmetrical all-wheel drive. If you live in an area of the country that typically experiences rough winters or if you regularly drive on rough roads in inclement weather, AWD is a must-have capability. The CX-5 comes standard with full-wheel drive, while AWD is a more expensive add-on option.
  • Safety. The Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Crosstrek both earned a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as Top Safety Pick+ scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But the CrossTrek has Subaru's highly-regarded new EyeSight driver-assist and active-safety systems. EyeSight monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and warns you if you sway outside your lane. The Pre-Collision Braking feature can even apply full braking force in emergency situations, helping you avoid or reduce frontal impacts.
  • Performance and fuel economy. Only the Crosstrek offers the boxer engine, whose horizontal piston alignment affords a lower center of gravity and contributes to the Crosstrek's exceptional traction and handling in challenging driving conditions. The Crosstrek also manages to compare very favorably on fuel economy (26 city/34 highway versus 26 city/33 highway for CX-5) despite being having all-wheel drive, which in other cars is sometimes a drag on fuel efficiency.
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