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The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is one of the more exhilarating performers among the models we’ve listed above. Its standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 187 hp and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. That makes it more powerful than the CR-V’s mill (190 hp and 179 lb.-ft. of torque) and the default powerplant in the Outback (182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. of torque). While the other models in this comparison either produce the same output or are slightly more robust right out of the gate, Mazda offers an available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that whisks out 256 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque. The only other model with a more powerful engine is the Outback – but it’s priced higher. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 also comes with standard all-wheel drive, which cannot be said of the CR-V, RAV4, Sportage, Tucson, or Rogue. What’s more, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds: more than the CR-V’s and RAV4’s 1,500 lb. limit.
While looks are subjective, there’s no denying the upscale appeal of the 2023 Mazda CX-5. This is especially true of the Carbon Edition trim, which flaunts radiant red leather seats and unique Polymetal Gray exterior paint. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is also a cut above the rest when it comes to standard equipment. The 2.5 S Premium trim (MSRP: $32,400) gets plenty of first-rate amenities, such as adaptive LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen. The similarly priced trims of each respective competitor don’t have as many high-end standard features.
Most models offer the same suite of advanced safety features, with these technologies in common: forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. That said, those features are standard in the base version (2.5S) of the 2023 Mazda CX-5, which has an MSRP of $26,700. To enjoy those driver-assist features in the CR-V, Sportage, Outback, and Rogue, you’ll have to opt for a more expensive trim than the base model. And although the RAV4 LE is comparably priced at $26,975, it doesn’t get blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.