Best Value SUV: Mazda CX-5

We want to get the best bang for our buck, but value is more than just a price tag. Value extends to the long-term benefits you receive from your SUV in the way of performance, fuel economy, interior versatility and more.

It is for these reasons we chose the Mazda CX-5 as the best value SUV on the market.

Mazda labels its CX-5 as an overachiever, and this title certainly suits this stylish SUV. Let’s dive deeper to show you just how much value this vehicle offers you.


Let’s start with its initial cost. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 begins from $21,795, whereas comparable models are more expensive such as the Kia Sportage LX ($22,150) and the Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium PZEV ($22,395). Pertaining to the average cost of a 2016 compact SUV/crossover, Axlegeeks states the Mazda CX-5 is $4,475 less expensive, representing tremendous value. This value increases when you examine what this SUV can achieve.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel expenses will always be a concern when you factor in a vehicle’s cost of ownership. Luckily, the Mazda CX-5 delivers exceptional efficiency with 35 highway mpg and 26 city mpg, resulting in a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg. This means the CX-5 offers better efficiency than its immediate peers like the Honda CR-V (29 combined mpg) and the Nissan Rogue (29 combined mpg).

This value extends when you consider that extra efficiency pays off with better range. To demonstrate, the CX-5 has a highway range of 518 miles, giving it 57 miles more than what its counterparts average. Meanwhile, you also gain an edge with city commuting, as the CX-5 receives 25 miles more per tank. Overall, this means you’ll receive more mileage per fill up with the CX-5 over some of its competition.


Performance Capabilities

One of the best aspects of the Mazda CX-5 is that while it is efficient it doesn’t sacrifice in power capabilities. Equipped with a 2.0L Inline-4 engine, the SUV has a payload capacity of 1,065 pounds—a 65-pound advantage over the 1,000-pound average set by its peers.

The CX-5 possesses a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. This places its output on par with those offered by the Jeep Cherokee Sport and the Kia Sportage. Therefore, with the Mazda CX-5, you receive all the performance capabilities found in brands like Jeep for a lower price.

Interior Space

This SUV features more interior volume than you will find in the Hyundai Tucson or the Kia Sportage. With its 40/20/40 split fold-down rear seatback it creates a maximum cargo room of 65.4 cubic feet. The CX-5 also has 34.1 cubic feet of trunk space, meaning it has a larger trunk than the Nissan Rogue S. All these factors illustrate you get more interior room with the Mazda CX-5.



The Mazda CX-5 earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. It received top accolades like this thanks to its outstanding safety equipment.

With the CX-5, you receive the iACTIVESENSE safety system. This system encompasses many tools such as rear cross traffic alert and adaptive front-lighting system. As part of this package, you’ll also receive unique features like smart brake support. This system works by detecting objects ahead of you and emits a warning when braking is necessary. If you are slow to respond, the system applies the brakes automatically.

Another outstanding feature is the distance recognition support system. Once your SUV reaches speeds of 19 mph or more, it activates this system. From there, it will measure the distance between your SUV and the vehicle in front of you, recommending a comfortable space that provides you with plenty of reaction time. If your SUV cuts into this distance it will signal a warning light.


An SUV’s style might not signify value to some, but what makes the Mazda CX-5 different is its distinctive shape. Using Mazda’s KODO “Soul of Motion” design, this SUV resembles the agility and movement of a wild cat. In many regards, the style captures the elegance and power this SUV delivers, giving it added value in buyers’ minds.



While the Mazda CX-5 delivers the best value, there are plenty of models close behind.

The Chevrolet Trax is more affordable than the CX-5, with a starting price of $20,300. The Trax also matches the CX-5 in fuel economy (30 combined mpg) and earned a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.

However, the CX-5 delivers more all around value by generating better horsepower and having a significantly larger trunk space. Therefore, for $1,495 more, you receive great fuel efficiency, a spacious interior and better performance capabilities with the CX-5. These benefits more than negate the difference in price.

Another worthy competitor is the Honda CR-V. Starting at $23,745, the CR-V is less expensive than what its class average is, yet it is more expensive than the Mazda CX-5. Adding to the CR-V’s appeal is it earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ honor, it delivers 185-horsepower and has 37.20 cubic feet of trunk space.

The CX-5 measures up well to the Honda CR-V as it generates better fuel efficiency, towing capacity and also possesses a spacious interior. Therefore, you receive many of the same features you would find on the CR-V on the CX-5 for less expense.

Our Take

The Mazda CX-5 earned the best value SUV from us for a variety of reasons. First, its initial cost and excellent fuel efficiency mean you’ll save money now and well into the future. It also delivers impressive power performance, offers more interior space than some of its immediate peers and features some of the most innovative safety equipment. With these factors in mind, the Mazda CX-5 delivers in all the right areas with an unbeatable price.


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