2018 Honda CR-V vs 2018 Mazda CX-5Featured Head to Heads & Advice Honda Mazda 

Head to Head: 2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Mazda CX-5

What do you get when you pair up MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year with AutoGuide’s Reader’s Choice Utility Vehicle of the Year? You get a fierce competition between two of 2018’s top choices in the SUV/crossover market. Brace yourself for Head to Head: 2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Mazda CX-5.

2018 Mazda CX-5
2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Mazda CX-5 Performance Comparison  
Verdict: The two crossovers come with almost identical engines and power, with the exception of the all-new diesel engine and powertrain offered by Mazda in 2018. We are also happy to report that both crossovers saw upward trends in fuel economy from 2017 to 2018.

Honda CR-V
2018 trim levels of the CR-V include the LX with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), EX with CVT, EXL with CVT, and the Honda CR-V Touring with CVT.

2018 Honda CR-V LX EX EXL Touring
2WD CR-V 26 / 32 / 28 28 / 34 / 30 28 / 34 / 30 28 / 34 / 30*
AWD CR-V -City/Highway/Combined 25 / 31 / 27 27 / 33 / 29 27 / 33 / 29 27 / 33 / 29*

The 2018 CR-V is available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in both the 2WD and AWD models. It generates 184-horsepower and throws off 180 pound-feet of torque at 3900 rpm.

Mazda CX-5
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 trim levels have not been officially released, but if last year’s models carry over, they will be the Sport, Touring, Grand Select, and Grand Touring configurations.

Also like last year’s model, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 187 horsepower and is paired with a six-speed automatic. Notable mention: Diesel fans rejoice: A diesel Mazda CX-5 (2.2-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder) model will be made available in 2018. It’ll pump out 150 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm.

Mileage ratings for the 2018 Mazda CX-5 have not been released yet, hence we are including the gas mileage for 2017 CX-5 trim levels. Mazda has been quoted as saying even though the 2018 estimations haven’t yet been released, gas mileage is about one mile higher across the board. The new cylinder-deactivation feature is the driving force behind the uptick in fuel economy. During cruising, two of the four cylinders shut down to improve gas mileage. Until we get the full breakdown, check the numbers below.

2018 Mazda CX-5
FWD Automatic Transmission 24/31/32*
AWD Automatic Transmission 23/29/31*

*Word on the street is there will also be a six-speed manual transmission available.

2018 Honda CR-V

2018 Honda CR-V vs 2018 Mazda CX-5 Price and Lifestyle Comparison

Verdict: Beauty—and utility—is in the eye of the beholder and the only way to really say which is better depends on driver preference. Pricing is also pretty even across the board, with Honda having the slight edge by about a $1,000-less MSRP.

Although the Honda compact crossover got a fresh new design last year, the 2018 model has more roominess all around, with 40 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, and more than generous space for five passengers and their gear. Base CR-V models come standard with a rearview camera, cruise control, a 5-inch display screen and 4-speaker audio. Higher trim levels come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, heated front seats and the highly-rated safety suite: Honda Sensing.

The 2018 Honda CR-V MSRP starts at $24,150**

Check your local AutoNation Honda dealership for inventory and to set up a test-drive.

New for the CR-V in 2018 is a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, as well as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. These features now come on the base model, whereas last year, you could only get them on the higher trim levels. Notable mention: A full suite of driver’s assistance features is now available across all trim levels. Mum’s the word on whether Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility will be included.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 MSRP starts at $25,125**

Check your local AutoNation Mazda dealership for inventory and to set up a test-drive.

*Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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