Hyundai Tucson vs. Mazda CX-5

By

Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - May 17, 2018

When the Mazda CX-5 came out in 2012, it shocked the industry as being one of the sleeker, more enjoyable compact SUVs to drive on the road. Six years later, the CX-5 still impresses with its athletic character, and it's still regarded as one of the better-looking vehicles on the road. The Hyundai Tucson has been around a littler long, first appearing on the scene back in 2005. Since then, the Tucson has continuously improved, making it a handsome, value-packed SUV.

So, which one of these attractive SUVs deserves a spot in your driveway? Here's how the two compare to one another:

See a side-by-side comparison of the Tucson & CX-5 »

What the CX-5 Gets Right

Mazda only offers the CX-5 with one engine, but it's more powerful than any of the Tucson's available engines. The CX-5 is fitted with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The most powerful Tucson is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-four that's rated to make 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Six horsepower may not sound like a massive difference, but it helps the CX-5 feel a little sportier.

The CX-5's more powerful engine helps it to be able to tow more cargo, too. The Mazda has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. While that's not enough to tow a large boat, it's 1,000 lbs. more than the Tucson's maximum towing capacity. If you're planning to tow small cargo or complete some kind of home improvement project, the CX-5 is the handier choice.

Surprisingly, the CX-5 also gets marginally better fuel-economy figures than the Tucson. The EPA rates the Mazda to get 25 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 28 combined. The most fuel-efficient variant of the Tucson can get up to 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined.

What the Tucson Gets Right

The Tucson has a major ace up its sleeve with its lower starting price tag. The 2018 model of the SUV starts at $23,530 (prices include destination). That's $1,795 less than the 2018 CX-5, which is priced from $25,325. If you're on a budget, the Tucson is the clear choice.

Cargo volume is also better in the Tucson. Hyundai's SUV is capable of holding up to 31 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row. Fold the second row down and the Tucson's cargo capacity expands to 63.3 cubic feet. The CX-5 isn't too far off of the Tucson, with a cargo capacity of 30.9 cubic feet behind the second row and a total cargo capacity rating of 59.6 cubic feet.

Looking to Have Some Fun?

The Tucson and CX-5 are evenly matched on paper, but for those looking for something versatile and fun to drive, the Mazda's the one to have. It's not as spacious or as affordable as the Tucson, but the CX-5 is more enjoyable to drive and look at. The interior design is also a little more striking in the Mazda.

Our Verdict: Mazda CX-5

It's a close comparison, but the Mazda CX-5 narrowly gets the nod over the Hyundai Tucson. It comes down to the more powerful engine, better handling characteristics, and more stunning design.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Tucson »

Take a closer look at the Mazda CX-5 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.