The Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-50 are two of the most popular compact crossover SUVs on the market. Both have earned high marks for performance, fuel efficiency, interior space, and safety, though the Honda CR-V, with its larger overall size, better mileage, and more powerful base engine, has a slight edge.
Two High-Performance SUVs: Honda CR-V & Mazda CX-50
Both SUVs rank near the top of their category when it comes to engine performance. The CX-50 is more of an off-roader than the CR-V and has higher maximum horsepower. Its two engine options are impressive and generate some punch, including a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder version and a 2.5-liter turbo that delivers an impressive 260 hp, though its powertrains are lackluster. All-wheel drive is standard on the CX-50. It has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds compared to the CR-V’s 1,500 pounds.
Performance is one area where your driving habits and expectations will probably determine your preference between these two vehicles. The Honda CR-V’s hybrid engine is built more for the economy than raw power, topping out at 204 horsepower with a combined average of 40 mpg. Whether you’re into front- or all-wheel drive, the Honda CR-V can accommodate you. The most recent Honda CR-V also includes Hill Descent Control as well as snow driving mode
Space and Style
Interior passenger and cargo space are always important factors when you’re talking about an SUV. In this case, the Honda CR-V outpaces the Mazda CX-50 thanks to its lengthier build and more spacious cabin. It houses 111 cubic feet of passenger space (seating up to seven passengers) compared to the CX-50’s 100.3 cubes. It’s a similar story with cargo space, with the Honda CR-V offering an impressive 76.5 cubic feet compared to the CX-50’s 56.3 cubic feet.
The Honda CR-V’s control panel has undergone several upgrades, perhaps the most significant one being a climate control vent that spans the interior. The infotainment screen also has a prominent new position, front, top, and center, on the dashboard. In true Honda style, the dashboard has an ingrained, economical feel that makes the most of available space, and the controls blend in nicely. There’s also a generous use of black leather, which gives the interior a racy look.
Honda has again loaded the Honda CR-V with a trove of safety tech and features that are sure to earn the CR-V another IIHS Top Safety Pick and NHTSA five-star safety score. A sturdier exterior and multiple front-row and second-row side airbags give the CR-V collision protection as few other small SUVs possess. Honda’s Sensing Suite of safety features includes traffic sign recognition, collision mitigation braking, and other cutting-edge additions.
The Mazda CX-50 also boasts an impressive lineup of safety features and a history of high marks from the NHTSA. You’ll find stability control with traction control, radar cruise control, driver alert system, hill launch assist, and more.
Honda CR-V Leads the Way
The Mazda CX-50 and Honda CR-V have similar strengths, and both are understandably popular compact SUVs. The characteristics that have made the CR-V a top-seller for years are still very much in evidence and make this mainstay of Honda’s SUV fleet a rock-solid example of efficiency, safety, and comfort, and an overall superior choice.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.