2012 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2012 Toyota RAV4: Which One Should I Buy?

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Mid-size crossover SUVs are an excellent option when you need to take several friends along with you, or bring your kids along and yet still need to keep a tight leash on your purchase cost as well as your ongoing costs. While these smaller SUVs are definitely more expensive than a sedan, they are nowhere near the cost of the larger SUVs or vans.

The Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4 both offer great handling, with RAV4 beating the sluggish acceleration of the CX-5, whose engine can lack power when you need it. While the space inside is overall very good, the optional third row in both offerings is on the small side and the rear-mounted spare in the RAV4 makes it seem like an afterthought.

toyota rav4 2012
2012 Toyota RAV4

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy for the Mazda CX-5 is quite a bit higher than the RAV4, with the RAV4 only providing 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway. The Mazda CX-5 gives 26 miles per gallon city and a whopping 35 mpg highway; almost unheard-of in its class. The much smaller fuel tank in the CX-5 at 14.8 gallons versus the 15.9 gallon RAV4 means you'll be pulling into the gas station on a regular basis - probably as much as one more time per month than if you had chosen the RAV4.

Crash Test Ratings

The CX-5 gives a slightly higher overall crash test rating, with 5 stars for nearly all of the different categories with the exception of overall rating, frontal driver and passenger barrier rating, and rollover rating. The side pole driver front seat rating for the RAV4 is dismal at only 2 stars and several other ratings areas lost stars as well. Overall, the RAV4 seems to lack the needed safety features to rate well in overall ratings.

Engine and Performance

The engine is where you really start to see the differences between the two SUVs; with the RAV4 delivering a 2.5L naturally aspirated gas inline-4 and the less-peppy Mazda CX-5 offering a 2.0L inline-4. The 4-speed automatic of the RAV4 definitely overpowers the 6-speed manual transmission of the CX-5.

Either SUV offers a variety of options for the cost-conscious crossover SUV buyer; just check out the details to be sure you're getting exactly the vehicle that you want. The Toyota will deliver the goods when it comes to acceleration for sure.


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Eladio

8 years of experience
128 reviews
Eladio
8 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio arrived at the scheduled time and was great to work with. He was very professional and I am very satisfied with his work. This was my first time using YourMechanic and I am very pleased with how easy and convenient this service has been from start to finish. Definitely would recommend.
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio was on time, expedient, and very professional. Very pleased with provided service (brake shoes replacement).

Chris

13 years of experience
107 reviews
Chris
13 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Port Richey, Florida
CHRIS IS THE BEST MECHANIC I HAVE EVER MEET IN MY LIFE. HE IS HONEST AND HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. VERY PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. THANK YOU CHRIS!!!

Pardeep

19 years of experience
587 reviews
Pardeep
19 years of experience
Dodge Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Pradeep was early to my appointment and during his work he showed me that I didn’t need rear brake shoes saving me money.He cleaned and serviced the existing shoes and he also adjusted my parking brake cable. Great job. I will always use Your mechanic for any car repairs.

Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Miami, Florida
Orestes is very professional. He explained what was done to my vehicle and suggested upcoming maintenance needed. Great person

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