We drove a $32,000 Subaru Forester and a $35,000 Mazda CX-5 to see which one is the better compact SUV. Here's the verdict
- The Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5 are two of the most the capable crossover SUVs in the US.
- The Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, and Nissan Rogue lead the sales chart, but the CX-5 and Forester remain two highly popular alternatives.
- The 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,150, while the top-spec all-wheel-drive Grand Touring model starts at $30,945.
- The base 2019 Subaru Forester starts at $24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795.
- The Forester's good infotainment system, standard all-wheel-drive, and an impressive suite of standard safety tech won out over the CX-5's stylish design and strong driving dynamics.
Compact crossovers are the hottest thing going these days. According to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book, compact crossovers and SUVs account for roughly one in every five cars sold this year.
The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue lead the way in sales and account for more than 35% of the segment. Over the first 11 months of 2018, the trio accounted for roughly one million cars sold just in the US.Not far behind is the second tier of contenders led by industry heavyweights likes the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5.
The second-generation Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year and has been popular with both critics and customers. In fact, CX-5 sales through November are up more than 20% over 2017.
Subaru is back with a new fifth-generation Forester for the 2019 model year. During its first full month on the market in October, the 2019 model pushed Forester sales up 19% over the previous year.
Recently, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 beat out the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan in a comparison. But how will the Mazda stack up against the Subaru Forester?Let's take a closer look.