Mazda CX-5 vs Subaru Forester

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Mazda CX-5 vs Subaru Forester: Compact SUV Battle


With class-driving quality, unbelievable unwavering quality and unmistakable driver claim having supported the two brands for ages, which of those Compact SUV will win the Battle?


Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 has long reigned as much country’s favorite mid-size SUV, but 2020 is probably going the year it loses that title to the much-improved, new-generation Toyota RAV4.


To try and maintain with fresher competition though, Mazda has introduced rolling updates to the favored CX-5, including a brand new off-road mode for all-wheel drive (AWD) variants that better equips the fashionable SUV for rough terrain.

Pairing its new capabilities with the identical high-caliber interior fit and finish as before, further as a five-year/unlimited-kilometer warranty, means the new CX-5 is that the arguably the foremost complete package it’s ever been but is it still adequate for your consideration in 2020?

Subaru Forester

The new fifth-generation Forester. It’s lots just like the model before it, but everything you see is new.


This precludes lots of the thrill of latest design, but Subaru’s have rarely been about visual appeal (the fourth-gen Liberty is one big exception), rather a quirkiness that stands apart from loads of the equivalent same from other standard brands, which is matched with the relative USP of all-wheel drive.

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Mazda CX-5

The first of Mazda models to adopt its latest design language, the second-generation Mazda CX-5 hit Australian showrooms in 2017 and has remained largely identical since.


That’s no bad thing mind you, because the CX-5’s smooth panels, sharp edges, and subtle creases embrace a more timeless and classic design philosophy relative to the dated design elements of its rivals.

Even after three years, the CX-5 looks gorgeous and isn’t out of place alongside a number of Mazda’s newer offerings like the Mazda3 small car and new CX-30 small SUV.

Inside, Mazda’s CX-5 could be a clear step above in quality compared to its mainstream rivals and even nudges near the fit and finish of luxury car brands including BMW and Audi.

We don’t have much to complain about in with the CX-5’s design, inside or out, but at the chance of nit-picking, we’d say the multimedia screen is commencing to look dated, particularly when piled facing the all-around structured unit of the Mazda3 and CX-30.

Subaru Forester

My first involvement in the new Forester came the week prior to the dispatch after I surpassed one among the dispatch vehicles being run in nation NSW.


It wasn’t until I used to be within two car-lengths that I spotted it absolutely was the new model, and this was approaching it from its most distinguished angle. The tail-lights are the biggest giveaway, with the cut of body shading eating into each light – as motivated by Subaru ongoing Viziv ideas.

Many will probably have to see them parked side by side to choose the outside from the old one, but the basic newness starts with its adoption of the newest Subaru Global Platform, as of now observed with the Impreza and XV.

In the upper 2.5i-Premium and a pair of.5i-S variants (the ones we drove on the test, at least), this suggests an honest sort of materials and textures, although the soft golf ball-like surface on the middle console is difficult on the door trims. it is also surprising to work out leather trim limited to the highest 2.5i-S.

In any case, everything appears to be a commonplace Subaru; great, versatile quality.


Mazda CX-5

Estimating 4550mm long, 1840mm wide, and 1680mm tall, the CX-5 is somewhat shorter than any semblance of the Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail, and Hyundai Tucson, yet its liberal 2700mm wheelbase is larger than most of its peers.

This means the inside room within the CX-5 is superb, especially within the front seats, where there’s lots of head, shoulder, and legroom.

The fantastic driving position, particularly, must be called out, as our CX-5 test car serves up an electronically adjustable seat and a steering column that lets us get in precisely the correct place for our hands and legs.

Mazda’s driver-focused philosophy applies to any or all its models, and therefore the CX-5 family hauler isn’t any exception.

Rear seat room, while adequate, will nearly fit three adults sitting abreast, but a full row of kids or maybe teenagers shouldn’t be a controversy.

The center storage cubby, however, is sizeable and comes with a tray to stay items sort of a phone or wallet near the surface to forestall you from having to succeed in an exceedingly fish them out.

Door pockets also offer decent storage up front, but rear passengers will only be able to fit a bottle in their doors.

Subaru Forester

Real-world practicality has always been a Forester hallmark, and therefore the new model pushes the envelope even further.

Starting up the front, driver visibility has been improved by increasing the gap between the A-pillar and therefore the rear-view mirrors, meaning you’ll be able to see more through the quarter windows when turning corners or when making a decision about stopping circumstances.

As you’d expect, there are a pair of cup holders within the center console, plus a 12V charge point within the lidded bin, and another within the center stack, while the lower two trim levels get one USB port, and therefore the upper two get two. All trim levels get a sunglass holder within the overhead console.

If you are looking to tow, all four versions of the new Forester carry a maximum braked towing capacity of 1500kg, with a maximum tow ball weight of 150kg – which is about average for its class. We’re getting to bring one to a towing review shortly.


Mazda CX-5

Standard highlights over the range incorporate an 8.0-inch mixed media show, 17-inch wheels, and press button start, however, our test vehicle was likewise kitted out with double zone atmosphere control, satellite route, a fueled back end, a head-up show, calfskin inside, and power-customizable mirrors.


However, it’s the large array of ordinary safety equipment that stands the CX-5 apart.

All CX-5s, including the section level Maxx, is fitted with highlights like versatile controller and self-governing crisis slowing down, which are some of the time consigned to higher evaluations or alternatives in contender SUVs.

The Akera grade also gains 19-inch alloy wheels, ambient interior lighting, heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats; furthermore, as a frameless car mirror, heated handwheel, and woodgrain inside boards, it’s these little subtleties that raise the CX-5 from its companions.

Subaru Forester

All told, the range represents pretty stunning value with no shortage of gadgets, and as of in the week.

All versions are now equipped with AEB via the EyeSight system, but more thereon under Safety.


Apple CarPlay (for iPhone users), Android Auto (for just about everyone else), and digital radio (DAB) also are available and fitted standard across the range for the primary time, and if you are not the smartphone-mirroring type, the built-in satellite navigation (GPS) fitted to the highest two models could be a new TomTom system.

The top-spec 2.5i-S brings much progressively outside and inside trimmings, including calfskin situates, an all-encompassing sunroof, eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound in addition to a subwoofer, and furthermore the X-Mode rough terrain drive program scores two modes to decide on from, tailored for either snow/dirt or deep snow/mud.

Engine & Trans

Mazda CX-5

As one of the foremost potent petrol engines you’ll be able to get within the mainstream mid-size SUV class, coming removed from the road is expectedly brisk and also the motor will empower a zero to 100km/h in a nearly hot-incubate pestering 7.7 seconds.


Overtaking at freeway speeds is additionally easy, with the smart-shifting automatic drive smoothly kicking down a cog for a few extra shove.

Speaking of, peak torque is obtainable from 2000rpm, making the CX-5 a delight to drive at slower speeds rather than a slow-moving bothersome chore.

Be that as it may, we figure the six-speed auto need another rigging for turnpike driving, just to remain fires up and motor down more.

If the flagship 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine isn’t your speed, there are other powertrains available within the CX-5 range, including a base 115kW/200Nm 2.0-liter petrol unit that’s paired to a six-speed manual gearbox and an automatic-transmission-only 140kW/252Nm 2.5-liter petrol.

However, unlike the three aforementioned mid-size SUV competitors, Mazda doesn’t offer its CX-5 with any variety of electrified powertrain.

Subaru Forester

Rather than the four-engine choices and manual transmission option of the Forester it replaces, the new model is obtainable with only one of every. Which means no turbo diesel and no turbocharged petrol? The 2.5-liter auto was far and away from the foremost popular option before, so it is not all fire and brimstone.


This is the primary application of the two.5 motors with direct injection, which is 90 percent new per Subaru. The foremost measurable specifications gain is an additional 10kW and 4Nm, which now totals a good 136kW/239Nm for this engine size without a turbo.

In contrast to the Subaru’s of old, the 2.5 uses a planning chain as opposed to a planning belt, which is intended to last the lifetime of the motor. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic drive has also been revised, now with a greater spread of ratios, and also the manual mode now has seven stages.

Fuel Consumption

Mazda CX-5

Official fuel utilization figures of the two.5-liter turbo-petroleum CX-5 peg it at 8.2 liters per 100km, yet with our short spell inside the vehicle, we oversaw 9.8L/100km.

To be fair, our driving consisted mainly of inner-city suburban streets and a short stretch of highway driving, furthermore as some hard acceleration.

For those searching for a more frugal CX-5 though, the ICE is additionally available that may sip just 5.7L/100km, while the two.0-liter and a couple of of.5-liter petrol units also are less thirsty at 6.9 and 7.4L/100km respectively.

Again, a petrol-hybrid option here would help lower fuel-consumption even more, so if stretching your dollar further at the browser could be a concern, you’ll want to appear elsewhere.

Subaru Forester

With one engine and transmission across the board, there’s only one fuel economy figure to notice. The new Forester’s official combined petrol consumption figure of seven.4L/100km is 0.7 better than the previous 2.5 autos and is line-ball with the CX-5 2.5’s mileage. It is also within cooee of the fuel consumption figure of 6.4 within the outgoing model.

As mentioned above, it’s worth noting that the Forester manages this on Regular 91 RON unleaded fuel, where plenty of its rivals demand costlier Premium 95 RON to get decent figures.

The fuel tank size could be a generous 63 liters, which suggests a theoretical range of 851km is feasible between fills.

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