Mazda CX 5 vs Kia Sportage: Which Is Better?

Compare Mazda CX 5 vs Kia Sportage 2022 – When it comes to choosing between the Mazda CX 5 and the Kia Sportage, the answer is both cars have their pros and cons.

The key factors to consider when making your choice include: fuel efficiency, sporty handling, and high performance.

The Mazda CX 5 offers better fuel efficiency, sporty handling, and higher performance than the Kia Sportage. It’s also comfortable for long drives. However, the Kia Sportage hybrid has better fuel efficiency, a sporty look, and a smaller size.


Mazda CX 5

mazda cx 5
  • Classy cabin
  • Sporty ride
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Below-average cargo space for the class
  • Cramped rear seats

The Mazda CX-5, in particular, makes its driver feel unique. In comparison to other mainstream compact crossovers.

The Mazda is accessible to the same demographic group as the former, while also being able to impress those who fall into the latter’s tax bracket. It has a price tag that is much closer to a Honda CR-V than a Porsche Macan.

While the basic four-cylinder engine in the Mazda CX-5 isn’t as dynamic as the turbocharged four, it has a ride-and-handling balance that no other vehicle in this class can match.

While there are more pragmatic solutions when it comes to cargo capacity, no one can match the Mazda’s beautifully styled and well-appointed interior.

Kia Sportage

kia sportage
  • Roomy seating
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Composed ride and handling
  • Well-built interior
  • Poor fuel economy for the class
  • Subpar cargo space compared to rivals

While the Kia Sportage faces growing competition, it still retains a classier look and engaging driving characteristics, despite its age versus younger rivals.

We anticipate the Sportage to receive a similar makeover in the near future, as its corporate cousin, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, has just received a major overhaul.

With the SUV’s appealing and well-built interior, which compensates for its small cargo area with roomy passenger space, Kia is hoping to keep customers pleased.

A more powerful turbocharged version is available for zippier movement, although its standard four-cylinder engine provides sufficient, albeit unremarkable, motivation.

That’s too bad, because it isn’t as fuel efficient as some competitors, such as the top-of-the-line Mazda CX-5, and isn’t available on all models.

Despite this, Sportage’s appeal grows as the next generation is unveiled because of its entertaining driving experience with either engine.

Read also: Audi Q3 vs Q5: Which Is the Better SUV

Mazda CX 5 vs Kia Sportage: Price comparison

The Mazda CX-5 has a starting MSRP of $26,250, with the top-of-the-line 2.5 Turbo Signature trim starting at $39,000. These prices are above average for the class.

While the 2022 Kia Sportage SUV starts at $24,090, making it one of the lowest-priced vehicles in the compact SUV class.

There are three higher Sportage trims that retail for $28,090, $28,390, and $33,750. All models come standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Mazda CX 5

The Mazda CX-5 standard 187-hp four-cylinder engine has a good throttle feel when driving away from stoplights or speeding around town, making it seem quicker than it is.

When trying to pass or merge onto the highway at higher speeds, it feels underpowered. With the 256-hp turbocharged variant we tested, acceleration was much quicker.

Both engines feature an engaging six-speed automatic gearbox with all-wheel drive. You don’t have to drive the CX-5 hard to appreciate or enjoy it.

Of course, it’s a fantastic Sunday drive thanks to its precise handling and composed cornering. Yet, it absorbs bumps without making a noise and has the ride quality of crossovers that cost twice as much.

Its competitors can’t match this beautiful dynamic equilibrium. The damping is neither stiff nor floaty, and pavement flaws are isolated. Road noise is minimal.

In comparison, the Mazda starts to handle twisty roadways. The steering is quite pleasant and quick, and it reacts quickly to the driver’s commands.

The braking pedal on the Signature model we tested felt consistent and did not need you to press it too much or gently when you brake.

Kia Sportage

The Sportage’s driving dynamics are affected by what’s under the hood. Most automobiles come equipped with a quiet, adequate 181-horsepower two.4-liter four-cylinder.

For those who want a zestier option with quicker acceleration, the 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four is only available on the top-of-the-line SX Turbo variant.

Our most recent test of an all-wheel-drive SX Turbo was less convincing in that regard, despite the fact that a front-wheel-drive version of the spiciest Sportage we tested several years ago was rapid.

The six-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on all models, responded quickly to our commands.

Although the turbocharged engine can turn mundane milk runs into rollicking rides, there’s no night-and-day difference in driving enjoyment between the two engines. The handling characteristics of all Sportage models are above-average.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Mazda CX 5

For the compact SUV segment, the Mazda CX-5 gets about average fuel economy. In the city, 24 mpg is achieved with a base engine, while 30 mpg is achieved on the highway. City/highway fuel economy estimates for turbocharged vehicles fall to 22/27 mpg.

Kia Sportage

For the small SUV category, Kia Sportage’s fuel economy is poor. The city economy rating for base engines with front-wheel drive is 23 mpg, while the highway rating is 30 mpg.

In the city, 22 mpg are achieved with the base engine and all-wheel drive, whereas on the highway, 26 mpg are achieved.

The Sportage, on the other hand, is more efficient than conventional naturally aspirated mills despite being small turbocharged engines.

Front-wheel-drive Turbo models get 20/28 mpg in the city/highway, whereas AWD Turbo models get 19/24 mpg.

Interior Design

Mazda CX 5

If you wake up inside the top-tier CX-5 variants, you may think you’ve been kidnapped by Audi or Mercedes kidnappers. Because of its high-quality materials and design, it has a premium feel.

All of the front-seat armrests are at the same height for maximum convenience, and the well-crafted steering wheel is positioned directly in front of the driver rather than at a minor angle.

The accelerator pedal with floor hinges is preferred over the conventional accelerator pedal that hangs above the floor.

Sacrifices come in tiny sizes: in our testing, the CX-5 only had nine carry-on bags stowed behind its rear seats. A completely flat load floor is beneficial to the storage bay.

A variety of nooks and cubbies inside the cabin are also perfect for stowing smartphones and other tiny items. A wide tray in the front of the center console, for example, contains a storage bin with a removable shelf.

Kia Sportage

Several editors have pointed out that Kia’s cabin is similar to that of Audi vehicles, indicating that it is succeeding.

The Sportage’s interior is nicely designed and features a pleasing combination of high-quality materials and thoughtful, functional touches.

Passengers have enough room, but not for freight. Adults will be able to sit in the back seat, although the seat cushion might be low for some.

While there isn’t much cargo space or enough storage room for smaller items, the seats-down carry-on luggage capacity and customizable load floor compensate for some of it.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Mazda CX 5

There is a steep learning curve with the CX-5’s infotainment system. Instead of a touch screen, this system uses a knob controller on the center console, voice commands, and buttons on the steering wheel to accomplish tasks on the big display.

Since they are all within easy reach while driving, the knobs and buttons might be distracting. Moreover, in different menus, certain functions are kept hidden.

  • Standard infotainment features: this 10.25-inch display has Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Mazda Connected Services, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a four-speaker stereo with HD Radio
  • Available infotainment features: among the features are satellite radio, navigation, and two USB ports in the back. A six-speaker stereo system with a Bose sound system is included as standard
  • Other available features: a proximity keyless entry, moonroof, a universal garage door opener, ambient interior lighting, and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display with dual-zone automatic climate control

Kia Sportage

Kia’s UVO infotainment is straightforward to use, and it is. The on-screen graphics are nice, and the menus are simple to read.

There are many conventional knobs and buttons that are ergonomically positioned for the driver in categories like volume, tuning, and climate change.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: among the capabilities of this satellite radio are wireless gadget charging, navigation, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo
  • Other available features: the LTZ trim level offers you proximity keyless entry, push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, LED interior lighting, and a color 4.2-inch driver information display.


A wide range of driver-assistance technology is standard on the Mazda CX-5, with a few other optional features available. The Sportage lineup in 2022 includes both standard and optional driver-assistance systems.

Go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites for more information on the CX-5 and Sportage crash-test results.


Kia and Hyundai, as well as other companies in this class, provide warranty coverage that is greater than Mazda’s. In addition, they provide complimentary maintenance.

  • A limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Kia equivalent to the Mazda CX-5?

The Sportage and CX-5 both seat five people, with front-wheel drive as standard and all-wheel drive as an option. Standard engines are closely matched in the Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5. The CX-5’s standard (and only) engine produces 187 horsepower, whereas the Sportage contains 181 horsepower.

Is Kia more reliable than Mazda?

In terms of reliability. Mazda vehicles are more dependable than Kia vehicles, according to Consumer Reports January 2021 Auto Issue surveys of all its subscribers. Mazda is ranked first in dependability by Consumer Reports, the company is placed 15th overall.

Final Verdict

The Mazda CX-5 offers driving performance, a comfortable but not uncomfortable ride, a substantial number of basic safety features, and a stylish and posh interior.

It’s less practical than many of its smaller SUV competitors, and it loses out in terms of rear-seat and cargo capacity, but if you can cope with those limitations, it’s a nice car.

While the Kia Sportage hybrid in 2022 is a good option in the compact SUV category. It has a low starting price, extensive conventional features, simple driving characteristics, and comfortable seats.

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