A Side-by-Side Comparison of a Mazda CX 5 vs. Subaru Forester

Mazda CX 5 vs Subaru Forester

Choosing the right car can be a tough decision, especially with so many options out there. Two popular choices, the Mazda CX 5 and Subaru Forester, stand out.

In this article, we’ll compare the Mazda CX 5 vs. Subaru Forester to help you make an informed choice. We’ll look at their design, comfort, performance, fuel efficiency, safety features, infotainment, price, and resale value. By the end, you’ll have a clearer picture of which one suits your needs best.

Let’s dive into the Mazda CX 5 vs. Subaru Forester comparison!

Exterior Design

The Mazda CX-5’s exterior design embodies the brand’s commitment to elegance and sophistication. Mazda has embraced its Kodo design philosophy, which translates to “Soul of Motion.” This philosophy seeks to capture the essence of movement and grace, evident in the CX-5’s fluid lines and dynamic proportions.

The front grille is a standout feature, often described as bold and distinctive, setting the vehicle apart on the road.

In contrast, the Subaru Forester takes a different approach with a more utilitarian and boxy design. It proudly displays its rugged and outdoorsy character.

The Forester’s tall roofline and squared-off edges contribute to its distinctive appearance. This design appeals to individuals who prioritize functionality and a sense of adventure over a sleek and sporty look.

Interior Comfort and Space

The interior of a vehicle plays a crucial role in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. Inside the Mazda CX-5, you’ll find a well-crafted cabin that exudes a sense of luxury. High-quality materials, such as soft-touch surfaces and available leather upholstery, enhance the premium feel.

The driver-centric cockpit layout emphasizes the focus on the person behind the wheel. It has controls and displays intuitively arranged for easy access.

However, it’s worth noting that rear-seat passengers may find the CX-5’s accommodations a tad cozy, especially if they are taller individuals. While the front seats offer ample support and comfort, taller passengers in the rear may desire more legroom.

On the other hand, the Subaru Forester excels in providing abundant interior space. It stands out as one of the roomiest vehicles in its class. Both the front and rear seats offer generous legroom and headroom, ensuring a comfortable ride for passengers of all sizes.

The materials used in the Forester’s interior, while not as luxurious as those in the CX-5, are durable and practical. It is a suitable choice for those who lead active lifestyles.


Now, let’s talk about performance. The Mazda CX 5 is known for its spirited performance on the road. It comes equipped with a powerful engine that delivers impressive acceleration and precise handling. If you enjoy a more dynamic driving experience, the Mazda CX 5 might be the better choice for you.

On the other hand, the Subaru Forester offers a more modest engine that prioritizes fuel efficiency and reliability over sheer performance. It’s a solid option for those who prioritize practicality and dependability in their daily commute.

Fuel Efficiency

Speaking of fuel efficiency, the Subaru Forester takes the lead in this category. It’s renowned for its excellent fuel economy, making it a great choice for long road trips and those looking to save on gas expenses.

The Mazda CX 5, while not a gas guzzler, can’t quite match the Forester’s efficiency in this regard. If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint and fuel costs, the Forester may be the better option for you.

All-Wheel Drive

Both the Mazda CX 5 and the Subaru Forester offer all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option. AWD is particularly beneficial for those who live in regions with inclement weather, as it provides better traction on slippery surfaces. Whether you’re navigating snowy winters or tackling off-road adventures, having AWD can significantly enhance your driving confidence and safety.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount when selecting a family vehicle, and both the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester take this aspect seriously. However, Subaru goes the extra mile with its EyeSight suite of advanced safety features. This package includes the following:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Pre-collision braking

These features work together to enhance driver safety and reduce the risk of accidents.

The Mazda CX-5 also offers a range of safety technologies, including the following:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

However, some of these features may require opting for higher trim levels, so it’s essential to consider your budget and safety priorities when configuring your CX-5.


In terms of infotainment, the Mazda CX 5 shines with its user-friendly touchscreen interface. It seamlessly integrates with smartphones, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This means you can easily access your favorite apps, navigation, and music while on the go.

The Subaru Forester’s infotainment system, while functional, may not be as intuitive or user-friendly as Mazda’s. It’s crucial to consider your tech-savviness and how important advanced infotainment features are to you when making your decision.


mazda cx 5

Price is often a decisive factor for many car shoppers. Generally, the Mazda CX 5 tends to be priced slightly higher than the Subaru Forester. However, it’s essential to consider the overall value you’re getting for the price, especially when you take into account dealerships like CardinaleWay Mazda.

The Mazda CX 5’s stylish design, enhanced performance, and premium interior materials may justify its higher price tag for some buyers. In contrast, the Subaru Forester’s affordability combined with its practicality may make it a more appealing choice for those on a budget.

Resale Value

For those who think long-term, comparing the Mazda CX 5 vs. Subaru Forester in terms of resale value reveals an interesting aspect. It’s worth noting that Subaru vehicles, including the Forester, often have better resale value compared to Mazda cars.

This means that if you decide to sell your Mazda CX 5 or Subaru Forester down the road, you may get a higher return on your initial investment. It’s a factor to consider if you’re thinking about the long haul.

Comparing Mazda CX 5 vs Subaru Forester

When comparing the Mazda CX 5 vs. Subaru Forester, it’s essential to weigh your priorities. The Mazda CX 5 excels in style and performance, while the Subaru Forester offers superior fuel efficiency, safety features, and resale value.

Your choice should align with what matters most to you, whether it’s a sporty drive or long-term practicality. Make your decision wisely, and happy car shopping!

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