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2020 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2020 Hyundai Tucson: Which Is Better?

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 and 2020 Hyundai Tucson are two alluring choices among compact crossover SUVs. Here’s how they compare.

Quick Facts

  • The Mazda CX-5 has elegant design, fun driving manners and a full roster of safety features.
  • The Hyundai Tucson boasts a lower starting price, outstanding warranty, and plenty of active safety features.

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Mazda CX-5

Base price: $26,290 / Read our 2020 Mazda CX-5 Review

What we like: Design, driving manners, standard safety features

What we would change: Apple CarPlay/Android Auto phone integration aren’t included on base model. Infotainment system could be more intuitive.

Overview: The CX-5 has always stood out with its athletic manners. Simply put, it’s just more fun to drive than rivals. Thank a taught suspension that actually enjoys being tossed into corners, willing powertrains with snappy engines and slick transmissions. Standard motivation comes from a 187-hp 4-cylinder engine. The optional 250-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder is even more rewarding.

Yet the CX-5 still has the practicality you’d want from an SUV. The Mazda’s cargo room isn’t as large as that of the Tucson, but with nearly 60 cubic feet with the seats folded there’s plenty of versatility. Outside, the CX-5 is among the best-looking SUV in its segment, if not the best. That premium nature carries over inside, as well.

What’s new for 2020: Additional active safety and driver-assist features, added standard features, reduction in NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), more torque for turbo model.

Features and technology: The Mazda CX-5 lineup spans five trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. Even a base 2020 Mazda CX-5 Sport includes a strong feature set that includes keyless entry and push-button start, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and a 7-inch touch screen with AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a 4-speaker sound system. To get Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, you’ll have to step up to the Touring trim upward. A full suite of active safety systems includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring.

What does the future hold: Mazda so far is tight-lipped on what changes are in store for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 or future models. It will be interesting to see if Mazda again offers a diesel engine, which was briefly available for the 2019 model but has yet to reappear in the lineup. See the 2020 Mazda CX-5 models for sale near you

2020 Hyundai Tucson

2020 Hyundai Tucson

Base price: $24,690  / Read our 2020 Hyundai Tucson Review

What we like: Exceptional warranty; low starting price; standard active safety systems.

What we would change: The engine choices aren’t all that powerful, and some driver-assistance features are reserved for higher trims.

Overview: The Hyundai Tucson is among the smaller compact SUVs, yet it still is quite versatile and has good cargo room – nearly 62 cubic feet, which is slightly more than the Mazda CX-5. Like the Mazda, two 4-cylinder engines are available, but at 161 hp or 181 hp, neither have all that much muscle. A tight turning radius makes the Tucson city-friendly and easy to park. The Tucson also can be had with some nifty features. For example, Ultimate models get a hands-free power tailgate, Infinity audio system, leather interior, and heated and ventilated front seats.

What’s new for 2020: The Tucson carries over with no major changes

Features and technology: The Tucson lineup is broad with a choice is six trims: SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited and Ultimate. As standard, the Tucson includes 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated/power-folding side mirrors, 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, and automatic headlights. Standard active safety and driver-assistance features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. Additional systems like blind-spot monitoring and smart cruise control are available in higher trims.

What does the future hold: Hyundai also has yet to spill details on what’s next for the Tucson, but as this generation debuted for the 2016 model year we wouldn’t be surprised to see an all-new model waiting in the wings. See the 2020 Hyundai Tucson models for sale near you

CX-5 vs. Tucson: Strengths comparison

Mazda CX-5 Benefits: Designer looks, more power, more fun to drive.

Hyundai Tucson Benefits: Lower price, standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, slightly more cargo capacity.

CX-5 vs. Tucson: Which is better?

It really is hard to go wrong with either of these contenders. If you want sleek looks, fun driving manners and a premium interior design, you’ll be drawn to the Mazda CX-5. If a lower price, more cargo space and an exceptional warranty that covers 10 years/100,000 miles are more important to you, then look to the Tucson. Find a Mazda CX-5 for sale or Find a Hyundai Tucson for sale

2020 Mazda CX-5 2020 Hyundai Tucson
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm 161 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 150 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 28 mpg (25 city/31 hwy) 25 mpg (23 city/28 hwy)
Also Available 2.5.-liter turbo-4 2.4-liter I4
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.2 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 179.1 inches 176.4 inches
Width 72.5 inches 72.8 inches
Height 65.4 inches 64.8 inches
Turning Diameter 36.0 feet 34.9 feet
Headroom, Front 39.7 inches 39.6 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.0 inches 39.2 inches
Legroom, Front 41.0 inches 41.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.6 inches 38.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.8 inches 55.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume N/A 102.2 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 30.9/59.6 cu. ft. 31.0 / 61.9 cu. ft.

Matt Degen
Matt Degen is an author specializing in interesting news and features about cars. Matt is a longtime lover of both cars and news, as well as the latest technology. He was the past automotive editor of The Orange County Register newspaper and a former board member of the Motor Press Guild, the nation’s largest automotive media association. He holds degrees in Communications and Culinary Arts.... Read More about Matt Degen

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