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Comparison: 2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

We compare two popular compact SUVs available in Canada. Visit KBB.CA for more expert reviews, cars for sale and find out how much your car is worth.

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2020 Ford Escape

Starting Price: $28,549 CDN

Pros

  • Completely redesigned compact SUV with four powertrain options, including Hybrid & Plugin Hybrid
  • Sliding 2nd-row seats with expanded passenger & cargo room
  • All-new suspension delivering excellent ride quality
  • Ford Co-Pilot360’s Driver Assistance Technology is standard

Cons

  • Generic exterior design language
  • Steering lacks feel
  • No Sport or ST option

What's New For 2020

  • All-new platform reduces overall weight
  • More carlike styling
  • The Escape Hybrid returns, but the Plug-in Hybrid model is not planned until later in 2020

 

Summary

The completely redesigned 2020 Ford Escape compact SUV drops weight and gains best-in-class 2nd-row passenger space. A completely retuned suspension gives the front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger Escape a smooth and comfortable ride, adding to its appeal. Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of driver-assistance features, now comes standard across all trims.

Four engine options, including a Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid, offer buyers a variety of powertrains. Exterior design language takes on a performance-crossover-SUV spin with a sloping roofline and reimagined front fascia but tends to be on the generic side. A simple, economical, but intuitive interior full of tech pleases without fuss.

 

2020 Mazda CX-5

Starting Price: $27,950 CDN

Pros

  • Stylish design, inside & out
  • Lots of useful standard equipment
  • Impressive driving dynamics
  • Available turbocharged engine
  • Top safety ratings

Cons

  • Smaller back seat & cargo area than some competitors
  • Infotainment system sometimes confusing
  • Lacklustre climate-control system on hot days
  • Turbo engine thirstier than NRCan estimates suggest

What's New For 2020

  • More standard driving-assist & collision-avoidance technology
  • Measures taken to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness
  • Additional standard equipment for upper trims
  • Slight increase in torque for turbocharged gas engine

 

Summary

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 compact SUV proves that not all compact-crossover SUVs are created equal. Priced like its mainstream competition but designed, executed and equipped like an entry-luxury model, the front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger CX-5 is that rare bargain — even at sticker price.

The CX-5 comfortably seats four occupants and carries five in a pinch. It provides all the usual equipment and advanced safety features that buyers desire, combined with impressive build quality, reliability and safety ratings. Get behind the wheel, and the CX-5 displays an extraordinary talent that’s rare elsewhere in the compact SUV class. The driving experience is genuinely engaging. That’s why we think the CX-5 is a must-try.

 

Final Recommendation

The 2020 Ford Escape benefits from a more sophisticated infotainment system and better fuel economy. But for similar money, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 is a better choice, offering a compact SUV with more refinement that's both better to drive day-to-day and live with for the long term.

 

Specs

2020 Ford Escape

2020 Mazda CX-5

Engine(s)

1.5-litre Turbocharged/turbocompressé I3
181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
190 lb-ft/pied @ 3,000 rpm

2.0-litre Turbocharged/turbocompressé I4
250 hp @ 5,500 rpm
280 lb-ft/pied @ 3,000 rpm

2.5-litre I4 Hybrid/Hybride
200 hp
155 lb-ft/pied

2.5-litre I4
187 hp @ 6,000 rpm
186 lb-ft/pied @ 4,000 rpm

2.5-litre Turbocharged/turbocompressé I4
227 hp @ 5,000 rpm
310 lb-ft/pied @ 2,000 rpm

Transmission(s)

8-speed automatic/automatique

Continuously variable automatic / Automatique à variation continue

6-speed automatic

6 – Vitesses automatiques

Fuel Economy

1.5 FWD/Traction avant - 7.9 L/100 km (8.6 city/ville, 7.1 hwy/autoroute)

1.5 AWD/4RM-8.3 L/100 km (8.9 city/ville, 7.6 hwy/autoroute)

2.0 AWD/4RM - 9.1 L/100 km (10.4 city/ville, 7.5 hwy/autoroute)

Hybrid FWD/4RM - 5.8 L/100 km (5.4 city/ville, 6.3 hwy/autoroute)

Hybrid AWD/4RM - 5.9 L/100 km (5.5 city/ville, 6.4 hwy/autoroute)

2.5 FWD/Traction avant - 8.8 L/100 km (9.7 city/ville, 7.8 hwy/autoroute)

2.5 FWD/Traction avant (Cylinder Deactivation/ Désactivation du cylindre) - 8.5 L/100 km (9.3 city/ville, 7.6 hwy/autoroute)

2.5 AWD/4RM - 9.3 L/100 km (10.2 city/ville, 8.2 hwy/autoroute)

2.5 AWD/4RM (Cylinder Deactivation/Désactivation du cylindre) - 9.0 L/100 km (9.8 city/ville, 7.9 hwy/autoroute)

2.5 Turbo AWD/4RM - 9.8 L/100 km (10.8 city/ville, 8.7 hwy/autoroute)

Warranty

3 years/60,000 km

3 years/60,000 km

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Wheelbase

2,710 mm

2,698 mm

Overall Length

4,585 mm

4,550 mm

Width

1,999 - 2,174 mm

1,842-2,115 mm

Height

1,679 mm

1,681 mm

Curb Weight

1,571-1,762 kg

1,606-1,669 kg

Headroom, Front

1,016 mm

999 mm

Headroom, Rear

998 mm

991 mm

Legroom, Front

1,077 mm

1,041 mm

Legroom, Rear

1,034 mm

1,007 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,463 mm

1,451 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,422 mm

1,392 mm

Passenger Volume

2,945 L

2,933 L

Cargo Volume

974 L

875 L

Max Towing

680-1,587 kg

907 kg

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