Toyota RAV4 Vs. Mazda CX-5 Comparison: Interior, Specs, Configurations

Toyota RAV4 Vs. Mazda CX-5 
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If you’re searching for a compact crossover SUV, chances are you’ll compare the Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5. The Toyota RAV4 is an adventurous SUV with some off-road prowess while also being a civilized and smooth companion for the city. The Mazda CX-5 is similarly versatile but emphasizes on-road sportiness and premium amenities.

Explore our Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 comparison guide below, and browse our inventory online or in person to decide what belongs in your driveway.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5: Configurations & Specs

When comparing these two SUVs, it’s a close battle.

With the latest generation of Toyota RAV4 specs, we find a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, while AWD is available. Up to 8.6 inches of ground clearance will get you through tough terrain situations, and so will an available TRAIL drive mode.

When we turn to the Mazda CX-5 specs, it scores an immediate win: standard AWD. However, like with the RAV4, off-road mode is an available upgrade. The RAV4 gets a point for base power, as the Mazda CX-5 has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower. The Mazda SUV’s torque just barely pulls ahead at 185 pound-feet.

Mazda CX-5 upgrades are more powerful, too. Its available turbo engine offers up to 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque – surpassing anything in the RAV4 lineup. However, the Mazda CX-5 offers up to 7.9 inches of ground clearance, slightly less than the RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim.

The back-and-forth continues with the Mazda CX-5 offering standard Skyactiv®-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control Plus to enhance on-road handling, while the Toyota RAV4 provides a standard direct-shift eight-speed automatic transmission (vs. the Mazda CX-5 SUV’s six-speed automatic with manual shift mode).

However, Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 towing specs boast a 3,500-pound1 maximum for the Toyota RAV4 and a 2,000-pound2 maximum for the Mazda CX-5. The base-level RAV4 only has a 1,500-pound max towing performance,1 though, whereas the Mazda CX-5 starts off with 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.

The RAV4 does have a hybrid variant with 219 combined horsepower, while the Mazda CX-5 does not offer a hybrid trim. Configuration options involve the Toyota RAV4 offering six trims to explore (or 13 if you count the hybrid variants), while the Mazda CX-5 has eight.

2024 Toyota RAV4
2024 Toyota RAV4

Standard Engine 2.5L 4-cyl
Horsepower 203
Torque 184 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Standard Drivetrain FWD
Maximum Towing Capacity 3,500 pounds1
Maximum EPA-Est. MPG (Cty/Hwy) 27/353
Maximum Cargo Capacity 69.8 cu ft
Seating Capacity 5
2024 Mazda CX-5
2024 Mazda CX-5

Standard Engine 2.5L 4-cyl
Horsepower 187
Torque 185 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Standard Drivetrain AWD
Maximum Towing Capacity 2,000 pounds2
Maximum EPA-Est. MPG (Cty/Hwy) 26/314
Maximum Cargo Capacity 59.3 cu ft (with floorboard up)
Seating Capacity 5

Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5: Fuel Economy

Whether you’re shopping for new or used cars for sale, fuel economy is an important consideration. Let’s look at the efficiencies of the Mazda CX-5 vs. the Toyota RAV4.

The Toyota RAV4 MPG ratings eclipse those of the Mazda CX-5. In particular, the 2024 Toyota RAV4 delivers up to an EPA-estimated 27/35 MPG (City/Highway)3 with its pure-gasoline engine and FWD, an EPA-estimated 27/34 MPG (City/Highway)3 with its pure-gasoline engine and AWD, and up to an EPA-estimated 41/38 MPG (City/Highway)3 as a hybrid model.

Turning it over to the 2024 Mazda CX-5 MPG ratings, we see an EPA-estimated 26/31 MPG (City/Highway)4 with the standard engine and an EPA-estimated 22/27 MPG (City/Highway)4 when you upgrade to the available turbo engine.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 acceleration falls in the Mazda CX-5 SUV’s favor. According to Car and Driver, the SUV accelerates from zero to 60 mph in as little as 6.2 seconds,5 while the pure-gasoline RAV4 did the same in 8.3 seconds,6 and the RAV4 Hybrid went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.6

If fuel efficiency takes priority, choose a RAV4; if performance thrills with competitive MPGs are a more tempting proposition, the Mazda CX-5 is the SUV for you.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5: Interior Space

Both the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-50 are compact crossover SUVs with two rows and seating for five people. If you need to accommodate more passengers, feel free to expand your search to our selection of new cars for sale.

The Mazda CX-5 interior dimensions offer more room in key areas, with 39.7 inches of front headroom (without the moonroof), while the Toyota RAV4 interior dimensions provide 37.7 inches of front headroom. Likewise, the Mazda CX-5 brings your rear-seat passengers 39.6 inches of legroom, while the RAV4 only has 37.8 inches of rear legroom. However, the front legroom is a tie at 41 inches for both models.

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 comparison continues with the Toyota RAV4 cargo space measurements. They’re bigger than the Mazda CX-5 dimensions, with 39.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 59 cubic feet behind the front seats; the Mazda CX-5 has 30 and 58.1 cubic feet, respectively.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5: Interior Features

While the Mazda CX-5 cargo space specs are smaller, the Mazda SUV can offer many more standard interior luxuries. For example, a base-trim 2024 Mazda CX-5 has these highlights:

  • 10.25-inch infotainment display
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • One-touch power up/down windows
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Looking at Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 standard features, while the base-trim RAV4 ties with a six-way manual driver’s seat and one-touch up/down power windows, it has a smaller 8-inch digital infotainment display and a urethane-trimmed steering wheel – and also requires an upgrade to get Blind-Spot Monitoring.

It does bear mentioning that, for 2024, the Toyota RAV4 has a lower starting MSRP than the 2024 Mazda CX-5. You can also shop for a used Toyota RAV4 for sale for an even more competitive rate!

Visit Quantrell Auto Group for Your Next Upgrade

In short, both of these compact crossover SUVs bring plenty to the table. The adventurous, spacious, and efficient RAV4 has better fuel economy, lower starting MSRP, and a hybrid option, while the sleek, luxurious, and high-performance Mazda CX-5 has more available horsepower.

Contact us today to book a test drive at Quantrell Auto Group; our knowledgeable and friendly team is here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Mazda CX-5 better than the RAV4?

On average, the Mazda CX-5 has more spacious headroom and legroom, standard AWD, a higher-performance available engine, a faster 0-60 mph time, and standard performance features like Skyactiv®-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control Plus. However, the Toyota RAV4 holds its own with better fuel efficiency, a hybrid powertrain option, and a much larger cargo space. The better model depends on your needs.

Is a Toyota RAV4 bigger than a Mazda CX-5?

The Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are similar in size on the outside, but the Mazda CX-5 offers more headroom and legroom measurements once you’re inside. Specifically, the Mazda CX-5 has 39.7 inches of front headroom, 41 inches of front legroom, and 39.6 inches of rear legroom. The Toyota RAV4 has 37.7 inches, 41 inches, and 37.8 inches, respectively.

What is the ground clearance of the Mazda CX-5 compared to the Toyota RAV4?

Comparing Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5 ground clearance reveals that the Toyota RAV4 rides higher over off-road obstacles and challenging terrain. The latest-generation Mazda CX-5 has either 7.6 or 7.9 inches of ground clearance, while the latest Toyota RAV4 models offer 8.1, 8.2, 8.4, or 8.6 inches of ground clearance, depending on the configuration.

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1Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions in your Owner’s Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on base curb weight plus the total weight of any cargo, occupants, and added vehicle equipment. “Added vehicle equipment” includes additional standard/optional equipment and accessories added by the manufacturer, dealers, and/or vehicle owners. The only way to be certain of your vehicle’s exact curb weight is to weigh your vehicle without passengers or cargo. [Calculated with the new SAE J2807 method.] Installation of a tow hitch receiver or other accessories located near the rear bumper or side-door kick sensors may require disabling or removing the kick sensor, and the sensor operation setting in your vehicle should be turned off. See Owner’s Manual for limitations.

2Towing capacities shown are maximums and must be reduced by the weight of any passenger, cargo hitch or optional equipment in the towing vehicle. Please refer to vehicle Owner’s Manual for details regarding towing capacities and other valuable information. Towing a trailer will have an effect on the vehicle’s handling, braking, durability, performance and driving economy. For specific information on recommended or required equipment, see your Mazda Dealer. Hitches are available through manufacturers other than Mazda.

3Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive. See

4EPA-estimated mileage. Actual results will vary.

5According to Car and Driver

6According to Car and Driver

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