Compared: 2022 Acura RDX vs. 2022 Mazda CX-5

Mazda brings its A-game to Acura and the rest of the premium SUV segment.

Blue 2022 Acura RDX vs white 2022 Mazda CX-5Acura | Mazda


Leading Mazda's efforts to move upmarket is the 2022 CX-5 compact SUV, which boasts a clean exterior design, impressive interior trimmings, and even a punchy turbocharged engine option. In theory, this aspirational positioning should make it fit alongside more established players in the luxury compact SUV segment, such as the Acura RDX. Now in its third generation, the 2022 Acura RDX impresses with lots of technology and a sporty ride, making it the prime foil for Mazda's premium push.

2022 Mazda CX-5 in red rear quarter viewMazda

2022 Acura RDX Carries a Larger Price Tag With Similar Value to the CX-5

The 2022 Acura RDX has the steeper entry price. It costs around $40,000 for a base front-wheel drive model. There's only one engine option with the Acura: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 272 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic. Adding all-wheel drive (AWD) is an additional $2,000, while the fully loaded A-Spec Advance AWD trim will set you back about $53,000. Also, the RDX comes with Acura's longer four-year or 50,000-mile limited warranty.

The base 2022 Mazda CX-5 S starts at a less expensive price point — around $27,000 — although that model features a 187-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. However, the CX-5 comes with standard AWD mated to a six-speed automatic, adding extra value to the base trim. CX-5 trims with this engine top out at nearly $37,00 for the 2.5 S Premium Plus.

For something with more power, consider the nearly $39,000 CX-5 2.5 Turbo model, which features 256 horsepower. The top of the line CX-5 Turbo Signature is the automaker's luxury showcase with all the high-end trimmings, and it costs about $42,000. Mazda also includes a three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty.

2022 Mazda CX-5 interior dashboardMazda

2022 Mazda CX-5 Has a Cleaner and More Intuitive Design

While the price differences seem vast, the basic RDX includes features such as a power liftgate, leatherette seats, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a moonroof. Higher trim RDX models are even more lavishly equipped, including ambient lighting, an upgraded sound system, a wireless phone charger, and climate-controlled seats with heating and cooling functions. However, the center console has many buttons, a massive drive-mode selector in the middle of the dash, and a clumsy trackpad to control the infotainment system, making the vehicle feel more like a computer than a car.

Still, many of those features are available on higher trim examples of the Mazda CX-5, but with a more simplified center console and infotainment system. Fashion-forward buyers may also appreciate Mazda's cleaner and more intuitive interior design.

The Mazda can feel more accommodating for rear-seat passengers, with about an inch more head and leg room, while the Acura boasts more front-seat space. Cargo space is similar, as each crossover boasts roughly 30 cubic-feet of storage behind the rear seats and just under 59 cu-ft of storage behind the front seats.

2022 Acura RDX in blue front quarter viewAcura

Combined Mileage Estimates Are Identical for the Acura RDX and Mazda CX-5

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Acura RDX is rated to return an estimated 22/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined in front-wheel-drive form and 21/27/23 mpg with AWD. The non-turbocharged Mazda CX-5 returns 24/30/26 mpg, while the turbo model matches the Acura's combined estimate at 22/27/24 mpg.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad is an award-winning automotive journalist who has contributed to several automotive, electric vehicle, luxury lifestyle, and technology publications. His work isn't just limited to the written word, as he's also hosted YouTube videos and podcasts. Having grown up in the '90s, he has a strong sense of attachment to that era's style, though he also loves to geek out about the modern, futuristic tech and powertrains rolling out today.