Compared: 2022 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2022 Hyundai Tucson

Are you looking for a playful compact crossover or one with lots of choice? We compared price, fuel economy and features so you don’t have to.

Mazda CX-5 undefined Hyundai TucsonMazda/Hyundai

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Though the Toyota RAV4 tops the sales charts in the highly competitive compact SUV segment, it is far from the only choice. The Mazda CX-5 is fun to drive regardless of trim or engine, while Hyundai Tucson offers a range of powertrains to satisfy different needs. Let’s take a look at how these two crossovers compare.

Mazda CX-5 vs. Hyundai Tucson: Price

The newly updated CX-5 starts at $27,125. While that’s $530 higher than last year’s opening outlay, with its revised exterior, Mazda now fits all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard equipment. The lowliest model still comes with a 187 hp 2.5L four-cylinder. Upgrading to the 256 hp CX-5 2.5 Turbo model will set you back at least $37,625.

Hyundai redesigned the Tucson for the 2022 model year. This crossover—which also has a 187 hp 2.5L four-cylinder as its base engine—starts at $26,745, but that does not include AWD. Powering the second axle brings the price up to $28,245, or $1,120 more than a comparable CX-5. Choosing the Tucson Hybrid requires a minimum of $30,595, and the Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV), $36,145.

Hyundai Tucson engineHyundai

Mazda CX-5 vs. Hyundai Tucson: Fuel Economy

If fuel efficiency is a priority for you, the Hyundai is a better choice than the Mazda. The base Tucson’s slightly rough-sounding engine delivers 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway when paired with front-wheel drive (FWD). The all-wheel drive only 226 hp Hybrid model sees up to 38 mpg in both environs. The 261 hp Tucson PHEV delivers 33 miles of electric range and 80 MPGe while the battery is in play; once the charge is depleted, fuel economy drops to 35 mpg combined. But to every silver lining, there’s a cloud: Hyundai currently sells the PHEV only in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Mazda’s CX-5 hits its fuel-economy peak with the standard naturally aspirated four-cylinder, achieving 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The fun-to-drive CX-5 2.5 Turbo manages 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

Mazda CX-5 interior with woman outsideMazda

Mazda CX-5 vs. Hyundai Tucson: Features

Step into the CX-5 and you’ll enjoy great materials and an upmarket feel. Every model has a 10.3 inch infotainment display, which you control with an intuitive dial on the center console or via touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Even the base CX-5 comes well stocked with active safety features, including lane-keeping assistance, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

Hyundai has stepped up its game with the new Tucson’s interior, which features rich-feeling materials and a rich-looking design. While the base model makes do with an 8.0 inch center infotainment touchscreen, other trims come with a 10.3 inch unit, plus a fully digital instrument cluster. When it comes to standard driver-assistance features, Mazda has Hyundai beat, but every Tucson does come with lane keeping, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a drowsy-driver warning.

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Jim Resnick
From racing exotic sports cars, to ranking new cars, to peeling back layers of cover up in an exhaust emissions scandal, Jim has chronicled the automotive sector for decades. Jim has also worked inside the corporate headquarters of three carmakers, and therefore understands how the automotive sausage is really made. But Jim’s affinity for vehicles takes a back seat to finding the truth and the cultural implications of modern transportation. He has also lectured at universities to engineering and policy students and faculty on the industry's relationship with legislation in the wake of the diesel exhaust emissions scandal several years ago. Put simply, Jim reports on autos, mobility, tech, car culture, and the traffic jam of topics within.