Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5: Comparing Compact SUV Safety Ratings

 In Auto Grades, Auto Professor's Safest, Small SUV, Vehicle Safety

Compact SUVs are some of the hottest selling vehicles. Here’s what appeals to these buyers:

  • The driver sits higher than a crossover or a sedan.
  • The steering is pretty easy.
  • The trunk (or the boot, if you’re from the British Isles) storage is accessible.

How about Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5 safety ratings?

Here is a head-to-head comparison for a couple of popular models, the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5.

The Mazda CX-5 gets a better grade.
Grade A-

2017 Mazda CX-5

Grade C

2017 Honda CR-V



There is not enough data to provide personal Auto Grades for the Honda CR-V, but the Mazda consistently gets high grades. In other words, the CX-5 has a track record of protecting its drivers across younger and older age groups.

Mazda CX-5 Personal Auto Grades:

The federal star-safety rating system gives the CR-V a 5-star safety rating, but the CX-5 only earns 4? Based on our analysis of the experience of real people in the worst crashes, we think that the CX-5 is better. Why? We talk about this in our video.

Most importantly, the star ratings depend on laboratory tests with dummies.

Laboratory-based ratings are using dummies that don’t look like seniors. These ratings are useless for seniors.

The problem is that these dummies are based on the “perfect” average male. Sometimes, the tests also use a very small female dummy. But none of these dummies actually look or react like an older driver. Because, as we age, our entire bodies change. Our joints are stiffer. Our bones become more brittle.

So, from a car safety point of view, we need more protection, even in a compact SUV. We knew this when we developed the Auto Grades. And since we are using data from what happened to real people (not dummies), we are able to give drivers over 50 years old a truer safety rating. To learn more, you may find another of our blogs of interest: Older Drivers: Getting Educated.


Want to find the safety rating of other compact SUVs besides the Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5? We are here for you. We’ve written an article comparing a broader list of best-selling compact SUVs. You should also try out the simple search bar below. First we give the car an overall Auto Grade. Then, if there is lots of data available on that car, you will get the option to see a personal Auto Grade. If you want to see how this is done, then please watch this video.

Working together to create a world where everyone walks away from a crash.