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2021 Hyundai Tucson vs Mazda CX-5

2021 Hyundai Tucson vs Mazda CX-5
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

2021 Tucson vs CX-5 - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

With so many great compact SUVs on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. The 2021 Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 are two of the most popular options available - but how do they compare? When considering value, drivers may initially opt for a Tucson due to its loaded features and unbeatable warranty from Hyundai. However, remember that this model will undergo an extensive redesign in 2022 with no major updates expected before then.

With the 2021 Tucson and CX-5, Hyundai and Mazda offer drivers two distinct SUVs. While Hyundai promises value with its trusty ride, Mazda offers performance - especially evident in the new Carbon Edition which features a stylish black paint job and red leather upholstery. But deciding between these vehicles is about more than just choosing speed or price; each SUV has their own unique set of strengths that must be considered to make an informed decision! The complete comparison below can help show you what sets them apart from one another for your next car purchase.

The Powertrain

The 2021 Tucson offers a variety of trim levels boasting two different engine options to suit the needs and preferences of all drivers. For those looking for greater power, there are four trims featuring 2.4L engines with 181-horsepower along with 176 lb-ft torque - while still having maximum fuel efficiency due to its reliable six speed automatic transmission system! All models come standard with front wheel drive but can be upgraded to include all wheel drive if desired - so no matter your preference or budget you'll find an ideal configuration in this crossover SUV's extensive lineup.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 offers drivers plenty of power options with two engine choices. Most models feature a 2.5L four-cylinder creating 187 horsepower to get you moving, while select trims come equipped with the turbocharged version pushing out an impressive 227 horses and 310 lb-ft torque on regular gasoline – upping it even more to 250 hp when premium fuel is used! And for those who crave adventure in their drive time, top trim levels of the CX-5 include all wheel drive as standard - not forgetting its generous maximum towable weight limit topping off at 2,000 pounds too.

The Hyundai Tucson is not terribly fuel-efficient. With the standard engine, buyers can expect 23mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. The larger engine is only estimated to get 22mpg in the city. Like the base engine, it gets 28mpg on the highway. Pairing it with all-wheel drive will mean getting 21mpg city and 26mpg highway.

Drivers get better numbers from the CX-5, which has estimates of 25mpg city and 31mpg highway. Choosing to get the turbocharged engine option will reduce fuel efficiency to 23mpg city and 28mpg highway. All-wheel-drive models lose one mile per gallon for both the city and highway with either engine.

How well will the powertrains of the Tucson and CX-5 hold up over time? According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Tucson was given a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of a possible five stars, which is above average. The 2021 CX-5 received three stars.

Mazda gives the CX-5 a standard warranty of three years or 36,000 miles for the limited overall and five years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain. Hyundai gives the 2021 Tucson its famous five years or 60,000 miles overall warranty and ten years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain. For many shoppers, the warranty alone is enough reason to choose the Tucson.


Hyundai's Tucson offers a serene and plush ride, pampering passengers with its well-designed suspension that absorbs bumps. The car is also soundproofed to ensure journeys are quiet and tranquil even on the most crowded of roads. For those looking for more excitement in their drive, Mazda CX-5 delivers an exhilarating driving experience while still maintaining cabin silence - perfect for speed demons who'd rather not be disturbed by background noise.

The Mazda CX-5 and the Tucson both provide supportive seats tailored to every passenger. Three children can fit comfortably in the second row of seating while two adults will be more suited for a ride on the CX-5 with its ample headroom and leg room, perfect for family trips! Both vehicles come equipped with standard cloth upholstery but luxury leather upgrades are available along with features such as heated front seats and steering wheel so you never have to worry about keeping warm during those cold winter months.

Visibility is better in the CX-5 than the Tucson. Drivers sit nice and high in the CX-5, allowing them to see clearly in every direction. While the Tucson offers good forward visibility, the chunky rear pillars can get in the way when backing out of a parking space or changing lanes.

Cargo space in the Tucson is respectable. It has 31 cubic feet behind the backseat and can open up to nearly 62 cubic feet when needed. Other compact SUVs offer significantly more space. The CX-5 also has 31 cubic feet when the seats are all up. It tops out at just 60 cubic feet, however. Buyers may be surprised at just how much of a difference an extra two cubic feet of space can make.

The 2021 Tucson continues to come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, which leaves it behind many rivals. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all included, along with a single USB port. Select models add one more USB port, wireless device charging, navigation, and an 8-inch touchscreen.

Thanks to changes made in 2021, the CX-5 has more impressive tech than ever. The 10.25-inch touchscreen has sharp graphics and is easy to use. Both of the smartphone integration tools are standard here, along with Mazda Connected Services. The CX-5 comes standard with two USB ports, and select models add two more to the back. On the other hand, the CX-5 comes with only four speakers while the Tucson has six.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


Safety ratings for the 2021 Tucson and 2021 CX-5 are very similar. Both received an overall score of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They got five stars when tested for frontal and side collisions, and four stars for how they performed in rollover testing.

These two compact SUVs got the same high cores in their crash-testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS also takes a look at how well headlights perform. For the Tucson, the standard halogen headlights got the lowest possible score of "poor" while the available LED headlights got the score "good." For the CX-5, the standard headlights got the score of "acceptable" and the available upgrades are "good."

The 2021 Tucson and CX-5 both offer drivers an array of safety features to make driving more secure. While the Tucson comes standard with driver drowsiness monitoring, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane keeping assist and a rearview camera; buyers who opt for the CX-5 will also get adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring ,automatic high beams plus additional extras like pedestrian detection as well as rear cross traffic alert - all designed to keep you safe while on the roads.

Which Has the Best Value?

The Mazda CX-5 and Tucson offer drivers a range of options, perfect for any budget. From the affordable entry point of $23,700 with the base model Tucson to splurging on luxuries like heated leather seats found in the Ultimate trim--and everything in between! Meanwhile, those looking at CX-5 models can expect to pay slightly more upfront with an above average starting price tag of $25,270 but experience unparalleled luxury when opting for its top tier Signature version topping out around or even over $37K.

For five grand more than the Tucson Ultimate, you could get behind the wheel of a CX-5 Signature. But is that extra money justified? Both models come with features like climate controlled front seats and heated rear ones as well as an integrated navigation system and panoramic sunroof for your viewing pleasure. However, where this model takes it up to another level are its auto dimming mirror, ambient interior lighting and genuine wood trim for those looking for something truly luxurious; all in addition to being equipped with all-wheel drive capabilities which undoubtedly justify why it's priced slightly higher.

At first glance, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson appears to deliver a better value than the Mazda CX-5. However, when evaluating their five-year cost projections, it’s clear that these two SUVs have much closer numbers - with only $2,950 separating them in total expenses over those 5 years. The difference comes down to which is more important: out of pocket costs or depreciation rate? With an estimated price tag of just 43 cents per mile driven for the Tucson and 47 cents for its rival from Mazda - both come off as great deals.

Why does the CX-5 cost drivers so much more out of pocket in those first five years? The CX-5 is more fuel-efficient and should cost around $1,000 less than the Tucson in gas. Where the Tucson makes up and then gains ground is in estimated repair costs. Thanks to its excellent warranty, the Tucson will have drivers paying over $1,000 less at the local garage for repairs. The Mazda is also estimated to cost quite a bit more in routine maintenance.

Which is Better?

If you're in the market for a compact SUV, there is no question that both the 2021 Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson are great options. The Tucson offers impressive value with low upfront costs and long term savings as well as plenty of space for passengers or cargo. However, if your budget allows it - go ahead and treat yourself to behind-the-wheel fun! With having more standard tech & safety features plus an awesome acceleration experience - driving this vehicle will be sure to give you smiles all around.

Used 2021 Hyundai Tucson: