Choosing between the 2020 Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 all comes down to what you want in a compact crossover. These models attract attention with their sporty performance and modern tech lineups, but it’s their differences that will help you select the one that’s right for you. Our comparison guide is here to help you do exactly that.
Everyday Comfort: 2020 Ford Escape
Inside the Ford Escape, you’ll revel in roomy comfort. Both rows of seating are cushy, supportive, and adult-friendly, with more than enough legroom to go around. You’ll also love the Escape’s smooth ride, which helps you maintain an even keel around town or on the highway.
The Mazda CX-5 is roomy, with plenty of space for a family road trip. However, the rear seat bottoms are on the flat side, which can be somewhat uncomfortable on long drives. The CX-5 is also tuned for a sporty performance, so it can feel more firm than smooth.
Savvy Technology: 2020 Ford Escape
This one was a close call, but the Escape takes the lead with its cutting-edge tech features and dependable driver aids. Every Escape comes standard with technology designed to help you avoid costly damages, such as blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation. We’re also big fans of Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes a fast-action 8-inch touch screen and simple smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But, like we said, the Mazda CX-5 also impresses with its tech lineup. You’ll appreciate its easy-to-use touch-screen infotainment system, which also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone technology. And, like the Escape, the CX-5 also comes standard with driver safety aids, including lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation, and automatic high beams. However, some systems, like the blind-spot monitor, can be a little too sensitive, a flaw that can make them more irritating than helpful.
Sporty Performance: It’s a Tie!
These compact crossovers are equally fun to drive. Each comes standard with a sporty powertrain, and each crossover also offers a powertrain upgrade for an even sportier ride. We also like that the Edge and CX-5 offer all-wheel drive, performance gear that helps each model stick twists and turns. With optional all-wheel drive, you can even take these crossovers down light trails.
Thrifty Driving: 2020 Ford Escape
To combine sporty performance with at-the-pump savings, choose the Escape. The performance-based SE Sport and top-trim Titanium models come standard with a 200-horsepower hybrid engine. Besides delivering premium performance, the Escape’s hybrid powertrain earns up to 41 mpg combined (44 city/37 highway mpg). But the Escape is also pretty thrifty without any upgrades. Its base engine helps you achieve up to 30 mpg combined (27/33 mpg).
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 isn’t quite as efficient, but it still does a good job of blending peppy performance with fuel economy. This crossover earns its best EPA ratings — 28 mpg combined (25/31 mpg) — with its base engine. With the turbocharged engine upgrade, those figures drop to 24 mpg combined (22/27mpg).
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is a sporty contender, but it’s the 2020 Ford Edge that gives you the total package — modern performance, smooth-riding comfort, and all the latest tech gear.