New Citroen C5 Aircross & Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 has long been one of the best large, five-seat SUVs, but now its position at the top of the class is being threatened by two all-new models...

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What Car? team
12 March 2019

New Citroen C5 Aircross & Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5

Our verdict

Consistency is key here. Even in a relatively expensive trim, with a petrol engine that’s weaker than its rivals’, the CX-5 is still strong in most areas and excels in some, being very well equipped and good to drive. If you’re reluctantly opting for an SUV because of a growing family and would like something in which you can have at least some fun, it’s a great shout. 

Citroën is known for avant-garde designs, and the C5 Aircross ticks that box, both inside and out. Broadly speaking, it also succeeds in emulating another classic Citroën trait: if you spend a lot of time on motorways, it’s supremely supple and very quiet. It’ll be relatively cheap to run, too; just don’t expect much in the way of dynamic sparkle. 

Practicality is the CR-V’s biggest strength. It’s also perfectly comfortable and decent to drive, but it’s let down by its baffling infotainment system and instrument panel, as well as its steep running costs. 

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1st – Mazda CX-5 – 4 stars 

Mazda CX-5 rear

For Strong on safety; well equipped; excellent resale values; most enjoyable to drive 

Against Weakest performance; fidgety ride; smallest boot; lots of wind noise

Recommended options Metallic paint (£560)

Read our full Mazda CX-5 review

Find a great Mazda CX-5 deal


2nd – Citroën C5 Aircross – 4 stars

Citroen C5 Aircross rear

For Strong engine; cheapest PCP payments; tranquil motorway ride; quietest at speed; most economical 

Against Soggy handling; poor head room with sunroof fitted; so-so infotainment

Recommended options Electric tailgate (£790)

Read our full Citroën C5 Aircross review

Find a great Citroën C5 Aircross deal


3rd – Honda CR-V – 3 stars 

Honda CR-V rear

For Great visibility; good-sized boot; lots of passenger space; decent performance

Against Terrible infotainment; costliest to buy and run; some illogical controls

Recommended options Metallic paint (£550)

Read our full Honda CR-V review

Find a great Honda CR-V deal


Specifications: Citroën C5 Aircross Puretech 180 Flair EAT8

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1598cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £28,352
  • Target Price £27,094
  • Power 178bhp @ 5500rpm
  • Torque 184lb ft @ 1650rpm
  • Gearbox 8-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 8.8sec
  • Top speed 134mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 39.6mpg
  • Test MPG 37.1mpg 
  • CO2 emissions 131g/km

Specifications: Honda CR-V 1.5 VTEC Turbo AWD SE CVT 5st

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1498cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £31,265
  • Target Price £29,913
  • Power 190bhp @ 5600rpm
  • Torque 179lb ft @ 2000-5000rpm
  • Gearbox CVT automatic
  • 0-60mph 8.8
  • Top speed 124mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 36.2mpg
  • Test MPG 33.0mpg
  • CO2 emissions 162g/km

Specifications: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165 2WD Sport Nav+ auto

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1998cc, petrol
  • List price £30,295
  • Target Price £28,318
  • Power 163bhp @ 6000rpm
  • Torque 157lb ft @ 4000rpm
  • Gearbox 6-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 9.3sec
  • Top speed 119mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 36.7mpg
  • Test MPG 36.3mph
  • CO2 emissions 150g/km

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