Used test – reliable SUVs: Kia Sportage vs Mazda CX-5

These two used family SUVs prove that dependability and practicality don’t have to come at the cost of style. We find out which is best...

Used test – reliable SUVs: Kia Sportage vs Mazda CX-5
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What Car? team
9 Jun 2016 06:00

Our Verdict

The Kia Sportage isn’t a car without merit. It does look the part, which is one of the main reasons for its success when it was new, and it has plenty of equipment and a better entertainment system than the Mazda CX-5. That warranty’s an enormous bonus, too.

The problem is, that simply isn’t enough to recommend the Sportage, as you have to live with too many compromises to enjoy its few benefits. It’s noisy, for starters, whether you’re pootling around town or out on the open road; then there’s the sloppy handling, the jarring ride, and the fact it looks like being less efficient, according to the official figures at least.

That means it’s a clear victory here for the CX-5. True, its entertainment system feels pretty old-fashioned, and it rides just a little too stiffly. And while it’s quieter than the Sportage, it still suffers from too much wind noise at speed.

But these are minor flaws, especially compared with the CX-5’s major benefits. It is by far the better car to drive and to ride in, it’s equipped with the smarter interior, it’s more efficient, considerably cheaper to tax and a lot more spacious. And for all this, you barely have to pay any more than the Kia. That makes it a top used SUV buy, and a worthy winner here.

Read our review of the all-new Mazda CX-5

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1st – Mazda CX-5


Used test – reliable SUVs: Kia Sportage vs Mazda CX-5

For Spacious and smart inside; great to drive; quiet engine; cheap tax

Against Firm ride; dated entertainment system; wind noise at speed

Verdict One of the very best used SUVs at this price point

Rated 5 out of 5

Find a used Mazda CX-5 for sale in the What Car? Classifieds

2nd – Kia Sportage


Used test – reliable SUVs: Kia Sportage vs Mazda CX-5

For Well-equipped; decent entertainment system; warranty

Against Noisy; poor handling; jarring ride; so-so interior

Verdict Appeals to the head, but not the heart

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full used Kia Sportage review

Find a used Kia Sportage for sale in the What Car? Classifieds

Specifications: Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L 2WD

Engine size 2.2-litre diesel

List price when new £23,295

Price today £14,500

Power 148bhp

Torque 280lb ft

0-60mph 9.7sec

Top speed 126mph

Fuel economy 61.4mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 119g/km

Specifications: 1.7 CRDi 3 2WD

Engine size 1.7-litre diesel

List price when new £23,100

Price today £14,000

Power 114bhp

Torque 192lb ft

0-60mph 12.0sec

Top speed 107mph

Fuel economy 52.3mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 143g/km

Price today is based on a 2014 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing