An orange 2019 Ford Escape is driving down a highway with a city in the background.

2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Ford Escape vs Mazda CX-5

Compact crossovers are just so darn cute. They must be, because they are everywhere. And pretty much every automaker on the planet has rolled at least one of them out over the past several years. These diminutive vehicles may not have the physical pull of one of their larger brethren, but they have the appeal for a pretty wide audience. And, it appears that audience is growing. So, if you are debating between two of these autos, say the 2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5, there are a few things you might want to know.

For starters, neither of these vehicles have the engine size or physical capability to do much in the way of jaw-dropping performance. They are not meant to. Neither are they meant to be the kind of vehicle that you can pack the kids into and take a long drive to grandma’s house. These aren’t those SUVs. Mazda and Ford both make those SUVs, these just aren’t them. These are specifically designed to a different demographic, one without children or any real yearning for utilizing the bigger SUVs. These compact crossovers are directed at the younger generation, those that were children themselves not too long ago.

This is not to say that the millennial or Generation Y crowd are the only ones who  could enjoy them. They are fun, sporty vehicles with a lot to offer the right driver. That driver just seems to fit a very specific role. re ad on to find out more about some of the specifics of both the 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 Mazda CX-5 and see if you agree with us.


Again, these compact crossovers are not going to blow anyone away with their engine numbers. If you are looking for eye-popping horsepower and mind-numbing torque, you are going to be sorely disappointed. What they do offer, however, are engine options that are just perfect for the size of the vehicle.

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has two engines. The first is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that gets 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The second is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that ramps up the muscle to 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. At best, this vehicle can tow up to 1500 pounds. It does, however, offer great gas mileage, getting up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2019 Ford escape offers three engine options. The first is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder with 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Next up is the 1.5 liter 4-cylinder that gets 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Last, but not least, is the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.  The Escape has a higher maximum tow rating, at 2000 pounds, but suffers slightly in fuel efficiency, getting only up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

Many people might look at the horsepower and torque numbers and think they only really apply to heavy duty trucks or racecars. For vehicles like the 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 Mazda CX-5, these numbers mean something entirely different. You will likely not be hauling lumber or competing in drag races. You definitely should not be doing those things in these SUVs. What these numbers mean for compact crossovers is the vehicles ability to do things like merge into traffic, accelerate on the highway, handle certain terrain, etc. These vehicles are designed and built to be agile and handle city traffic well. Having greater horsepower and torque is meant to define that type of driving in these vehicles. So, don’t get too many ideas.

With that being said, this category is a bit of a draw. The 2019 Ford Escape has more engine options to choose from and a higher towing capacity, while the 2019 Mazda CX-5 has more power powerful engines, by comparison, and better gas mileage. That is a coin flip, depending on which side of the coin you fall.

Cargo space

The black interior of the 2019 Ford Escape is shown from the trunk.

We are not going to kid ourselves. We know that some people buy cars and SUVs for the looks. The aesthetic appeal is the ultimate selling point. It might be the only selling point for some. And we also know that that is not just limited to millennials buying compact crossover SUVs. We all know that car guy that bought that one car because it looks cool. The thing is, he’s not wrong.

Still, though, most new car buyers have to have some kind of idea about the utility of their prospective purchase. The U in SUV stands for Utility, after all. Since compact crossovers like the 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 Mazda CX-5 aren’t much for the engine department, they do have some utility in the other end.

Everybody has stuff they need to haul around. It may be groceries, work materials, pets or something else, but everybody needs at least some room in their vehicle to get their stuff to where it needs to go. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat and 59.6 feet behind the front seat when the rear seat is down. The 2019 Ford Escape is quite a bit larger, as it offers 34 cubic feet of space behind the back seat and 68 cubic feet overall.

Not only is the Escape bigger on the inside, it also has a hands-free tailgate as a standard feature. The CX-5 does not offer a hands-free tailgate. So, it is pretty clear that the 2019 Ford Escape wins this round.


The interior of a 2019 Ford Escape, which wins when comparing the 2019 Ford Escape vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5, is shown.

Some of what makes vehicles so appealing to millennials are the cool new features found on many modern vehicles. These can be anything from home-like comforts to futuristic vehicle-specific technology. It is always fun to see what new technology the automotive industry will introduce next, and both the 2019 Mazda CX-5 and the 2019 Ford Escape are loaded with them.

Two of these particular features are the USB ports and the heads up display. USB ports are extremely handy for importing your creature comfort of your smartphone. You can hook your phone up to the CX-5’s sound system and listen to your favorite music or podcast. You could use an AUX cord like a Neanderthal, but then you would have to control everything on your phone itself. That could take your eyes off the road. With the USB port hookup, you can control your phone’s music with the sound system. This is both safer and more convenient. The 2019 Ford Escape does not offer USB ports in its base trim levels, while the 2019 Mazda CX-5 does.

The heads-up display is an example of the futuristic stuff that was once only seen on science-fiction shows. This display shows basic information from your dashboard, such as speed, direction and even traffic signs directly onto the windshield in front of the driver. You could look down at the dashboard for this information, but again, this means taking your eyes off the road. By being able to see it in your periphery, that split second could prevent something terrible from happening. The 2019 Ford Escape does not offer such a heads up display.

These two compact crossovers are both high quality vehicles and deserve in depth looks from a would-be buyer. What it might come down to is price. They are virtually identical at the base trim level, with the 2019 Ford Escape starting off at $24,105 and the 2019 Mazda CX-5 slightly higher at $24,350. However, the price disparity gets a bit greater as you move up the trim levels, with the CX-5 costing around $2,000 more for the highest levels. Still, for the great vehicles that these are, those are very reasonable prices, and millennials will appreciate the moderate price tag.