Mazda CX-5 named Car and Driver’s best compact SUV

Michael James

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is Car and Driver's best compact SUV.

Car and Driver is among the most well-known automotive publications. Its web site thrives on lists and photo galleries, including the recent naming of the 2015 Mazda CX-5 as the top choice for best compact crossover sport utility vehicle.

The web site’s editors don’t elaborate on the criteria used to select their best and worst choices. But the Mazda CX-5 surprisingly gets the top choice over the always-popular Honda CR-V and top-selling Ford Escape.

The Mitsubishi Outlander was the lowest-rated compact crossover SUV among 16 vehicles listed.

Here’s what Car and Driver said about the 2015 Mazda CX-5:

“The apex-loving CX-5 is the sports car of crossovers, with an athleticism you have to experience to believe. A 155-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder is available only with a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is not offered with this powertrain.

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is Car and Driver's best compact SUV.
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is Car and Driver’s best compact SUV.

“For more zoom, choose the 184-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional; either teams with a six-speed automatic. The CX-5 is tech savvy and offers useful cargo room, but its strength is its poise on the road.”

Here’s what Car and Driver said about the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander:

“The Outlander GT lands in last place on this list not so much for what it is but rather for what it isn’t. While other crossovers have continually expanded on what consumers expect from entries in the segment, the Outlander Sport has done little aside from a mild refresh in 2013 to up its game.

“In its current state, the Outlander’s powertrain, interior materials, technology options, and overall refinement fall well shy of its competitors. That said, fans of the brand will feel right at home in its cabin.”

Here’s the complete list, Nos. 1-16, all 2015 models. A hyperlink indicates the selection, in a current or previous model year, has been reviewed on

1. Mazda CX-5
2. Honda CR-V
3. Ford Escape
4. Jeep Cherokee
5. Jeep Wrangler
6. Hyundai Santa Fe (Sport)
7. Volkswagen Tiguan
8. Toyota RAV4
9. Subaru Forester
10. Subaru Outback
11. Kia Sportage
12. Hyundai Tucson
13. Nissan Rogue
14. Chevrolet Equinox
15. GMC Terrain
16. Mitsubishi Outlander

To read the complete Car and Driver article, visit: Best/Worst Compact SUVs

Article Last Updated: June 23, 2015.

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