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Subaru Outback vs. Mazda CX-5

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Subaru Outback

$657
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Mazda CX-5

$484
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Overall Reliability Rating

4
Group 4
Group 4
Above Average
The Subaru Outback Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 17th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $657 which means it has average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is low while frequency of those issues is average, so major issues are uncommon for the Outback.
4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Mazda CX-5 Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 5th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $484 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is low while frequency of those issues is average, so major issues are uncommon for the CX-5.
Cost
Average annual repairs total
$657
inexpensive
expensive
$484
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.51
not often
very often
0.36
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
9%
not urgent
urgent
8%
not urgent
urgent

Overall Car Ratings & Details

5
(1)
4
(11)
3
(10)
2
(1)
1
(1)
The Subaru Outback ranks highest in suspension and ranks lowest in engine.
“I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 with 32,000 miles that I bought used in 2012. Four years later I now have less than 52,000 miles on it. After going to the shop 4 times for chugging on accelerati...”
“I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 with 32,000 miles that I bought used in 2012. Four years later ...”
5
(0)
4
(0)
3
(0)
2
(1)
1
(1)
The Mazda CX-5 ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in heating.
“I researched and rented 8 different cars before deciding on this one. My first brand new car ever purchased. I'm disappointed that all materials read on this car were just fluff. My prior car was a...”
“I researched and rented 8 different cars before deciding on this one. My first brand new car ever...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Subaru Outback and the Mazda CX-5 vary in both length and height. The Outback is a midsize, two-row, car-based SUV that is longer and has a lower roof. The CX-5 is a compact, two-row SUV that is less long and taller. The Outback has all-wheel drive as standard equipment, and the CX-5 comes with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

The Subaru Outback’s standard 170-horsepower engine gives up some power when compared to the Mazda CX-5’s 187 standard horsepower. But the Outback offers you the option of a 256-horsepower engine. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a more powerful version.

Another difference to consider: the Outback and CX-5 offer notably different amounts of cargo space. The Outback has 73.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, while the CX-5 has just 59.6 cubic feet. 

One important area where the Mazda CX-5 excels is in its driving qualities. The CX-5 has an excellent combination of steering, ride and handling, making driving a pleasure any time you’re behind the wheel. 

Choosing between these two vehicles comes down to whether you value on-road performance over off-road ability and cargo capacity. The Mazda CX-5 is an excellent SUV if you spend most of your time on paved roads. If you need to venture off the beaten path, or carry large loads, the Outback is a great choice.

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