2021 Subaru Outback vs. 2021 Mazda CX-5


The 2021 Subaru Outback and the 2021 Mazda CX-5 are both stylish crossovers that are designed with both comfort and performance in mind. These are vehicles that you could use for daily commute, or that you could take on a weekend off-roading adventure. You'll be just as comfortable in either scenario.

Though the 2021 Subaru Outback and the 2021 Mazda CX-5 are alike in many aspects, they diverge in important ways. If you are shopping for a crossover, consider these attributes:

Exterior Styling

Unlike a lot of other vehicles in the same class, the Outback and the CX-5 do not look like they could be clones of each other. They have distinct styling that makes them easy to tell apart - and that can appeal to buyers' specific tastes.

The Outback has a long and lean body. It almost has the look of a hatchback, but it's bigger. That can be more inviting to some who may find the SUV look to be too much. Body cladding surrounds the underside of the frame, protecting it from the rocks and mud that you'll inevitably encounter on trails, while also providing a stylish accent. Other details are subtle and well-placed to create a handsome and tailored facade.

The Mazda CX-5 has a more traditional SUV look, with a slicker design. It has a taller profile and a glossier surface, with more accent details. The grille is flashier, the headlights thinner, and the body cladding minimized. The difference between the two models seems to be one of surface and substance, with one designed simply to look good and one designed to be stylish while also dealing with the conditions for which it was created.

Interior Styling and Space

Both the Subaru Outback and the Mazda CX-5 can seat five passengers, but those sitting in the rear seat will be much more comfortable in the Outback than they will in the CX-5. Interior design tends to reflect what you see on the outside: The Outback is stylish but focused on practicality, while the CX-5 is focused on flashy design.

Inside the CX-5, you'll find higher-quality materials and chrome trim. While this will look nice, it will be a nightmare to take care of if you are taking your SUV camping, hiking, or doing some other outdoor activity. The Outback is designed for comfort and easy cleaning, with water- and stain-resistant fabrics and other materials. That doesn't mean that you sacrifice style or quality in the Outback - you still get both. You just need to think about how you will use your new vehicle to determine which will better meet all of your needs.

The Outback also has astonishingly more cargo space - 75.7 cubic feet, compared to the CX-5's 59.6 cubic feet. The Outback also has a higher towing capacity if you need to haul more. It can carry 2,700 pounds, while the CX-5 can only carry 2,000 pounds.


When you are shopping for a crossover, performance is likely going to be top of mind. You want a vehicle that can handle a variety of situations.

The 2021 Subaru Outback comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. If you need a little more power, you can upgrade to one of the higher trim levels, such as the Limited or Touring, and get the XT turbocharged engine. It is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission makes for smooth handling in any situation.

All-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels for the 2021 Outback. However, the higher trim levels come with an upgraded all-wheel drive system that has hill descent control and additional drive modes. That gives you more control when you are in different situations, ensuring that you have the power and handling you need.

The 2021 CX-5 comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but you do have the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive for a fee. The powertrain is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged engine is also available as an upgrade for the Mazda CX-5 - a 2.5-liter that puts out 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. With premium gas, you can get a bit more horsepower and torque.


Lots of great tech features are available on the Outback and the CX-5 to make driving more fun.

The 2021 Subaru Outback comes standard with two 7-inch touchscreens, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and Android and Apple compatibility for streaming devices. There are also USB ports for charging and streaming. You'll find the same equipment on the Mazda CX-5, though there is one touchscreen, and it is slightly larger. It also has HD radio instead of satellite radio.

You'll also find lots of extras throughout both cabins, like power windows and locks, automatic climate control, and more.

Safety Features

Plenty of safety features and a solid design make both the 2021 Subaru Outback and the 2021 Mazda CX-5 safe vehicles.

The Subaru Outback comes with safety features like a rearview camera, steering-responsive LED headlights, collision warning, lane keep assistance, automatic emergency braking, a rear seat reminder, and a rear seat belt warning.

The Mazda CX-5 comes with some of the same features. Standard safety features on the CX-5 include collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assistance, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Take a Test Drive of the 2021 Subaru Outback Today

Visit Granite Subaru today to take a test drive of the 2021 Subaru Outback to get a feel for how it drives and all it has to offer. You'll quickly realize why it is the superior choice when you need a reliable vehicle that will reliably serve you through any terrain. Our friendly associates are ready to help you explore all its features and compare options. Visit us today to learn more.