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Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota Vanguard : SUV Comparison

Yet another bone of contention between Mazda fans and Toyota aficionados. While Mazda is more reputed for adding a touch of luxury and style to its products, Toyota has built its customer base around the reliable nature of its products. Nonetheless, as both of these multinational companies offer durable automotive solutions, their vehicles have become very popular in the Japanese used cars market.

Two among these are the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota Vanguard. As these compact crossover SUVs boast very similar features, deciding which of them to go for is often challenging for even the savviest car buyers. But by the end of this article, you’ll be well ahead of the crowd!

Difference between Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota Vanguard

To know which of these vehicles is best for you, you must first be aware of their outer look, interior feel, features, and average market prices.

Mazda CX-5

Before 2012, Japan-made SUVs were known for their tall, boxy designs. However, with the introduction of the Mazda CX-5, this trend was gradually coming to an end. The CX-5 featured a sportier and more upscale exterior – an embodiment of the brand’s now-signature “Kodo: Soul of Motion” design language. 

By incorporating smooth lines and a bold front fascia, the Kodo design philosophy aims to evoke a sense of motion and dynamism even when the vehicle is stationary. The interior of the Mazda CX-5, though not particularly luxurious, offers a sophisticated, sporty feel. The seats, covered in standard cloth (or perforated leather, in some trims), can comfortably accommodate up to five passengers. 

The Mazda infotainment system includes a touchscreen display, together with a set of connectivity & audio options to help you stay connected on the go. Manual air conditioning is also available. Meanwhile, the Mazda CX-5 for sale didn’t skimp on safety, given the SKYACTIV-Body construction, designed to absorb impact energy and protect occupants in a collision.

The SUV also presents other safety features like the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Airbag System, Seatbelt Pretensioners, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), among others. 

However, users complained about the vehicle’s poor sound insulation and shock absorption. The 2016 Facelift improved the infotainment system, reduced road noise and included a Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC). The Mazda CX-5 is quite popular in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan and Algeria. On our website, a Japanese used Mazda CX-5 for sale goes between $2,200 and $3,000 (FOB).

Toyota Vanguard

The Toyota Vanguard is a five-door body, long-wheel version of the Toyota RAV4, which was sold in Japan between 2007 and 2013. While not extremely flashy, the vehicle caters to buyers looking to own a more premium-looking version of the RAV4. The front view of the Vanguard features a distinctive trapezoid grille with a bar-type mesh pattern. 

The rear, on the other hand, has a spare tyre cover that blends into the back door, creating a modern aesthetic. Additionally, higher trims of the Toyota Vanguard for sale boast High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights, Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and a Rearview Camera to support safe driving. Meanwhile, the vehicle interior is designed for comfort. To begin with, the Vanguard can comfortably seat up to seven individuals, making it a perfect choice for medium-sized families. 

Thanks to the two-tiered instrument panel, door trim and concave, slim seats, every passenger can enjoy an open and relaxing space within the vehicle. Air conditioning options, a Smart Entry and Start System, connectivity features and various audio systems also enhance the comfort and convenience of occupants. 

More so, this SUV adopts an advanced GOA collision-safety body to protect its users. Much like the Mazda CX-5, the Vanguard comes equipped with an electronic braking system, anti-lock braking system, and SRS airbags, together with other standard and advanced safety features. 

Several African countries import the Toyota Vanguard for sale and personal use. Popular examples include Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic, Kenya, South Sudan, Zambia and Nigeria. At Carused, you can expect to find a Japanese used Toyota Vanguard for sale for as low as $3,400 (FOB).

Performance and Engine Specifications

With the table below, you can quickly attempt a comparison of the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota Vanguard:

CriteriaMazda CX-5Toyota Vanguard
Manufacturing Year20122007
Dimensions (L × W × H)4,540mm × 1,840mm × 1,670mm4,515mm × 1895mm × 1680mm
Weight1,455 – 1,555 kg1660 kg
Type of VehicleSUVSUV
Engine Capacity1998 – 2488cc2,362cc
Engine Power (HP)148 – 189 horsepower168 horsepower
Engine RPM6,000RPM6,000RPM
Top Speed190 km/h180km/h
Fuel TypePetrol/DieselPetrol/Diesel
Fuel Capacity56 – 58 litres60 litres
Fuel Efficiency16 km/L – 20 km/L10 km/L – 14 km/L
Transmission TypeSKYACTIV®-DriveSuper CVT-i
Average Price (Used)$2,200 – $3,000 (FOB)$3,400 – $5,000 (FOB)

N.B.: For the Mazda CX-5, the first generation KE2FW/KE2AW (2012-2017) model was used. And for the Toyota Vanguard, the first generation ACA33W/ACA38W (2007– 2013) model was used.

Popular Use

As the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota Vanguard bring a lot of impressive features to the table, it is no wonder they are in high demand, among SUV enthusiasts, to cater to diverse needs.

  • Snow and Inclement Weather Driving: Both the Toyota Vanguard and the Mazda CX-5 for sale incorporate FWD and 4WD drivetrains. This makes them perfect for those living in areas with harsh winters or frequent chilly weather.
  • Urban Commuting: The Toyota Vanguard for sale, for instance, is built to be more compact than past SUV models. This smaller size makes them better suited for city driving, without compromising on ample headroom, legroom and cargo space.
  • Student and Young Professional Use: These vehicles are a popular choice among students and young professionals due to their affordability, practicality, and modern features. A Toyota Vanguard for sale, for instance, offers the versatility needed for various life stages—from college to starting a career. By owning one, you won’t have to worry about spending on another vehicle for a while.
  • Pet Transportation: Do you have a pet? A dog perhaps? Or a cat? Or even a bunny? You can simply own a Mazda CX-5 for sale! This vehicle provides just enough space for your pets, crates, and other pet accessories, and its flexible seating arrangements allow for a comfortable ride.
  • Family Transportation: As with almost every other vehicle of their size, these SUVs can also be used by small to medium-sized families for their daily commutes, errands and long trips. Advanced versions of the Mazda CX-5 for sale come with modern entertainment and safety features that make them ideal for transporting families of all types comfortably and safely.


With all that has been said, there’s no gainsaying that owning any of these Japanese used cars is a smart choice. However, if you’d prefer a stylish & compact SUV with safety at its core, very affordable pricing and standard features, the Mazda CX-5 is the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you need a more roomy interior, modern features, and a vehicle that can serve you for years to come, you had better opt for the Toyota Vanguard.

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