The 2016 Ford Escape and 2016 Mazda CX-5 are well matched at first glance. Both compact crossovers have plenty of interior versatility, with the ability to handle cargo and people with equal aplomb, and they can turn in fairly good fuel economy ratings, too. Also, because of both vehicles' upright, SUV-like designs, there is even better headroom than the Ford and Mazda's midsize sedans. Both also provide top safety and infotainment technologies. It’s this combination of characteristics that also makes its impact felt on the sales charts: both are among the brands’ best sellers, the Escape running third with Ford and the CX-5 leading the way for the Mazda brand.
That said, the overall sales positions of these two vehicles are probably about what you think, based on the size of the automakers involved, and the more mainstream Ford has been outselling the CX-5 by about 3 to 1 to kick off the new calendar year.
The two rivals also stand at slightly different points in their life cycles. The (formerly) Zoom-Zoom brand just refreshed the CX-5 for 2016, while the Escape, though it was upgraded for this model year, is saving its more significant changes for the 2017 editions. So which is best?