Mazda’s model lineup is getting increasingly difficult to understand as the automaker is focusing more and more on SUV sales. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 has just been introduced, which is not directly based on the CX-5 and it doesn’t replace it either. The move is pretty much unprecedented in this segment.
To make choosing between the two a little easier, we decided to give you all the specs and features of the CX-5 and CX-50. And after you’ve gone through all the numbers, you might want to check out the comparison review from Canadian YouTubers TheStraightPipes.
The CX-50 is derived from the CX-30, but it’s been stretched until it was 3 inches wider and 10 inches wider than its review rival. It’s been designed from the ground up to be cooler and offer an aggressive attitude in combination with an off-roader look. Thus, it comes with widebody fenders and large black plastic cladding elements.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is an update of the older model. It’s been redesigned with sleeker headlights, while its body kit is now the same color as the rest of the body, giving it a discreet premium appearance.
There are smaller cosmetic differences too. The CX-50 has been equipped with roof rails, comes with large vents at the back and a silver skid plate design. The ground clearance is a little bit higher to match its off-road attitude.
But we think the off-road stuff is mainly to show off. The CX-50 does not have the abilities of something like an FJ Cruiser. Like its distant cousin the Mazda3, this comes with a torsion beam rear suspension system, and its suspension is actually pretty firm, especially on 20-inch wheels. The Meridian Edition is coming with smaller wheels and off-road tires. Meanwhile, the CX-5 has a more sophisticated and smooth ride. What really gets me is that the cheaper CX-5 is assembled in Hiroshima, Japan while the new CX-50 is made on the joint assembly line with Toyota in Huntsville, Alabama.
CX-50 prices and specs
In this case, both SUVs have been equipped with the same 2.5-liter turbocharged engine making 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on normal octane fuel. On high-octane gas, you can get 256 horsepower, but not every state sells this. TheStraightPipes’s video suggests performance is about the same, but the CX-50 could be a tiny bit slower, probably to do with aero or tires.
Both SUVs are pretty reasonably priced. The 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts from $25,900 and the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is offered for $26,800. Dealer markups are obviously going to be worse for the all-new model, though. AWD is included, but these base prices only give you the normal 2.5-liter four-cylinder (187 hp and 186 lb-ft), not the Turbo which is almost $10,000 more but also brings more kit with it.
A CX-50 Turbo is $36,400, but the range-topping Turbo Premium Plus with the ventilated front seats and the 12-speaker Bose system costs $41,550. Still, that’s pretty good value for how much character it brings.
On the interior front, both SUVs have similar-looking interiors. However, the CX-50 has stitching right down the middle of the seats and on the dash, which some people might not like. On the other hand, some of the tech is slightly newer, such as the 360-view camera.
Because of the proportional differences, the CX-50 has more legroom, but slightly less headroom in the back. The new model also has a longer trunk with a lower load lip, so it’s better for camping adventures compared to the CX-5.