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Small SUVs have become pretty popular nowadays, and Mazda makes two that offer more value than some of its rivals. The CX-5 is one of them, while the CX-50 is the other. Choosing which one to buy, though can be difficult, so here we’ll compare the two models and see which one might be the best choice.

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Mazda CX-50: Driving and performance

Mazda CX-5Mazda CX-50
Engine2.5-liter four-cylinder SkyActiv-G2.4-liter four-cylinder SkyActiv-G
Horsepower/Torque250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque or 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque187 hp/ 186 lb-ft
MPG26 City/31 Highway24 mpg City/30 mpg Highway
Safety Rating5-star NHTSA ratingn/a
Storage Space31.4 cu-ft behind rear seats/56.3 cu-ft total31.4 cu-ft behind rear seats/56.3 cu-ft total

 A 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine is standard with both the CX-5 and the CX-50. Also, both offer a 2.5-liter turbocharged version for the higher trims, which produce 227 hp with unleaded gasoline and 256 hp with premium fuel. 

On the CX-5 and the CX-50, the standard engine underwhelmed Edmunds reviewers with an acceleration time of 9.5 seconds for both. The 256 hp model on the same run can go 6.6 seconds. When it comes to how it handled, Edmunds revealed it performed superbly. It took curves and corners with ease while going at higher speeds. 

With the Mazda CX-50, Edmunds reviewers haven’t tested it out yet, but according to Car and Driver editors thought it was a joy to drive. They liked the precise steering and comfortable ride. 

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Mazda CX-50: Interior and tech

With the CX-5, the interior layout is good. The controls are driver-oriented, plus they’re easy to use. The cabin is pretty roomy as well. The headroom for the front seats is 39.7 inches while the legroom is 41.0 inches. For the rear seats, you get 39 inches for the headroom and 39.6 inches for the legroom. 

On the CX-50, reviewers liked the comfortable seating and felt the headroom was larger in the CX-5 at least for the front seats. The legroom is larger in the CX-50 by a small amount. As for tech, the CX-5 and the CX-50 both offer a 10.25-inch touchscreen as standard equipment. 

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Mazda CX-50: Trim levels and features

There are several trims for the 2024 Mazda CX-5 model. The base model, the S, offers 17-inch gray-painted alloy wheels, LED headlights, push-button start, a four-speaker audio system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The S Select model gives you all the S trim offerings plus it gives you dark tinted rear window glass, a six-speaker audio system, synthetic leather upholstery, and heated front seats. 

The S Preferred trim, offers a power sunroof, leather upholstery, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Next up is the S Carbon Edition, which comes with 19-inch black painted wheels, black interior trimmings, and black upholstery. Then comes the S Premium model, which gives you upgraded headlights, transmission paddle shifters, and a bigger driver information display. 

Next up is the S Premium Plus, which gives you power folding mirrors, heated rear seats, and a 10-speaker audio system. The two highest trims offer a turbocharged engine increasing the output. For the Turbo version, you also get black-painted wheels, black leather seating, and a wireless charging pad. 

With the CX-50, the base is the S Select model, which offers 17-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, and a leather steering wheel. Upgrading to the S Preferred gets you many of the same features as the base, but adds an electronic parking brake, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats with three levels of adjustments. Next is the S Premium, which offers a 12-speaker audio system, Sirius satellite radio, and a wireless phone charger. 

Upgrading to the S Premium Plus gives you an HD radio, Pandora internet radio integration, and Windshield Projected Active Driving Display. Next is the Turbo model, which offers dual heated side mirrors and a leather-wrapped gear selector. The Turbo Meridian Edition gives you Meridian hood graphics and side rocker garnish, according to Mazda

Next is the Turbo Premium version which offers automatic folding side mirrors, two-position memory function side mirrors, and a heated steering wheel. The highest trim level is the Turbo Premium Plus, which gives you a heated steering wheel, Mazda’s navigational system, and a Traffic Sign Recognition System. 

Which Mazda compact SUV is the right fit for you?

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 and the CX-50 offer many of the same features, but the CX-5 gives you a bit more headroom, while the CX-50 offers a bit more legroom, especially in the rear seat area. 

For the CX-5, the most popular trim people buy with previous models is the S Preferred trim, which is a step up from the base. This offers a good amount of features for a price point of $30,650. When it comes to the CX-50, Car and Driver recommends the Turbo model because you get a more powerful engine along with a good set of features for $38,000 to start. 

As for which one you should buy, it’s hard to say. It will depend on which one offers what you need. The CX-5 gives you a bit more roominess, while the CX-50 gives you more legroom for the rear seats. All in all, both models give you pretty much the same vehicle with only a few changes between the two. 

Both the 2024 Mazda CX-5 and the 2024 Mazda CX-50 are great small SUVs that offer plenty of standard features. While they have many similarities, there are still a few small differences between the two, which will help you determine which of the two to buy. 


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