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As the successor to Mazda’s popular CX-5 SUV crossover, the CX-50 is stepping into some big shoes. No one will dispute that the CX-5 got a lot of things right for its time. However, the CX-50 exhibits the same qualities but differently. So, do you need the newer CX-50, or will Mazda’s CX-5 serve you better?

Is the Mazda CX-50 better than the CX-5?

With its off-road-ready appearance, the 2024 Mazda CX-50 features a posh interior, athletic handling, and a worthy list of standard features. However, if you’re trying to decide between compact Mazda crossover SUVs, this adds to the confusion since Car and Driver lists a similar set of pros for Mazda’s more mature crossover. 

The 2024 Mazda CX-50’s stand-out qualities

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 carries a starting MSRP of $30,300 before any fees and added options. In addition to the base 2.5 S Select trim, the CX-50 offers seven other trim levels. The four lower trims come with the same naturally aspirated 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder delivering 186 lb-ft of torque, including 2.5 S Select, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Premium, and 2.5 S Premium Plus trims. The remaining upper trim levels feature a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine with 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. 

1. The CX-50’s posh interior

Edmunds says the 2024 Mazda CX-50 provides a look and feel that outclasses its competition. The CX-50 delivers a spacious cabin that is as comfortable as well-appointed. While the lower trimmed versions have comfortable seating and Mazda’s upscale interior, stepping up to the Premium Plus trims rewards its occupants with heated and ventilated seats upholstered in premium materials. 

2. Mazda blessed the CX-50 with its signature athletic handling

Road and Track says the 2024 Mazda CX-50’s handling exceeds the competition’s. While the CX-50 and CX-5 appear similar on the surface, the longer, wider, and lower CX-50 rides on a different platform. Those variables deliver more responsive steering, and the stiffer suspension provides more driver feedback. 

3. The 2024 CX-50 provides several standard features

All 2024 Mazda CX-50 trims feature the following standard features:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Android Auto
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Radar cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Up to 56.3 cubic feet of cargo space
  • LED headlights with auto on/off and high beam control
  • Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Intermittent rear window wiper/washer
  • Black dual power side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators
  • A body-color rear roof spoiler
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Aluminum alloy wheels
  • Lane departure warning system with lane-keep assist
  • An engine immobilizer anti-theft system
  • Rearview monitor
  • Driver attention alert
  • Forward smart brake support

Should you buy a 2024 Mazda CX-50 or CX-5?

MotorTrend calls the Mazda CX-50 an “acquired taste” due to its off-road tendencies. However, most reviewers have found the CX-50’s updated styling, firmer ride, and responsive handling superior to other compact SUVs in its class.

Still, choosing between the older design of the CX-5 and the updated CX-50 does present a challenge with the former’s loftier headroom and classic styling. Leave us a comment below on which CX-variant you prefer and why.