4 Advantages the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Has Over the Kia Sportage X-Pro

The new 2023 Mazda CX-50 is an affordable, rugged small SUV geared toward adventures, but car shoppers might be curious how it compares to rivals. The Kia Sportage X-Pro is also targeted at adventure seekers, so consumers probably wonder how the CX-50 stacks up. Here’s a look at four advantages the 2023 Mazda CX-50 has over the Kia Sportage X-Pro.

1. The standard 2023 Mazda CX-50 is much more affordable than the Sportage X-Pro

2023 Mazda CX-50 Kia Sportage X-Pro comparison
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda North American Operations

Off the bat, the Mazda is cheaper because the Sportage X-Pro is a premium trim. As a result, according to Edmunds, a Sportage X-Pro starts at about $35,000, and Kia customers can pay $1,800 more to upgrade their SUV to the Prestige version of the X-Pro. 

In comparison, the CX-50 starts at around $27,000. That’s a price difference of about $8,000. Mazda offers several options for the CX-50 too, so customers can choose a few of those and still pay less for the SUV than they would for the Sportage X-Pro. 

2. Owners of the CX-50 will probably pay less in gas

On top of that, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is more fuel-efficient, allowing drivers to save money at the pump. That’s mostly thanks to the fact that although the X-Pro has the same 2.5-liter inline-four engine as the regular Sportage, its fuel economy drops slightly because the X-Pro has all-wheel drive. The X-Pro gets only 23 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.

In comparison, the CX-50 also has a 2.5-liter inline-four, but the Mazda SUV gets slightly better gas mileage overall. It gets 24 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. The CX-50 gets those numbers while having AWD as standard on every trim. In addition, Mazda plans to introduce a hybrid powertrain option for folks who want even more efficiency.

3. The CX-50 has more horsepower and torque than the Sportage X-Pro

Furthermore, while the engines in both SUVs are similar in dimensions, the Mazda gets more torque than the Kia. Both engines harness 187 hp, but the Mazda’s produces 186 lb-ft of torque, while the Kia’s makes 178 lb-ft of torque. 

In terms of engine options, Mazda gave the CX-50 a powerful turbocharged option, while the X-Pro doesn’t have access to any engines that are more powerful than the standard. The CX-50’s 2.5-liter turbo-four generates 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. 

4. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 has a shorter braking distance than the X-Pro

Last, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 beats the Kia Sportage in braking distance. Consumer Reports tested the standard CX-50 and Sportage, and it took the Mazda 131 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph on a dry surface. On a wet surface, it took the Mazda SUV 142 feet to stop.

The Sportage, meanwhile, needed 134 feet to come to a complete stop on dry surfaces, but it required 151 feet on wet surfaces.

These tests show that the two vehicles are similar on dry roads, but the Mazda performed much better on wet pavement.

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