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The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a brand-new compact SUV that showcases a more rugged character than its CX-5 sibling. Given that it’s slightly less expensive than the CX-5 and offers more utility, it’s arguably a better value. However, some critics already disagree on whether or not the CX-50 is a good off-roader.

On the other hand, Jeep has decades of proven adventuring fun to brag about. Granted, the 2022 Jeep Compass probably isn’t as rough-ready as the Renegade. Still, we’ve got at least three reasons why the Compass beats the 2023 Mazda CX-50.

1. The 2022 Jeep Compass has a slightly better price

According to Mazda, the 2023 CX-50’s starting price is $27,550. That price includes wireless smartphone integration, 17-inch wheels, roof rails, and a lengthy list of safety features.

This model also comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Edmunds reports that this engine comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and AWD. You also get two optimized driving modes: Sport and Off-Road.

The Mazda CX-50 2.5 S Select, which adds leather upholstery and dual-zone climate control, is another affordable option at $28,950. Splurging on the 2.5 Turbo Trim (priced at $37,150) gets you a bigger turbo engine with 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This trim adds a Towing drive mode, allowing this SUV to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

A dark colored Mazda MX-50 parked outdoors.
Mazda CX-50 | Mazda North American Operations

Strangely enough, none of the available CX-50 models have notable off-roading features. Mazda states that the upcoming Meridian Edition will have an optional roof rack, roof platform, and standard all-terrain tires. Splash guards and garnishes for the side rockers and headlights are also optional.

Jeep says a base 2022 Jeep Compass will cost at least $26,785. The Compass only has one engine, a four-cylinder with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. It also has a longer nine-speed automatic transmission, but Consumer Reports says to expect slow shifts.

Consumer Reports also wasn’t a fan of the Compass’s overall ride quality and the fit/finish of the interior. However, testers did praise the Trailhawk model for its above-average off-roading skills. Other trims can also be outfitted with a traction management system to tackle snow, mud, and sand.

Stellantis says the Jeep Compass Trailhawk has an upgraded ground clearance of 8.6 inches and a competitive departure angle of 30 degrees. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk also has more off-roading accessories, yet it’s cheaper than the Mazda CX-50 Meridian. The Meridian will cost $39,950 without any optional packages, but the Compass Trailhawk is only $34,605.

2. The Jeep Compass offers more max cargo capacity

Car and Driver say the Mazda CX-50 has more cargo space behind the rear seats, about 31 cu-ft. However, the Jeep Compass boasts nearly 60 cu-ft of storage space total, beating the CX-50 by nearly four cubes. The Compass also has an additional storage compartment under the load floor.

3. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is heavier

Car and Driver list the Jeep Compass’s curb weight at 3,470 lbs, almost 400 lbs less than the Mazda CX-50. Car and Driver found that the Jeep Compass was surprisingly light on its feet, with minimal body roll and strong feedback from the steering wheel. 

However, while a heavier vehicle usually has worse fuel economy, the Mazda CX-50 proves the opposite. It has an EPA-estimated mileage of 27 mpg combined city/highway, but the Jeep Compass only gets 25 mpg combined, according to Edmunds. However, while the CX-50 gets better city mileage, the Compass has a slight advantage on the highway.

Consumer Reports had a higher opinion of the Mazda CX-50 overall but found that the stiff suspension makes for an unsettled ride. The 2022 Jeep Compass isn’t perfect, but its fine-tuned performance and upgraded storage capabilities give it a decent advantage.


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