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Are you considering buying the 2022 Jeep Wrangler or the new 2023 Mazda CX-50? Both of these rugged, compact SUVs have strengths of their own. Every time you spot the 2022 Jeep Wrangler driving on a deserted rocky trail, it gives a strong message as an iconic off-roader with a sporty and luxurious look. On the contrary, the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a rugged, compact SUV with an affordable price tag of between $29,995 to $79,595 for outdoor and off-road adventures.

This new 2023 Mazda CX-50 considerably compares to other similar off-road-centric SUVs in its class, like the 2022 Jeep Wrangler, which is offered at a higher price tag of $26,800 to $41,550. Here are advantages of the 2022 Jeep Wrangler over the Mazda CX-50 for you to consider.

1. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler has more horsepower and torque  

A black Jeep Wrangler parked indoors.
Jeep Wrangler | Getty Images

The first advantage the 2022 Jeep Wrangler has over the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 is based on its standard horsepower and torque. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler comes with different powertrains.

  • 470 hp 6.4-liter V-8 HEMI engine
  • 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with engine stop-start (ESS) technology
  • 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with ESS or mild-hybrid e-Torque technology, standard with ESS, and a six-speed manual transmission

Conversely, the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission offering about 187 hp with all models. However, there is a turbocharged variant, offering 256 hp. This is less power compared to the standard 2022 Jeep Wrangler V-6 engine power.

However, with the ever-changing technology and more off-road driving needs, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission found in the CX-50 listed by Mazda seem a bit relic compared to the new age of eight to ten-speed automatic transmissions. 

2. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler has more ground clearance than the new 2023 Mazda CX-50

To get the most out of rugged and compact SUVs, ground clearance is critical for off-road and outdoor experiences. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler has an approach angle of 47.4 degrees, departure angle of 40.4 degrees, ground clearance of 12.9 inches, and water fording of 33.6 inches which helps it helps it scale through the toughest terrain. 

On the other hand, the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 has an angled approach of 18.0 degrees, a departure angle of 24.0 degrees, and a ground clearance of about 8.3 inches. These ground clearance features, listed by Edmunds, comprise the adept ability of the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 to navigate through extremely tough terrain, making it a minor option when it comes to off-road handling and performance abilities. 

Although Mazda has positioned this new 2023 Mazda CX-50 as a more sophisticated and rugged SUV, it wouldn’t offer more of the off-road capabilities provided by the 2022 Jeep Wrangler, which is a more powerful, rugged, and compact SUV made for outdoor and off-road adventures. 

3.    The 2022 Jeep Wrangler has a standard 4WD (over AWD) which is better for off-roading

The third advantage of the 2022 Jeep Wrangler over the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 is its capability to traverse through rocky trails with the function of the 4WD feature listed by Edmunds. In terms of build, body, and power, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler gives all there is when handling off-roading traction, particularly with the existence of front and rear locking differentials. Although the 2022 Jeep Wrangler may lack the responsiveness and smoothness of modern SUVs, it’s equipped with specific off-roading features like heavy-duty suspension. 

Moreover, most 2022 Jeep Wrangler powertrains such as the Rubicon, Sahara, and 4xe come with selectable full-time four-wheel-drive that can remain engaged indefinitely. The lowest trim of the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 comes with 17-inch wheels, with the other four available trims coming with 20-inch wheels that are undeniably not conducive to off-road driving. Compared to the Mazda CX-50, an all-wheel drive vehicle, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler’s 4WD function is a plus that allows a unique off-road experience.

The underscore is, according to CR, that the CX-50 is far more amusing on paved roads than on off-roads compared to the 2022 Jeep Wrangler, which functions to its optimum as an off-roader. 

Related: 2022 Jeep Wrangler Surprisingly Wins Best Value Compact SUV