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If you love the outdoors, you are in for a treat. Mazda has introduced a new crossover SUV to their lineup, the Mazda CX-50. The CX-50 is a rugged, off-roading machine. It combines utility, power, and comfort, all at a fantastic price point. 

There is a lot of competition if you are hunting for an SUV for your outdoor adventures, and you probably wonder how the CX-50 stacks up to the competition. In particular, the Honda Passport might be on the top of your list. Honda is famous for producing reliable vehicles, which is an attractive selling point, but Mazda gives you four undebatable reasons to consider the CX-50 instead. 

Lower price point

A Mazda logo, maker of the Mazda CX-50, on a black wall.
Mazda logo | Getty Images

Buying a new car is always costly, and the price point matters. Although Honda has an impressive reputation in the automotive industry, the clout comes with a hefty price tag. The Honda Passport is no exception, with the starting MSRP coming in at $38,370. For substantially less, the Mazda CX-50 could be a better option for you.

Mazda aims to deliver quality, attractive vehicles at an affordable price point. Despite Honda’s reputation, Mazda has been voted the most reliable car brand on the market, and their score of 83 far exceeds Honda’s score of 63. With your mind at ease concerning reliability, the Passport will look even more attractive with a starting MSRP of $27,550. That is over $10,000 less than its Honda competitor.

Fuel economy

Buying a Mazda CX-50 instead of a Honda Passport will save you money beyond the initial sale. With rising fuel costs, fuel economy is undoubtedly on your list of concerns when buying a new vehicle. For those seeking to conserve fuel, the CX-50 is the obvious choice.

According to Edmunds, the Honda Passport has a combined EPA of 22 mpg. While the Passport runs at an average of 25 mpg on the highway, its EPA on city streets is only 20 mpg. In contrast, the Mazda CX-50 has a 27 mpg combined EPA per Edmunds. On the highway, the CX-50 has an average EPA of 30 mpg and 24 mpg in the city.

More ground clearance

If you are an off-roading enthusiast, you know the importance of ground clearance. The height the underbelly of an SUV is off the ground is significant in avoiding rocks and other obstacles that can cause damage to the undercarriage. Having more height also allows the driver to have a higher viewpoint, which can help to see over hills and other oncoming obstacles. 

According to Honda News, the Honda Passport was redesigned in 2022 to provide a more rugged design with better off-roading capabilities. Some of these improvements include a sculpted hood, rugged rear bumper, and Intelligent Traction Management, allowing you to adjust traction depending on the terrain you are driving. With these improvements, Honda included an 8.1-inch ground clearance in its all-wheel drive models, but unfortunately, the base Passport model only has 7.5 inches of ground clearance. 

The Mazda CX-50 continues to outshine the Passport in off-roading capabilities, providing 8.3 inches of ground clearance in its base models. The S Premium CX-50 model offers 8.6 inches for those who want even more clearance.

Shorter braking/stopping distance

Safety is paramount whether driving on the highway, city streets, or dirt roads. Part of safety is the braking capability of your vehicle. While both Honda and Mazda have good safety ratings, individual differences remain.

The 2022 Honda Passport has a braking distance of 135 ft on dry streets and 143 ft when the roads are wet. In comparison, The Mazda CX-50 has a braking distance of 131 ft on dry streets and 142 ft when the roads are wet. While the distances might seem similar, a couple of feet can make a big difference in real-world situations.