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The Mazda CX-5 is a small SUV that competes at the top of its vehicle segment. It rivals popular models like the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and more. Mazda has introduced a larger, more expensive model for the segment: the Mazda CX-50. Is the Japanese automaker axing the Mazda CX-5 nameplate? Are we witnessing the slow death of the Mazda CX-5?

It could be the end of the Mazda CX-5

A white 2023 Mazda CX-5 small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

The Mazda CX-5 is a sporty small SUV with a refined interior. It’s arguably the classiest small SUV in its segment. The CX-5 has competed near the top of small SUV ranking lists compiled by several major automotive publications. Previously, it seemed like Mazda would allow the CX-5 and CX-50 to co-exist, as they are very different. Now, we’re not so sure about the future of the CX-5 nameplate. The CX-50 may not just be a cool new addition to the Mazda portfolio. It could be a CX-5 replacement.

TheDrive claims that an interview with Mitsuru Waakie, the Mazda CX-5 vehicle manager, revealed that the small SUV has an uncertain future. Waakie claimed that he wasn’t sure if the CX-5 was getting a new generation.

The current 2023 Mazda CX-5 is part of the 2017 CX-5 generation. So if it doesn’t get a redesign soon, it could be the end of the nameplate. Very few automakers have two different small SUVs competing in the same segment. While it’s nice for consumers to have two contrasting options at different price points, it’s understandable that Mazda is potentially planning to produce just one small SUV in the future.

Are the 2023 Mazda CX-5 and 2023 Mazda CX-50 really that different?

A white 2023 Mazda CX-50 front exterior view in the snow.
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The first major difference between the two small SUVs is starting price. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 starts at $26,700. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 starts at $27,550.

The small SUVs have roughly the same power output and fuel economy. The next major difference between the two Mazda models is size. The CX-5 is 180 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 66 inches tall. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is 186 inches long, 76 inches wide, and 64 inches tall. The CX-50 is longer and wider than the Mazda CX-5. It has more cargo space as well. So, in terms of space, the CX-50 is the better family SUV.

The final big difference between the two Mazda small SUVs is that the CX-50 is marketed as an SUV with mild off-roading capability. Off-roading has become a huge pastime for Americans in recent years, and the CX-50 caters to that niche as a more adventure-ready small SUV than the CX-5.

Can the Mazda CX-50 replace the Mazda CX-5?


Do You Need a 2023 Mazda CX-5 or a 2023 Mazda CX-50?

The Mazda CX-50 has what it takes to replace the Mazda CX-5, but the CX-5 will be missed if it’s headed for the great graveyard in the sky. Mazda is making larger SUVs.

Its new Mazda CX-90 is both larger and sportier than its midsize CX-9. This begs the question: is the Mazda CX-9 getting replaced? Mazda, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do!