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The SUV segment is booming, and just like many other automakers, Mazda now has several SUVs in its lineup. That said, while Mazda makes a lot of great cars, not all of those cars are going to be winners. Here’s a look at the two lowest ranked Mazda SUVs of the 2023 model year.

A 2023 Mazda CX-50 driving down a gravel road.
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

Here’s how Mazda’s SUVs stacked up to each other

The best Mazda SUV right now, according to U.S. News, is the CX-5. It’s a compact crossover, and the site gave it an overall score of 8.7 out of 10.

That score made it the highest-rated SUV in the segment. The CX-5 received a great score since the car drives well and it has a “premium” interior that’s loaded with standard features. 

It’s not a perfect SUV, as its infotainment system isn’t great. That said, that’s a common issue that almost all Mazdas have. The next best Mazda SUV wasn’t far behind, and it’s the CX-30.

It’s a subcompact crossover, and the site gave it an overall score of 8.6 out of 10. That made it the highest-rated SUV in the entire segment. The CX-30 did well because it has a luxurious cabin, and the automaker gave it some powerful engines that make it fun to drive.

Why the 2023 Mazda CX-50 and CX-9 had the lowest scores

Mazda only has four SUVs right now, so the last two options have the lowest scores. They’re the CX-9 and the CX-50. The CX-9 is a midsize crossover, and the car critic gave the CX-9 an overall score of 8.3 out of 10.

The main issues that U.S. News had with the SUV had to do with its lack of space. The Japanese auto giant gave the CX-9 three rows of seats as standard. This allows drivers to carry up to seven people in the SUV.

Unfortunately, the third row is cramped, and it’s only suitable for children. On top of that, the SUV doesn’t have a good amount of cargo capacity. It has a max cargo capacity of 71.2 cu. ft., and if only the third row is folded down, it gets 38.2 cu. ft. If the seats aren’t folded down, it only has 14.4 cu. ft. All of those numbers are below average for a midsize SUV with three row seats.

The CX-50 is a brand-new SUV that debuted in the 2023 model year, and it has an overall score of 8.2 out of 10. It’s a compact SUV, and just like the CX-9, it has a cargo capacity issue. The CX-50 has a max cargo capacity of 56.3 cu. ft., and that’s below average for the segment. Furthermore, its ride quality wasn’t great. 

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 and CX-9 are still great SUVs though

Despite the fact that the CX-50 and the CX-9 are the lowest ranked Mazda SUVs of the year, they’re both still great SUVs. After all, both SUVs received an overall score that was over 8 out of 10, and that meant that they’re better than most options in their segments.

For example, the CX-50 was ranked higher than popular compact SUV models like the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester.

The CX-9, meanwhile, was ranked higher than midsize SUVs like the Ford Explorer and the Honda Passport. The two Mazda SUVs did well for similar reasons, too. Both SUVs have a great driving experience thanks to their powertrains and their handling. The Japanese automaker also gave them luxurious interiors that came with many standard features.


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