The Mazda CX-50 Clearly Isn’t Hurting the Mazda CX-5
Mazda is giving buyers at its dealership a choice of compact crossovers, either the more established CX-5 or its newer sibling, the CX-50. Though it may seem like a bad business model to have two offerings in the same lineup directly competing against one another, that doesn’t seem to be the result of Mazda’s approach so far.
The Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-50 are both selling well
The Mazda CX-50 is a newcomer to the automaker’s lineup debuting for the 2023 model year – a decade after the CX-5 first hit the road. But the old guard isn’t suffering against its new sibling.
According to sales figures from GoodCarBadCar, both models are still finding their way onto plenty of driveways. Over 14,000 Mazda CX-5 models were sold in May, an increase of 74 percent year-over-year. While annual sales of the model are down 11 percent, Mazda isn’t necessarily losing customers — they may simply be switching to the CX-50.
Annual sales of the CX-50 have far surpassed the drop in CX-5 sales. Nearly 18,000 units have been sold so far this year, negating the loss of 7,000 CX-5s sold through May. The CX-50 is helping to mitigate some sales loss of its older brother, but the CX-5 is hardly struggling — the CX-5 outsold the CX-50 by more than 10,000 units in May.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is certainly picking up steam as it becomes more of a staple on dealer lots this year. Annual sales of the newer compact SUV are up 456 percent from this time last year.
Overall, it doesn’t yet appear the sales of either model are necessarily detracting from one another. So, what may have seemed like an unsound practice — selling two rivaling models on the same lot — could be shaping up to be a solid approach for Mazda.
The 2023 CX-5 versus the 2023 CX-50
The Mazda CX-5 is one of the smaller offerings in the compact SUV class. The Mazda CX-50 doesn’t add much practicality despite some bigger dimensions. Rather, it seems to be aimed at buyers who want a more “active lifestyle” alternative to the CX-5 without leaving a Mazda dealership.
The 2023 CX-50 is nearly six inches longer overall and three inches wider than the 2023 CX-5, providing a bit more cargo capacity. The CX-50 can accommodate 31.4 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats to the 30.8 cubes offered in the CX-5. The CX-5 is slightly taller overall, which gives rear passengers an extra 1.5 inches of headroom, though overall passenger space between the models is nearly mirrored in other categories.
One of the easiest differences to spot between the models is their looks. The CX-50 is longer, lower, and wider, and it sports a more squared-off, rugged look versus the CX-5’s more gentle creases.
The base versions of both models are powered by a 187-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharged version available, cranking out 256 hp. Either engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, both the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-50 deliver high-quality materials and opt for an upper trim, and each practically infringes into luxury territory.
Price doesn’t separate the models much. The 2023 CX-5 starts at $26,700 MSRP, and the CX-50 commands $27,550. The price gap is even less among mid- and upper-level trims.
One notable advantage of the CX-50 is its towing capacity of 3,500 pounds when fitted with the turbo engine. The CX-5 tops out at 2,000 pounds. Inside, the CX-5 has a 10.25-inch infotainment screen as standard, while the base CX-50 is fitted with an 8.8-inch display.
Though there is little separating the CX-5 and CX-50 overall, both models are proving popular choices in Mazda’s lineup.