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The Mazda CX-5 has made a name for itself in the small SUV vehicle segment. The CX-50 is a slightly larger, more rugged small SUV that competes in the same segment. Which small SUV is the better buy? Should you get a 2023 Mazda CX-5 or a 2023 Maxda CX-50?

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 brings class to its segment

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 small SUV that competes with more seasoned nameplates like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Mazda’s recent SUV models have been stylish and refined. The CX-5 is one of the classiest small SUV options. Its upper trim levels are luxury adjacent. In fact, the final 2023 Mazda CX-5 trim, the CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature, could pass for a small luxury SUV.

The Mazda CX-5 competes with the best because it provides value that’s tough for any rival to compete with. The small SUV also comes with great standard features like all-wheel drive for an affordable price. The CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson have been making major waves in the small SUV space in recent years.

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 starts at $26,700. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 186 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque. The small SUV gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The CX-5 2.5 Turbo trim starts at $36,850. It comes standard with a turbocharged engine and plenty of creature comforts like leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 brings something new to the table

A blue 2023 Mazda CX-50 small SUV is parked outdoors.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

The Mazda CX-50 starts at $27,550. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The CX-50 achieves 24 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. It comes standard with remote keyless entry, 12-volt power outlets, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 appeals to a different crowd than the CX-5. Car and Driver praises its refined interior and engaging driving dynamics. Kelley Blue Book compliments its spacious cabin and turbocharged engine option.

2023 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2023 Mazda CX-50

A gray 2023 Mazda CX-5 small SUV is parked outside.
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is 180 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 66 inches tall. The larger 2023 CX-50 is 186 inches long, 76 inches wide, and 64 inches tall. The small SUVs have similar power and fuel economy.

The CX-50 costs $850 more than the CX-5. It’s a better option for small families that want a slightly larger small SUV with more cabin and cargo space. The CX-50 is also better for drivers who want an SUV with mild off-roading capability. The CX-5 is a better daily driver for drivers that can forego the extra space in exchange for a slightly more affordable model.

The Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-50 cater to two different audiences. That being said, publications like Edmunds rank the larger CX-50 over the CX-5.

Let us know which small Japanese SUV you think is the better buy in the comment section below.


2023 Mazda CX-50 Trims: Want, Get, Pass