Off-Road Battle: 2023 Mazda CX-50 vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a compact Mazda SUV with off-roading chops. How does it stack up against the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek? Time for 2023 Mazda CX-50 vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 can tear up trails

The Mazda CX-50 is driving in nature.
The Mazda CX-50 is driving in nature | Mazda

RELATED: 2023 Mazda CX-50: Release Date, Price, and Specs

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a Mazda SUV like no other. Mazda SUVs typically offer refined cabins, innovative tech, and peppy powertrains. The 2023 CX-50 is the family’s wild child. Off-roading has become a popular pastime for American drivers. As a result, several automakers have introduced new off-road vehicles and vehicle trims.

Honda has the TrailSport trim. The Toyota Sienna is getting its off-road Woodland trim. Now, even Mazda has a vehicle with off-road capability. The new CX-50 will include a special driving mode to adjust the compact SUV model to tricky terrain. According to MotorTrend, the CX-50 will be able to sense angles and raise idle speeds to overcome obstacles like hills.

The Mazda CX-50 uses Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control to improve handling both on and off-road. It also uses an anti-lock brake system so you won’t roll backward down steep hills when off-roading. The CX-50 is certainly trail-ready, but is it ready to take on an SUV that comes from off-roading royalty?

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is a small SUV that offers big off-roading fun

A blue Subaru Crosstrek is on display.
The Subaru Crosstrek | Paul Marotta via Getty Images

RELATED: 2023 Mazda CX-50 Design May Have Leaked in Alleged Patent Images

Subaru knows how to produce a great off-road SUV. The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is just one testament to the automaker’s ability to create mean, lean off-roading machines.

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek has a whopping 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Thanks to its high ground clearance, the Crosstrek is able to drive over rougher terrain than many of its rivals. It also has an easier time dealing with obstacles than some of its competitors.

The Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The system enables full-time four-wheel drive for the Crosstrek, making the transmission send power to all of the SUV’s wheels. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is perfect for getting out of tricky situations off-road. The Subaru Crosstrek comes in five different trims.

2023 Mazda CX-50 vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

Blue 2023 Mazda CX-50 driving near a river
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

RELATED: The 2022 Mazda CX-50 Gained Incredible Off-Roading Upgrades

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 187 horsepower. It has higher ground clearance than the CX-5’s 7.5 inches, but its official ground clearance has yet to be released. The CX-50 has optional all-terrain tires for increased off-roading ability.

The 2022 Subaru Forester makes 182 horsepower using its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Its ground clearance is nearly unparalleled for a small SUV its size. The Crosstrek Sport trim comes with Dual-Function X-Mode with Hill Descent Control as well as water repellent upholstery.

When it comes to the 2023 Mazda CX-50 vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, it seems like the Crosstrek has better off-road options, especially at higher trim levels. The CX-50 may be a more capable off-roader than other Mazda SUVs, but it still has a ways to go before sparring with Subaru.

RELATED: How Many Miles Will a Subaru Crosstrek Last