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For most car-buying consumers, no matter what style or variety of vehicle you need, there’s likely a Mazda model worth adding to your list. From sporty cars to fuel-efficient SUVs, Mazda knows how to infuse personality and fun into every ride. And they’re always ranking well among the critics and industry reviews.

If you’re creating a shortlist of new SUVs and crossovers to consider buying, keep reading. We’re diving into the Mazda lineup of highly recommended, consumer-endorsed, and stylish SUVs. And there’s one model most consider to be the top Mazda SUV to buy right now. This might just be the best Mazda SUV you can buy in 2023.

Have you seen the current Mazda lineup?

Mazda doesn’t just offer thrilling and fun-to-drive cars. The Japanese automaker has a portfolio of equally popular SUVs and crossovers. According to Mazda, you’ll appreciate the redesigned Mazda CX-5. The next two years will also see larger platform models, with the CX-70 and the CX-90. Right now, you can also check out the Mazda CX-9 and the subcompact SUV, CX-30.

MotorTrend recently evaluated this year’s class of SUVs and ranked them. It won’t surprise you to learn that a few of those models fared well in their respective classes, too. The 2023 Mazda CX-9, for example, earns the 11th spot in the 3-Row SUV category. The smaller CX-30 earned the 8th spot in the subcompact category. 

The top-rated Mazda SUV

A 2023 Mazda CX-30 parked outdoors in the shadows.
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda North American Operations

Based on this MotorTrend roster, there’s one Mazda that earned the highest rating of all the zoom-zoom SUV models. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 earned the number four spot in the compact SUV category, with a score of 8.5 out of 10. The MotorTrend team praised the CX-50 for its superb interior styling, its upscale interior touch points, and, of course, its Mazda-flavored driving manners. 

Citing that the CX-50 shows “the brand’s adventurous side,” this newly introduced compact SUV features a bit more ruggedness. This SUV comes with either a 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4 or the standard 2.5-liter I-4. MotorTrend says the turbocharged isn’t worth the upgrade because you’ll enjoy the 187 hp and 0 to 60 time of 8.5 seconds of the standard engine and the Premium Plus trim.

The runner-up worth test driving

The runner-up Mazda model, according to the rankings on this list, is the 2023 Mazda CX-5. With an 8.5 out of 10 score, the CX-5 comes in the number five spot in the compact SUV segment. It’s another Mazda SUV worth test driving.

MotorTrend says the CX-5 has a “great safety rating” along with fun driving dynamics. While most SUVs of this size are challenging to climb in and out of, ease of rear access is actually a pro for the CX-5.

The CX-5 is more of a veteran in the Mazda lineup, with seven years under its belt. Powering the CX-5 is a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated inline-four or a turbocharged version of the same engine, harnessing 227 hp. Of the eight available trim levels, the MotorTrend team endorses the S Premium Plus trim, with its perfect combination of high-end features and the superior engine. The luxury components include a 10-speaker premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, curve-adapting headlights, and a leather interior.

If you have a shortlist started of new SUVs to consider buying this year, be sure to add these two Mazda models. They’re the top Mazda SUVs to buy, according to this MotorTrend review. And in addition to their unique perks, they both embody the personality of a fun-to-drive Mazda that you’d come to expect from this new class of sporty performers.


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