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There’s a clear enough difference between these two Mazda SUV’s to justify an entirely new model designation for the Mazda CX-50, rather than add a trim level to the CX-5. We’d like to share not only some of the technical differences, but why these models will likely appeal to slightly different buyers.
How the Mazda CX-50 Differs
As familiar as we are with the entire Mazda line up, it’s easy for us to spot the visual differences. But even to the casual observer, the two SUV’s look related, but not the same. The fact that they look like part of the same family is largely due to Mazda’s “KODO Soul of Motion” design philosophy, which believes that the entire range of Mazda models should be inspired by a single sense of style. But when side-by-side, the CX-50 is going to look a bit bigger and more rugged. That, too, is by design; Mazda had a different vision in mind when creating the CX-50
The Mazda CX-50 is intended for a more rugged lifestyle. Its body is 1.4 inches lower, 3.0 inches wider, and 5.7 inches longer, with a 4.6 inch longer wheelbase. Visually, that gives the Mazda CX-50 a wider, more athletic stance than the CX-5. The CX-50 also has 8.5 inches of ground clearance, or about 1 inch more than the CX-5, which is actually a significant difference for those who frequent snow country or unpaved roads.
Mazda also anticipated that the Mazda CX-50 buyer may have a higher propensity to tow a trailer with heavier cargo, so they engineered the CX-50 to deliver a 3,500 lb towing capacity. In contrast, the Mazda CX-5 is satisfied is rated at a 2,000 lb limit; sufficient for most people, but not those with lots of outdoor adventure on their minds. That’s clearly not a difference you would spot when glancing at the two SUV’s, but it is another reason Mazda felt compelled to create an entirely new model line.
What the Mazda CX-50 Shares with the CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is the brand’s most popular model so the designers and engineers certainly didn’t want to mess with the success of that vehicle. In fact, they used the Mazda CX-5 as a departure point for the slightly larger and more rugged Mazda CX-50.
Both models are powered by the same 2.5 liter SkyActiv engine, which delivers 187 hp and 186 lb-ft torque in the naturally-aspirated version and 256 hp and 320 lb-ft torque in the turbocharged version. Per the auto enthusiasts who have reviewed both models, either choice rewards the driver with an enjoyable on-road driving experience and a very refined interior, including Mazda’s impressive infotainment system.
Prices are also very similar, with the 2022 Mazda CX-5 starting at $27,870 and the 2023 Mazda CX-50 — a newer model year — just slightly higher, at $29,247.
The Choice is Yours
It almost seems as if Mazda had the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area in mind when it decided to create two similar-yet-different models. For many of us, the Mazda CX-5 is an ideal choice. Slightly less expensive, with all the benefits of an SUV, and definitely a more refined look for those who stick around town. At the same time, we see so many Northern California Mazda owners who venture out to places like Lake Tahoe, Mendocino, Yosemite, Death Valley, Mt. Shasta, and other destinations that warrant a slightly larger, more aggressive SUV. And if they need to tow a larger payload, then it’s absolutely going to be the Mazda CX-50.
Buy or Lease Your Mazda CX-50 in Tracy, CA
Whether you choose the Mazda CX-5 or the Mazda CX-50, we invite you to get in touch with us at Tracy Mazda to discuss the two models even further and take each for a test drive. Please call us before you visit, however, because the entire auto industry is facing limited supplies of new cars and both the Mazda CX-5 and the Mazda CX-50 are moving quickly once they hit the showroom floor. We can, however, reserve one of our incoming vehicles for you, and let you know when it arrives.
Tracy Mazda – Authorized Mazda Dealership
Tracy Mazda in Tracy, California, offers the full Mazda experience. Shop for a new Mazda, Certified Pre-Owned Mazda, or other quality used Mazdas online or visit Tracy Mazda in Tracy, CA, conveniently located in the just off I-205 in the Tracy Auto Mall. And when it comes time to service your current Mazda, trust the experienced, factory-trained Mazda technicians at the Tracy Mazda Service Center in Tracy, California. Tracy Mazda, family-owned and locally operated. Shop online or visit Tracy Mazda in Tracy, CA today.