The 2024 Mazda CX-50 vs. the Ford Bronco Sport: 2 midsize SUVs compared

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Americans love SUVs. The only type of vehicle that outsells compact SUVs in this country is midsize SUVs.

While most SUVs look prepared to hit the trail, many never do. Automakers know that a tune most compact SUVs to handle like comfortable family cars, with just enough off-road skill to leave the asphalt once in a while if needed.

But a handful are built with the expectation that they’ll regularly need to grip mud, sand, and rocks. The 2024 Mazda CX-50 and 2024 Ford Bronco Sport are two of the more capable kind — equally comfortable on your commute and on the trail. Let’s see how they compare.

Related: 10 best new SUVs you can get for under $30K—and one is electric

2024 Mazda CX-50

made a name for itself building cars and SUVs that handle with more athleticism than most similarly-priced vehicles. The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is something a little different. It has the same torque vectoring technology that makes other Mazda models fun but adds an off-road driving mode and available all-terrain tires to go places you wouldn’t take other Mazda products. Pricing starts at $30,300.

Mazda CX-50 highlights

G-Vectoring Control: The secret ingredient in Mazda sauce is torque vectoring — a technology that brakes each wheel independently to keep the body flat through turns. It gives the CX-50 sportier on-road handling. Though we’re talking about two trail-ready SUVs, most drivers will probably spend more time on the asphalt than off it. The CX-50’s sharp road manners might make it a more fun choice.

It doesn’t look like a set of cargo pants: Most manufacturers that build an off-road-ready SUV go out of their way to make it look like it’s itching to get back in the mud. Not everyone wants that. The CX-50 looks at home in the office parking lot but can get dirty with the best of them.

Available Traffic Jam Assist: Driving in traffic is tiring. Mazda’s available Traffic Jam Assist system can help. It assists with steering, accelerating, and braking to hold your place in traffic under 40 mph.

Plus: The quirky and charming 2024 Subaru Outback strikes the right balance of comfort and off-road capability

2024 Ford Bronco Sport

builds a pair of compact SUVs. The Escape is the one for people who want a family car that can see over traffic. The 2024 Ford Bronco Sport is the one for people who will ask more of their car. Its G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, standard all-wheel drive, and nearly nine inches of ground clearance make it a reliable ride on any surface. Prices start at $31,230

Ford Bronco Sport highlights

Lots of expressive special editions: The Bronco Sport may be the small SUV with the most visual variety. You can get one in fairly staid colors if you don’t want to stand out. If you do want to stand out, you can get the Free Wheeling edition, with its 1970s-style sunset gradient stripes, or the Heritage Edition, with its old-school white grille and red lettering. Mazda has nothing like it. No other manufacturer has anything like it.

G.O.A.T system – Both of these SUVs have off-road modes. But depending on which edition you buy, your Bronco Sport will come with five or seven terrain modes.

Comfortable for taller drivers: The Bronco Sport is among the roomiest models in its class. Its exterior dimensions are smaller than the CX-50’s, but you get more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room in the seat that’s always occupied.

Also read: 7 must-have safety features for your next car


These can both hit the road and the trail, offer similar mpg, and are covered by almost identical warranties.


There are a lot of well-made compact SUVs that will serve as excellent commuters and family cars. There are only a few as comfortable on a muddy field as on the highway.

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 and Ford Bronco Sport can each get you to the trail and down it with aplomb.

The CX-50 does it with a more refined style and better road manners. If you want to enjoy driving on the pavement you’ll probably drive on most often, it’s the better choice. But the Bronco Sport, while a bit truck-like in handling, can go places the CX-50 can’t. It’s also available in a fantastic array of styles.

You might like: Toyota’s iconic Land Cruiser is reborn and redesigned—and they nailed it. When can you get one?


2024 Mazda CX-50

2024 Ford Bronco Sport

Starting Price



Popular Powertrains


2.5-liter 4-cylinder

1.5-liter 3-cylinder


187 hp @ 6,000 rpm

181 hp @ 6,000 rpm


186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

190 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm


6-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Fuel Economy

24 city/30 highway/27 combined mpg

25 city/28 highway/26 combined mpg

Also Available

2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder


Basic Warranty

3 years/36,000 miles

3 years/36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty

5 years/60,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles

NHTSA Overall Safety


5 stars

Max Seating Capacity




110.8 inches

105.1 inches

Overall Length

185.8 inches

172.7 inches


80.8 inches

82.2 inches


63.5 inches

70.2 inches

Turning Diameter

36.0 feet

37.4 feet

Headroom, Front

39.1 inches

41.5 inches

Headroom, Rear

38.6 inches

41.7 inches

Legroom, Front

41.7 inches

42.4 inches

Legroom, Rear

39.8 inches

36.9 inches

Shoulder Room, Front

55.9 inches

57.3 inches

Shoulder Room, Rear

53.6 inches

55.6 inches

Cargo Volume

31.4/56.3 cubic feet

32.5/65.2 cubic feet

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