2023 2023 Mazda CX-50 - Performance, Prices, and Photos
The CX-5’s rugged off-road cousin, is designed from the ground up to take on the great American outdoorsby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 23:30
Tough-looking crossovers are spreading at an alarming rate across the auto industry, but it’s especially noticeable in popular segments like small SUVs. This is the 2023 Mazda CX-50 an all-new compact SUV. But you may wonder, what’s the point of yet another Mazda crossover when you’ve already got the Mazda CX-5. Well, Mazda is attempting to create a Subaru Outback competitor by targeting off-road adventurers with the CX-50, but doing so may render the CX-5 obsolete.
The automaker, however, has now taken the perplexing decision to pitch the two crossovers, which are comparable in size and price, as contemporaries. Now, it’s difficult to imagine that this slightly larger, tougher-looking CX-50 won’t eat into sales. Also, unlike the CX-5, which needs to work in several markets around the world, the CX-50 doesn’t, as it is designed specifically for the North American market. In other words, the CX-50 is designed for weekend excursions, whilst the CX-5 should take care of the role of a humble commuter.
2023 2023 Mazda CX-50 - Performance, Prices, and Photos
2023 Mazda CX-50 Performance and Capability
The CX-50 may appear to be just a larger version of the CX-5, but it's built on an all-new platform shared with the CX-30 and the current Mazda3
The CX-50 is available across nine trims and comes with the same 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G inline four-cylinder engine. In the first six trims in naturally aspirated form, the engine produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
On the remaining three trims, with a twin-scroll turbo thrown in, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque with 87-octane gas. If you choose to splurge on 93-octane gas at the pumps, power goes up to a healthy 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of the trim, all Mazda CX-50’s come with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system as standard.
Now the CX-50, just like the CX-5 or be it any other Mazda is primarily designed with the driver in mind. Mazda claims that its driving mode philosophy is for the CX-50 to provide the dynamics of a car, and these modes discreetly should compensate for changing conditions.
The longer, wider footprint of the CX-50 should make it more stable and planted on the road than as opposed to the CX-5 and comparable SUVs. To keep things simple, Mazda also chose to use a traditional torsion beam rather than a multi-link setup for the rear suspension.
MI-Drive substitutes Sport Mode with Tow Mode when equipped with Mazda's Tow Package and connected to a trailer
The Mazda Intelligent Drive Select, or MI-Drive mode, allows you to modify the performance of the CX-50 by switching between the various available drive modes. They include:
There is no hill-descent control, only a basic off-road mode. When towing big loads, the transmission and all-wheel-drive system increase stability and compensate for weight transfer in the rear. The CX-50 S can tow 2,000 pounds, while the Turbo model can pull 3,500 pounds.
Finally, the increased ground clearance also justifies the CX-50’s capability, which, when combined with the off-road driving modes, should make it more than capable of managing unpaved surfaces with ease.
|Engine||2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four||2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four|
|Transmission||Six-speed shiftable automatic||Six-speed shiftable automatic|
|Horsepower||187 hp @ 6,000 RPM||256 hp @ 5,000 RPM|
|Torque||186 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM||320 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM|
|0-60 mph||8.0 seconds||6.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||125 mph||125 mph|
|CX-50 w/base engine||24||30||27|
|CX-50 w/turbocharged engine||23||29||25|
The CX-50's upright front end is notably more aggressive and builds on Mazda's Kodo design philosophy
While both models are technically in the same compact SUV space, the CX-5 is a smaller vehicle, while the CX-50 has a slightly larger footprint. When parked next to the CX-5, the CX-50 is 6.7 inches longer and 3.1 inches wider. The extra width is even more obvious by the 2.2-inch lower roofline compared to its sibling.
Coming to the styling, with its square holes, the headlights also appear more utilitarian. The large blacked-out grille and the rally-style bulging fenders mean that it has a nicer and boxier stance for a Mazda SUV. Finally, the black plastic cladding used in the CX-50’s rocker panels and general design suggests a more adventurous vehicle.
If the CX-50 still appears a bit too soft for your liking, a Meridian edition with a unique paint job, more aggressive 245/45R20 section Goodyear Eagle Touring all-season off-road tires, the Turbo’s 20-inch wheels, and a roof rack will also soon join the lineup.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 comes in seven colors:
- Jet Black Mica
- Ingot Blue Mica
- Wind Chill Pearl- $395
- Zircon Sand Metallic- $395
- Polymetal Gray Metallic- $395
- Machine Gray Metallic- $595
- Soul Red Crystal Metallic- $595
|Ground Clearance||8.3 in.|
|Curb Weight||3,706 lbs.|
Interior Quality and Technology
The cabin features extra angles for good measure, in order to complement the CX-50's rugged appeal
The increase in the size of the CX-50 results in additional space inside, including a larger rear cargo floor than the CX-5 and more legroom for second-row occupants. The lower overall height makes loading and unloading the roof rack easier, but it also limits headroom.
Styling-wise, the dashboard features blocky vertical vents that lend a hint of muscle to match the exterior. It’s also sumptuous, with high-quality materials and a refined, minimalist design language. Turbo variants have plush synthetic leather on the dashboard and doors, as well as a distinctive crosshatch pattern of contrast stitching.
Now Mazda fans will recognize several features in the CX-50, the classic three-dial instrument cluster, the infotainment screen embedded in the dash, and even this center console, the design of this dash is not as organic as the brand’s more recent models like the CX-60. Also, for the first time ever, Mazda will offer a power-operated panoramic moonroof.
Except for the base CX-50 model, all CX-50 versions have a 10.25-inch widescreen display. You can perform most of the tasks, such as tuning in a radio station, making a Bluetooth call, or utilizing the navigation system, via control knobs and menu-enabled buttons on the center console. Now although you can operate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the touch screen, the basic interface of the infotainment screen itself isn’t as polished or sophisticated as some competitors.
Finally, the Cargo room is only slightly better than the CX-5 at 31.4 cubic feet, but that number still places it far behind the other crossovers in the class like the Hyundai Tucson, the Honda CR-V, and the RAV4.
|Headroom||39.1 in.||38.6 in.|
|Shoulder Room||55.9 in.||53.6 in.|
|Hip Room||53.6 in.||52.1 in.|
|Leg Room||41.7 in.||39.8 in.|
For the time being, we don’t have the safety ratings for the CX-50 from NHTSA and IIHS. But, given how other Mazda cars perform in the crash tests, we can guess that the CX-50 should perform similarly.
Key Safety Features
The CX-50 comes loaded with driver-assist tech, and even the base trim is not deprived of it. So we have:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-keeping assist
- Automated emergency braking
- Lane departure warning
- Blindspot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
Blindspot prevention, a surround-view camera, and traffic jam assist are optional features on the lower trims but found standard on the top-spec Turbo Premium Plus.
Other important safety features (passive) are as follows:
- Eight airbags
- Traction control
- Airbag occupant sensing deactivation
- Dusk sensing headlamps
- Tire pressure monitoring
2023 Mazda CX-50 Price and Availability
The starting MSRP of the Mazda CX-50 in the base S Trim is $26,800. This is in line with the competition and this is especially true for the lower trim levels. The Turbo models though higher up the ladder can cost a pretty penny and are knocking on the door of compact-luxury crossovers. but The prices below exclude the $1,225 destination charges.
|S Preferred Plus||$31,940|
|Turbo Premium Plus||$41,550|
Even the base model S Trim offers a generous level of equipment. These are the 10 most noteworthy features of the Mazda CX-50.
- 17-inch wheels
- LED headlamps
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Power side mirrors
- Push-button start
- Air conditioning
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- 12-volt power outlets
- Cloth upholstery
- Six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat
- Four-way manually adjustable front passenger’s seat
- 8.8-inch infotainment display
- Seven-inch MID
- Eight-speaker audio unit
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
Moving up through the range gets you even more kit, with everything from minor cosmetic features like bigger rims and LED taillights to convenience and tech features like keyless entry, powered tailgate, heads-up display, a bigger 10.25-inch central infotainment screen, a 12 Speaker Bose audio system and most notably that new panoramic moon roof. You can configure your Mazda CX-50 here.
The CX50 has some pretty stiff rivals as it competes in one of the most competitive spaces in the entire auto industry. The compact SUV segment. There are a staggering 20 models that you can choose from across several Asian, European, and domestic automakers. But some model available in an edgy avatar amongst this bunch includes SUVs like the new Bronco Sport, the Jeep Cherokee, the Toyota Rav4 TRD,, and the Subaru Forester Wilderness.
The CX50 may be the brand’s toughest vehicle to date, but it is also unquestionably at its best and most competitive when fitted with the turbocharged engine. That said, the standard engine should be plenty for most people. So if you’re looking for some more curb appeal from your grocery-getter, then the CX 50 certainly fits that bill rather well.