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Mazda has established itself as a luxury brand, but the automaker has no plans of stopping there. The debut of the 2023 Mazda CX-50 proves as much. As Mazda's all-new compact crossover, the CX-50 blends luxury and sophistication with rugged capability. It demonstrates that, in the Mazda family, you can look elegant even with a bit of mud on the tires.
Designed to compete with rivals like the Nissan Rogue and Hyundai Tucson, the CX-50 should have no problem leading the segment. It shares a platform with the award-winning CX-30 and Mazda 3, two models renowned for their responsive handling and performance. So, what will this mean for the CX-50? You can expect plenty of power and an engaging experience in the driver's seat with the luxury you've expected from the Mazda name.
The CX-50's rugged capability is the biggest shocker from the automaker, proving that Mazda is attuned to what its American customers want in an SUV. The result is a trail-ready crossover with higher ground clearance, a multi-engine lineup, and rugged features that distinguish it from every other Mazda in the fleet. More importantly, this balance of rugged luxury doesn't come at a premium, with the 2023 CX-50 starting at $26,800 for the well-equipped base model.[a]
What else can you expect from Mazda's all-new road warrior? There's plenty of class and capability, an extensive suite of innovative technology, and conveniences that set a new benchmark in the segment. Here's a comprehensive look at everything the 2023 Mazda CX-50 offers.
The 2023 CX-50 immediately distinguishes itself in the segment with its standard i-ACTIV AWD system that constantly enhances traction and performance in any condition, making the CX-50 an exceptional all-around performer. Mazda's G-Vectoring Control Plus technology enhances the CX-50's AWD system and works with the SUV's drive modes. The feature actively responds to your steering to finetune the torque and braking for the best performance and greater control behind the wheel.
While these features work behind the scenes, Mazda gives you more control over the CX-50's performance with selectable drive modes–Normal, Sport, Off-Road, and Towing. Normal mode balances the CX-50's performance and efficiency, while Sport mode prioritizes handling for a dynamic and engaging driving experience. Off-Road mode optimizes torque and braking to maximize traction, and Towing Mode delivers the low-end torque the CX-50 needs to tow loads up to 3,500 pounds.
The power behind these features comes in the form of two available powertrains. The CX-50 comes standard with the Skyactiv-G 2.5, which is a 2.5L gas engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that delivers 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque with an average fuel economy of 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG On the highway. If you're looking for more power, Mazda answers the need with the Skyactiv-G 2.5, a turbocharged 2.5L that delivers an impressive 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque for instant acceleration and plenty of fun behind the wheel. Even more impressive is that this power doesn't sacrifice efficiency, with the engine averaging 23 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway, respectively.
The CX-50 is another example of Mazda's keen attention to detail and the role that each detail plays in creating a stunning and sophisticated masterpiece. The 2023 CX-50 accomplishes a remarkable feat by balancing its sophisticated design with rugged capability and functionality. This balance starts on the outside with the CX-50's reflective curves that Mazda specifically crafted to amplify and reflect the beauty of the CX-50's surroundings. Inside, the panoramic moonroof welcomes in even more beauty, making it possible to enjoy every moment, be it a starlit sky or a forest ceiling that's drawn you deep into the woods.
While the moonroof delivers an immersive experience, the CX-50's interior mimics the rich hues of the natural world while prioritizing your comfort with amenities like climate-controlled leather seats with heating and ventilation. Depending on trim, you'll also find plenty of other outdoor-inspired details like the durable nylon upholstery that mimics the material used on hiking backpacks. Even the seat stitching is bespoke and mirrors the pattern of hiking boot laces.
Mazda ensures many of the CX-50's details and features abide by the "form follows function" mantra. This is apparent when you look at the CX-50's functional features that add versatility and ensure hauling passengers and cargo is easy and convenient. For example, the CX-50's high-strength roof rails serve a practical purpose for hauling everything from kayaks and luggage, but there's more to the rails than that. The CX-50's lowered roof makes the rails more accessible, giving you the option to reach your gear or even add a rooftop tent for the ultimate outdoor adventure.
The CX-50 offers plenty of room for smaller cargo with 31.4 cubic feet of space with the second row in use or 56.3 cubic feet of space with the second row folded flat. As with the SUV's roof rails, the cargo space offers more than meets the eye. The CX-50 is deeper rather than wider, making the rear cargo area ideal for hauling your gear lengthwise. More importantly, Mazda aligned the cargo floor with the opening of the liftgate to create a smooth surface, making it possible to slide items in and out without having to lift. These minor design details make a significant difference when loading and unloading heavy gear.
Just as you would expect from a modern marvel like the CX-50, Mazda's newest SUV is laden with innovative technology that enhances your experience. This technology spans from seamless connectivity tools to an array of safety and driver-assist features. Together, these features and tools keep you connected, informed, focused, and aware, engineering confidence when you're in the driver's seat.
The CX-50's connectivity features are centralized in an 8.8-inch or 10.25-inch touchscreen display with Mazda Connect. From the display, you can sync your smartphone using Android Auto or wireless Apple CarPlay, the latter of which gives iPhone users a slight advantage. In either instance, once your smartphone is connected, your favorite apps are at your fingertips and make it easy to make calls, respond to messages, stream music, listen to a podcast, and more.
Mazda Connect also equips the CX-50 with an available WiFi hotspot and an extensive suite of complementary services for three years. For example, you can use the display or an app on your smartphone to access Mazda's 24-hour Roadside Assistance, remotely start the engine, and access vehicle health reports. Mazda Connect also gives you an automatic connection to 911 if your airbags deploy in a collision. These features enhance the CX-50's impressive suite of safety and driver-assist features known as i-Activsense safety.
The i-Activsense safety suite is engineered to extend your visibility and actively minimize the potential for collision, giving you greater peace of mind on the road. The suite includes advanced features like Blind Spot Monitoring, which constantly monitors the SUV's blind spots to aid with changing lanes. The available Blind Spot Assist builds upon the standard feature by assisting with steering when you attempt to change lanes with a vehicle in your path. Additional features in the suite include the Lane Departure Warning System, which works with tools like Lane-Keep Assist to help you keep the CX-50 safely centered in the designated lane.
Beyond the i-Activsense Safety suite, Mazda gives you plenty of options to extend the CX-50's safety features. For example, you can upgrade the standard rearview camera to the 360-degree View Monitor that gives you a bird's eye view around the SUV. Top-tier trims add front and rear parking sensors that take the guesswork out of parking. You can also enhance the Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist, which provides steering assistance when traveling at speeds up to 40 MPH, making rush-hour traffic easier and less stressful to navigate.