Mazda engineers are working hard to finish the process of the next-generation vehicles, which will be based on the new RWD platform and come with lots of premium features, including inline-six engines. Meanwhile, Mazda engineers have also introduced one brand-new model that’s based on the current SkyActive technology. That model comes as the 2023 Mazda CX-50 and it has a lot of things in common with the CX-5. However, it is bigger and more rugged, so it should fill the gap between the aforementioned CX-5 and the flagship CX-9.
The new model has just debuted and despite the familiar mechanics, it comes with completely new aesthetics. It looks more rugged than the rest of the lineup and also comes with bigger dimensions than the current compact crossover. That should make this model more practical and more functional, while Mazda’s magic in terms of driving experience should remain at the same level.
2023 Mazda CX-50 Design
As we’ve just mentioned, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a brand-new model that relies on old and proven technologies. It rides on the good-old SkyActive platform and just like the rest of the lineup, it features a transversally-mounted engine, though all-wheel drive is part of the standard equipment. The mechanics are familiar, so it’s no wonder that the ride quality is pretty familiar as well. The ride feels pretty similar to the CX-5, despite the bigger dimension.
The most notable differences are actually those in terms of aesthetics. This model brings Mazda’s updated styling philosophy, which looks a little bit bolder and more rugged than before. Still, that doesn’t make this model less elegant and stylish compared to what we’ve used to see from this Japanese carmaker. Simply, this model is also among the prettiest compact crossovers.
The same story is with interior design. Some things are different but somehow, the overall design approach is pretty similar to the previous Mazda models. The dashboard looks slightly more rugged and simplicity is still the key word to describe this design. Typically for Mazda, the instrument cluster is simple and elegant. The infotainment screen is the same unit as in other SUV models. The materials are super-fine, and you can notice a lot of attention to detail.
Thanks to the bigger dimensions, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 offers more legroom than the CX-5. This is particularly noticeable in the second row but interestingly, this model is actually less generous in terms of headroom.
The biggest complaint goes to the cargo area. In this aspect, the CX-50 lags behind the competition. You may count on no more than 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 56.3 cubic feet of the total cargo volume. For comparison, compact SUVs like RAV4 or CR-V offer way over 70 cubic feet of the overall cargo volume.
Typically for Mazda, the list of standard equipment is pretty generous. All models come standard with goodies like remote keyless entry, push-button start, an 8.8-inch display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, an eight-speaker stereo and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Additionally, you can opt for goodies like a 10.25-inch display, navigation, wireless device charging, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 12-speaker stereo, two additional USB ports, proximity keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control and a panoramic moonroof.
When it comes to safety features, base models come with a rearview camera, driver-attention alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams etc. Additionally, you can get goodies like front and rear parking sensors, surround-view camera system, head-up display, road sign recognition, traffic jam assist, reverse automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights etc.
2023 Mazda CX-50 Engines
Under the hood, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 comes with familiar units on offer. Base models feature a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four, which is good for about 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for decent performance but we would always recommend the optional turbo four. That version of the engine features a max output of 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.
In both cases, you may count on a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is smooth and generally shifts in a timely manner. The base engine returns around 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is decent for the segment. The turbo-four is slightly thirstier and ratings drop by 1 mpg.