2023 Mazda CX-50: but why another compact SUV?  – Road test

2023 Mazda CX-50: but why another compact SUV? – Road test

Mazda continues to launch its SUV fleet with the introduction of 2023 Mazda CX-50, a new model that offers nothing in terms of electricity, at least for now, but instead brings an additional alternative for buyers of compact SUVs. But Mazda already sells the CX-5 in this segment? You’re right, and that’s what adds to the confusion, the model needs explanation, and, in terms of marketing, it’s not very good.

Why Mazda CX-50?

The first question we can ask ourselves is: does the Mazda CX-50 replace the CX-5, the model we know so well? The answer is no, just like the CX-3 and CX-30, those two models will be around, at least for a while.

Describing the Mazda CX-50 is very simple: this compact SUV is slightly longer, wider, but also lower (55 mm) than the CX-5. It is also more spacious and more expensive, which allows us to draw the same parallel as in the case of the CX-30 and CX-3. A small clarification, moreover, the Mazda CX-50 2022 does not use the platform of the CX-5, but rather that of the Mazda CX-30, slightly elevated.

While the CX-5’s design is more rounded, the CX-50 is less boxy; and like the Subaru Outback, it looks like a family car. Its roofline is flat, the same observation at the rear and a straighter C-pillar. This design sets it apart, but also increases its efficiency over the CX-5. I just liked the large contour of the black plastic wing, even if the manufacturer wants to give it a more attractive design. Despite everything, it offers a more modern design than the CX-5, I felt that I was dealing with a small CX-9.

Photo provided by: Sylvain Raymond

Two versions, two mechanics

While you’ll have to shell out $32,581 to get yourself a base Mazda CX-5, you’ll have to pay $39,981 for the CX-50, which clearly reflects its high social class and, above all, the absence of liveries. Only two versions are offered: GS-L and GT. The GS-L is offered with one familiar Mazda engine, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that develops 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a six-speed automatic transmission, the only one offered in the range. It remains efficient, but when will a more modern eight- or nine-speed gearbox be available? This would save fuel.

As for the 2023 GT version ($44,531), it benefits from the same engines, but it’s possible to get more power by opting for a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that, for an extra $2,500, pushes the CX-50’s power to 256 horsepower. and torque up to 320 lb-ft. The small note however, must be fed by super, which, in the current context, represents a significant additional cost. Otherwise it accepts 87 octane fuel, but loses power (227 horsepower).

Mazda also mentions that it has improved the cooling of the turbo engine, which allows a higher towing capacity, 1,600 kg (3,500 pounds) while the limit is 900 kg (2,000 pounds) for the CX-5 powered by the same engine.

2023 Mazda CX50
Photo provided by: Sylvain Raymond

More modern interior

The cabin of the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is very familiar despite a few additions, including more prominent air vents. Instrumentation remains normal, nothing too creative. The same observation as the central part of the dashboard which includes, in its upper part, the screen of the infotainment system. With a width of 10.3 inches (8.8 in the base version), it is made all wide, but fits perfectly in the dashboard. Only Apple Carplay and Android Auto modes allow you to use it by touch, for everything else, you have to go back to the wheel, and that’s a shame. One day Mazda will understand what people prefer.

The back offers a little more legroom, but contrary to what I expected, the availability is not the same as for the headroom as it is lower than what we find in the case of the CX-5, we must remember that the car is low. , this is where we pay the price. My test car had a paneled roof, an interesting novelty which, as a bonus, is included as standard on the model.

The Mazda CX-50 has more cargo space than the CX-5, 883 liters compared to 824 for the CX-5, but the more family-friendly car design offers more practical space that allows transporting larger items compared to SUVs. , which is appreciated if you have to deal with the needs of a working family.

2023 Mazda CX50
Photo provided by: Sylvain Raymond

The joy of a turbocharged engine

I rarely find an SUV interesting to drive (except for high-performance models), but I have to admit that the CX-50 really impressed me, as did the Mazda CX-30 2.5T recently. to be measured. I liked this arrangement under the hood of the CX-30, I also liked it on display. The tested CX-50 had the same engine, a mechanism that completely changes its character. The power effect is always there, and I never felt like I was running out of torque, whether it was passing or passing other cars.

The only downside? I got an average consumption of 10.8 liters / 100 km, without being too excited, I knew less for an SUV of its kind and with the current super price, it’s hard not to have heartache when we fill up.

In larger dimensions, the car felt a little small, and visibility wasn’t as good all around as the CX-30. However, it is one of the most powerful SUVs I have tested. It finds itself at the top of luxury models with powerful engines. Mazda has a range of technologies, including the G-vector control system, which improves the car’s behavior and rewards the driver.

The driving position is also lower than that of the CX-5, I had a feeling of good adhesion to the road, and this, despite the slightly higher ground clearance (by 4 millimeters) should favor the CX-50 on the road. . The suspension is on the firm side, especially with the 20-inch wheels, but that’s the kind of behavior I appreciate. If you’re looking for ultimate comfort, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

2023 Mazda CX50
Photo provided by: Sylvain Raymond


I enjoyed my experience at the wheel CX-50. It is rare that a manufacturer disappoints us in terms of driving pleasure. The model brings additional points compared to the CX-5, style, practicality and sophistication, but you will be ready to pay the price.

Although it is a new design, we can afford to recommend it as it is not new, so its reliability should not be a problem.

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