Mazda joins the move to creating ‘outdoor look’ vehicles based on popular current models with the introduction for 2023 of their new Mazda CX-50 Crossover. Priced from MSRP $26,800 (basic) to MSRP $41,550, they offer ten trim levels and two AWD powertrain options for consumers to choose from.
Mazda sent us a top-of-the-line 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus AWD to drive for a week in and around Hill Country Texas.
Sporting the new handsome liftback profile, our CX-50 Turbo came in their new Zircon Sand Metallic paint and Terracotta Interior w/Orange stitching. Standing tall on handsome 20-inch alloy wheels w/Machine-Cut Black Metallic Accents – this new crossover got our attention right away. Let’s take a look…..
Powertrain and Mechanical
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus is powered by the Mazda SkyActiv 2.5L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque using 87 octane fuel. Using premium (93 octane), the performance goes up to 256 horsepower with 320 lb.-ft. of torque.
A SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic w/Manual Shift Mode transmission delivers the power to the road via the i-Activ AWD System w/G-Activ Vectoring.
Its Mi-Drive (Mazda Intelligent Drive) Modes deliver driver selectable enhanced performance to suit the driving situation. Drive Modes on our test CX-50 included Normal, Sport, Off-Road and Towing.
Also featuring Hill Launch Assist, we found the our CX-50 test vehicle to be peppy, responsive and surefooted around town and on the highway.
Key handling elements included Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, MacPherson Strut w/Stabilizer bar front and Torsion Beam Rear suspension, Engine-Speed Sensing Power Assisted Rack and Pinion Steering and Power Ventilated Brake Discs front, Solid Disc rear.
At the road surface are 20-inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels w/Machine-Cut Black Metallic Accents fitted with 245/45R20 Goodyear Eagle Touring all-season tires.
Oh yes, it tows up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus is a bit larger than the CX-5. It has many of the same styling cues but- for us – was much more attractive with the liftback.
Some of the styling elements of note include LED Taillights, Adaptive LED front lighting w/LED Auto Leveling Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Taillights, Body-Color Automatic heated Power Folding Side Mirrors, Roof Rails and Rear Roof Spoiler, Rain-Sensing Heated Windshield Wipers and Rear Intermittent Wiper w/washer.
We particularly liked the expansive Power ‘One-touch’ Sliding Panoramic Moonroof and the Height Programmable Power Rear Liftgate.
The inside of our Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus was exceptionally well crafted in both its styling and comfort.
The interior color was Black with stunning leather seating in a Terracotta w/Orange stitching. The stitching pattern was elegantly simply and was carried to the front of the dash and along the doors. Really well put together.
Front seating was very supportive and generous for us taller and bigger types. The driver seat was 8-way power with 6-way power for the passenger seat. Front seats included both heat and ventilation with 3-level adjustment.
The 40/60 Split Folding Rear Seats were heated with good legroom and a console with dual cupholders also.
Other items of note included Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control with rear seat vents, LED Interior Lighting and Driver/Passenger Assist Handles front and rear.
NOTE: We particularly liked the placement of the front dual cupholders forward of the shifter. Easy reach and return. Front Cupholders easily accessible forward of the shifter. Easy reach and return.
Infotainment / Technology
We were impressed with both the quality and the quantity of the infotainment and technology in our Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus test vehicle.
A very bright 10.25-inch Color Center Display anchors the Bose 12-speaker Premium Audio System. Functional elements include Mazda Navigation w/Traffic Jam Assist, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone/Audio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, SiriusXM, HD Radio, Dual USB Ports front and rear, two 12V Power Outlets and wireless phone charging in the center console.
The system is managed through the Multi-Function Control Dial located on the console. We have seen some criticism of its operation by others. Yes, it is a bit complex, but – once you understand its process – you get in control pretty quick.
OK……. It took me a couple of days to find everything I wanted quickly using the controller. But you need to remember I come from the ‘8-track tape’ generation, so cut me some slack.
We particularly liked the Full Color Heads-up Active Driving Display w/Traffic Sign Recognition.
A complete suite of other functions is also available from the Mazda Connect w/Connected Services system.
Standard safety features include Mazda Radar Cruise Control w/Stop and Go, 360-degree View Monitor, Advanced Smart City Brake Support w/Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Driver Attention Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Front and Rear Parking Sensors and more.
2023 CX-50 Line-up
The 2023 CX-50 line includes ten trim levels – all AWD – with two engine (performance) choices.
Six of the ten trims are powered by the Mazda SkyActiv 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that produces 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque.
The entry level CX-50 2.5 S is priced MSRP $26,800.
The other four trims are powered by the Mazda SkyActiv 2.5L Turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque using 87 octane fuel. Using premium (93 octane), the performance goes up to 256 horsepower with 320 lb.-ft. of torque.
The entry level CX-50 2.5 Turbo is priced at MSRP $36,400.
Explore all of the trim features and options at https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-50.
INVOICE DETAIL as Tested
- 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus $41,550
- Zircon Sand Paint $395
- Delivery & Handling $1,225
- TOTAL in our Garage $43,170
KEY DATA: 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo w/Premium Plus Package
- Model: CX-50
- Trim: Turbo w/Premium Plus Package
- Class: Compact Crossover
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $41,550
- As Tested: $43,170
- Powertrain: 2.5L Skyactiv-G Turbocharged 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 227/256 @5,000 rpm (87/93 octane)
- Torque: 310/320 lb.-ft. @2,000/2,500 rpm (87/93 octane)
- Transmission: Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed Automatic w/Paddle Shifters
- Drive Modes: Mi-Drive – Normal/Sport/Off-Road/Towing
- Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
- Drive System: i-Active AWD
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph 6.6 Seconds
- Top Speed: 142 mph
- Suspension: MacPherson Strut / Torsion Beam (F/R)
- Ground Clearance: 8.6-inches
- Steering: Rack & Pinion Electric Power Assisted
- Brakes Ventilated Disc/Solid Disc (F/R)
- Wheels: 20-inch Alloy
- Tires: 245/45R20 Goodyear Eagle Touring
- EPA Fuel Economy: 23/29/25 mpg – city/highway/combined
- Fuel Tank: 15.9 gallons
- Range: 450 plus highway miles