Longer! Lower! Wider! The 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD


2023 Mazda CX-50 front 3/4 view

So, once upon a time, there was a Mazda CX-3 and a Mazda CX-5. For a while the CX-3 co-existed with the CX-30, but 2021 was the last year for that. The CX-3 is no more. And with the 2023 arrival of the CX-50, one has to suspect time is running out for the CX-5 as well.


2023 Mazda CX-50 rear 3/4 view

The CX-50 is, as our headline suggests, longer, lower and wider than the CX-5---but it offers more ground clearance, making it somewhat more useful in light off-roading and a bit deeper snow. The CX-50 also has a more chiseled appearance, making it look a bit more rugged than the rounded CX-5.


2023 Mazda CX-50 hood up

2023 Mazda CX-50 engine

Under the hood, it's the same 2.5-liter turbo four that's in the CX-5---by no means a bad thing. 225 horsepower and, according to Mazda, 250 on premium fuel, with some significant torque (310 lb-ft on 87 octane regular, 320 on 93 octane premium). Zero to 60 runs take 6.6 seconds.


More than that, though---the steering is just top-notch. No one expects stellar handling or steering feel from a crossover SUV. But Mazda seems to want to remind us that they're the company that makes the Miata. Duly noted.


2023 Mazda CX-50 rear liftgate open

2023 Mazda CX-50 rear seat

The added length is all in the wheelbase, which translates to improved backseat legroom.


2023 Mazda CX-50 front seats

2023 Mazda CX-50 front seat detail

2023 Mazda CX-50 instrument panel

CX-50s start at $27,550. That's the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and dealers can discount that, honor it or add to it. And in the current supply-constrained environment, it's hard to find dealers that aren't adding. That's also for the base CX-50. Our tester was the top-of-the-line CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD. The MSRP for this trim level is $41,550. As usual with Mazda, you get a lot standard at that price---20-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors with memory, leather-trimmed seats (heated and ventilated in the front row, heated in the rear), dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, a full active safety suite, wireless phone charging and a power moonroof, just to name the highlights.

2023 Mazda CX-50 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Mazda CX-50 center stack

And, as usual with Mazda---that's it. Trim levels are specific in terms of available options and pricing. Apart from $395 for Polymetal Gray Metallic paint, there are zero extra-cost options. So with $1,225 delivery, processing and handling fee, the as-tested price of the 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD is $43,170.

2023 Mazda CX-50 front view

2023 Mazda CX-50 side view


2023 Mazda CX-50 rear view

As with all cars, the sticker manages to shock. $40,000 is a psychological line in the sand for a lot of people---it's also less than the current average price of a new car. Which makes the CX-50 a really solid deal for an infinitely better-than-average crossover SUV.


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