The compact SUV segment is so popular that Mazda wants to have two options to choose from. The all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50 joins the CX-5 in the automaker’s lineup as the compact SUV that has a rugged touch. With wide fender flares, a more durable design, standard all-wheel drive, and more ground clearance, the CX-50 is a departure from Mazda’s sporty vehicles and looks to capitalize on the off-roading craze.
Choosing Your Mazda CX-50
The majority of CX-50 trims come with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Trims with “Turbo” in the name come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and AWD. The turbocharged engine makes more power when running on premium fuel. With regular unleaded gasoline, the CX-50 makes a more modest 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can tow up to 2,000 pounds and the turbocharged variant is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
With the turbocharged engine only being offered on the top three trims, it can be tough to justify the SUV’s price. Consumers that want a lot more performance will enjoy the punch the turbo engine brings.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|2.5L 4-Cylinder||187 hp||186 lb-ft||27 mpg|
|2.5L Turbo 4-Cylinder||256 hp||320 lb-ft||25 mpg|
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The compact CX-50 has seating for up to five people. With the rear seats in place, the CX-50 offers up to 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the rear seats down results in up to 56.3 cubic feet of total cargo space. (Pictured: 2022 Mazda CX-5)
Every CX-50 trim comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a driver attention monitor, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.
A head-up display and traffic sign recognition are available on the 2.5 S Premium Plus trim. Moving up to the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trim nets parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera, automatic reverse braking, blind spot prevention, and Traffic Jam Assist.
The Mazda CX-50 comes standard with an 8.8-inch display, a seven-inch display in the instrument cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, eight audio speakers, dual front USB ports, and an auxiliary audio input jack. A 10.25-inch display becomes standard on the 2.5 S Select trim as does rear USB charging ports.
A Bose 12-speaker audio system and satellite radio become standard on the 2.5 S Premium Plus trim. A wireless charging pad is reserved for the range-topping 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. (Pictured: 2022 Mazda CX-5)
The 2.5 S trim kicks things off with LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 17-inch wheels. Interior features include remote keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, air conditioning, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, and cloth upholstery.
The 2.5 S Select trim adds advanced keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, and synthetic leather upholstery.
Standard features with the 2.5 S Preferred include heated exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats.
Going with the 2.5 S Preferred Plus trim brings a panoramic moonroof on top of features from lower trims.
On top of features from lower trim levels, the 2.5 S Premium adds 0.3 inches of ground clearance, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat, leather upholstery, and a Bose audio system.
Standard features with the 2.5 S Premium Plus include automatic power-folding side mirrors, 20-inch wheels, and ventilated front seats. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about any optional packages.
The 2.5 Turbo trim is the first in the lineup to come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Standard features include adaptive headlights, LED combination taillights, 20-inch wheels, paddle shifters, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.
The 2.5 Turbo Premium adds a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and satellite radio.
The range-topping 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus comes with an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear seats, a wireless charging pad, and navigation.
Mazda has taken a page out of Porsche’s book in offering the 2023 CX-50 in a dizzying number of configurations. We think the 2.5 S Premium trim is the way to go for shoppers that want to stick with the base engine, while the 2.5 Turbo Premium is the best choice for shoppers seeking some extra power.