2023 Mazda CX-50: Is It Still As Good As We Originally Thought?
It is not often we get to revisit cars after we have sampled them once here on the channel. Let alone do we get to see them four separate times within a year. That is the case with this 2023 Mazda CX-50.
The CX-50 signals a new direction for the brand. Aiming to move more upscale, the CX-50 adds premium features without breaking the bank. The design of the CX-50 is also the language that will be used on other, forthcoming vehicles from the brand. We have already seen the next vehicle to be launched by Mazda, the CX-90, and there are familiar themes between these two.
Unlike the CX-90, the CX-50 is not currently slated to replace its single-digit counterpart the CX-5 (which we are driving this week, actually). Set to be sold alongside their best-selling vehicle, the CX-50 compliments the CX-5 with a little more rugged and aggressive style.
Getting behind the wheel of this CX-50 once more after seeing it last spring in Dallas for the first time, driving it last summer for a week, and off-road testing it last fall, the real last test we could think of was big-city traffic. This was our ride from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to our hotel for the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. Sitting in the driver's seat, I had to reorient myself to the feeling of closeness to both the dash and the rearview mirrors. I did not remember the mirrors being quite as close as when I sat down to drive this one. That feeling quickly became a non-issue as I quickly settled in for the 40-minute drive south.
I really like the powertrain in this. The 2.5L turbo makes the right amount of power for this crossover, and the six-speed transmission was quick to find the right gear, especially if I had Sport Mode engaged. Even with 40º temps in February, this Texas boy quickly shifted from using the heated seats to the ventilated option.
We only had a few days in this one, but it reminded us of everything we had come to love about it in all our previous outings. If we were in the market for a new crossover, this would definitely be on our shortlist.
2023 CX-50 Premium Plus AWD Features:
2.5L SKYACTIV-G Turbocharged 4-Cylinder Engine
310 lb-ft of Torque
6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Seating for 5
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
Heated Outboard Rear Seats
20-inch Wheels and Tires
31.4 Cubic Feet of Storage Behind 2nd Row
56.3 Cubic Feet of Storage with the 2nd Row Folded
10.25-inch Color Touchscreen Infotainment with Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Proximity Key with Push Button Start
EPA Fuel Economy 23/29/25 (city/hwy/combined)
Starting MSRP $26,800
Price as tested: $43,170