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