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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

Better Off-Road or On? We Test the 2023 Mazda CX-50.

With the latest craze of off-road focused SUVs, it seems that no one is immune to the desire to give in and produce something with varying degrees of off-road capabilities.

That is what this 2023 Mazda CX-50 is aimed to do for the "zoom-zoom" brand. All new, the CX-50 shows off the new design language of the Mazda which definitely looks more rugged and capable than the CX-30 on which this vehicle is based. With its wide stance and long hood pictures of this vehicle can make it look deceptively bigger than it is in real life.

Mazda has added the requisite black wheel arches and "off-road" modes to really tie in that this is meant to be driven off the pavement, but we kept ours on road for our test to see how true to their roots this new crossover really was....and we were pleasantly surprised.

This engine has the right amount of power for this small 5-seat crossover, making it fun when the light turns green, or when you have miles of open road ahead of you. When the road gets twisty, the sport tuned steering and suspension had me thinking more "grown up Miata" than "Bronco Sport fighter." And that is not a bad thing. This vehicle is solidly built, fun to drive on road, plenty capable in mild off-road settings thanks to its i-Activ All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology and new Mazda Intelligent Drive Select, and a fairly good bargain at $43,170 for this fully-loaded example. Starting price is in the mid 20s.

2022 CX-50 Premium Plus AWD Features:

• 2.5L SKYACTIV-G Turbocharged 4-Cylinder Engine


• 227 Horsepower

• 310 lb-ft of Torque

• 6-Speed Automatic Transmission

• Seating for 5

• Leather Seats

• 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

• Standard Sunroof

• Proximity Key with Push Button Start

• EPA Fuel Economy 23/29/25 (city/hwy/combined)

• Starting MSRP $26,800

• Price as tested: $43,170

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