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2023 Mazda CX-50

Starting at $28,025

9.5/10 C/D RATING
2023 mazda cx50
9.5/10 C/D RATING

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  • Highs Zesty turbo engine, high-class cabin, pleasing to drive.
  • Lows Just-average warranty coverage, wireless smartphone charging only offered on top trim, less headroom than in a CX-5.
  • Verdict The CX-50 brings refinement and driving joy to the compact SUV class in the way that only a Mazda can.
By Drew Dorian


A new nameplate has joined Mazda’s lineup in the form of the 2023 CX-50 SUV, which is well-equipped to take on compact crossover rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4. The CX-50 is available with either a naturally aspirated 187-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a turbocharged version of that engine making 256 horsepower. All models come with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. A hybrid model is also in the works that will use a powertrain from Toyota. The CX-50 shares a platform with the subcompact CX-30 crossover and the Mazda 3 compact car so it offers athletic handling similar to those two winners. Although it's barely larger than the company’s CX-5 SUV, the CX-50 wears more rugged styling, which is a departure from the more refined, upscale designs found elsewhere in the Mazda lineup.

Where This Vehicle Ranks

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Mazda CX-50

STARTING AT: $28,025
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Mazda CX-5

STARTING AT: $27,975
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Volkswagen Tiguan

STARTING AT: $27,785
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Kia Sportage

STARTING AT: $27,285
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Hyundai Tucson

STARTING AT: $26,245
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Honda CR-V

STARTING AT: $28,045

What's New for 2023?

The CX-50 is an all-new model for the brand and Mazda says that it will be sold alongside the slightly smaller CX-5, which is on an older platform. How long the two will be in dealers together is unknown.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

    The CX-50 is available in a plethora of trim levels ranging from fairly basic to downright luxurious, but we'd recommend going with the Turbo model. It adds the more powerful 256-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and increases towing capacity to 3500 pounds. It also comes standard with a host of desirable features, including a panoramic sunroof, a 10.3-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and leather upholstery with heated front seats.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    All models will come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder but the one to get is the more powerful turbocharged variant offering 256 horsepower; the base non-turbo offering makes just 187 hp. A six-speed automatic is standard, as is all-wheel drive, and Mazda has baked-in crisp handling to the CX-50 so that it carries on the company's tradition of offering fun-to-drive vehicles. In fact, during our initial test drive, we praised the CX-50 for providing a joyful driving experience and accurate steering while preserving a comfortable ride. A hybrid model will join the lineup later on with a powertrain sourced from Toyota. We expect it to be the one found in the RAV4 Hybrid, which is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors good for a combined 219 horsepower. So far, we've only had a chance to test the turbocharged model, but it managed a 6.6-second rip to 60 mph at our track.

    2023 mazda cx50View Photos

      Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

      The most efficient CX-50 is the one with the base four-cylinder. That model is rated for 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, but going with the optional turbo only drops those number by 1 mpg respectively while adding a lot of performance. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, the turbocharged CX-50 managed 28 mpg. For more information about the CX-50's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

      Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

      Like the CX-5 and CX-30 crossovers, the CX-50 offers space for five passengers in two rows of seats. Inside, large square dashboard vents give the 50 a slightly more truckish look than the smaller CX-30, but the overall vibe is tastefully upscale, especially on the loaded Premium Plus trim. The front seats are comfortable and supportive; rear seat space is generous as well, but it should be noted that the CX-5 offers more headroom. All models come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, push-button start, and a partially-digital gauge display.

        Infotainment and Connectivity

        While the base CX-50 comes with a smaller 8.8-inch infotainment display, all other trims get a larger 10.3-inch screen; both versions run the latest version of the Mazda Connect interface and are controlled via a click wheel mounted on the center console. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both with wireless connectivity. An eight-speaker stereo is standard but Premium and Premium Plus models come with a 12-speaker Bose stereo with SiriusXM satellite radio. A wireless phone charger is available, but only on the top Turbo Premium Plus.

          Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

          The CX-50 comes standard with a full suite of driver-assistance features, including lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Other features, such as automatic high-beam headlamps and a 360-degree exterior camera system are optional. For more information about the CX-50's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

          • Standard automated emergency braking
          • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
          • Standard adaptive cruise control

          Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

          Kia and Hyundai both offer better warranty coverage than Mazda, and some other automakers that play in this segment offer complimentary maintenance.

          • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
          • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
          • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



          2023 Mazda CX-50
          Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

          Base/As Tested: $37,625/$43,170
          Options: Premium Plus package (ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, 12-speaker Bose audio, Sirius XM radio, wireless phone charger, navigation, head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree view, blind-spot detection, traffic-jam assist), $5150; Zircon Sand Metallic paint, $395

          turbocharged and intercooled Miller-capable inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
          Displacement: 152 in3, 2488 cm3
          Power: 256 hp @ 5000 rpm
          Torque: 320 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

          6-speed automatic

          Suspension, F/R: struts/trailing arm
          Brakes, F/R: 12.8-in vented disc/12.8-in disc
          Tires: Goodyear Eagle Touring
          245/45R-20 99V M+S

          Wheelbase: 110.8 in
          Length: 185.8 in
          Width: 75.6 in
          Height: 63.9 in
          Passenger Volume: 98 ft3
          Cargo Volume: 31 ft3
          Curb Weight: 3866 lb

          C/D TEST RESULTS
          60 mph: 6.6 sec
          1/4-Mile: 15.1 sec @ 91 mph
          100 mph: 18.8 sec
          120 mph: 35.5 sec
          Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
          Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.2 sec
          Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
          Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.0 sec
          Top Speed (mfr's claim): 142 mph
          Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
          Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.87 g

          C/D FUEL ECONOMY
          Observed: 20 mpg
          75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg
          75-mph Highway Range: 440 mi

          Combined/City/Highway: 25/23/29 mpg


          More Features and Specs

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