2023 Mazda CX-50 Review – Playing Dress-Up

2022 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD

2.5-liter turbocharged 4 (227hp @ 5,000 rpm, 310lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm on common unleaded, 256hp @ 5,000 rpm, 320lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm on 93 octane)

Six-speed computerized transmission, all-wheel drive

23 metropolis / 29 freeway / 25 mixed (EPA Score, MPG)

10.4 metropolis / 8.1 freeway / 9.4 mixed. (NRCan Score, L/100km)

Base Worth: $42,775 US / $47,431 CAN

As Examined: $43,170 US / $47,681 CAN

Costs embody $1,225 vacation spot cost in america and $2081 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border gear variations, can’t be immediately in contrast.

Individuals have gotten a fever, and the one prescription is extra crossovers. Just about each automaker attempting to do enterprise on this nation has some type of lifted wagon – if not a handful. Massive ones, small ones, efficiency ones, financial system ones. No convertible crossovers anymore, thank goodness. They’re shoehorning a crossover into almost each attainable market phase.

Right here, we now have the 2023 Mazda CX-50, with a reputation very very like their fashionable CX-5. And it’s very shut in measurement to mentioned CX-5. Of the six distinct non-electric autos supplied by Mazda, 4 are crossovers – however why did they create us one thing so very clearly just like one thing they’ve been promoting nicely for a few years with out changing it?

Oh, and don’t give Mazda any concepts a few Miata crossover, please.

Mazda says the CX-50 was developed – let me get the advertising language proper right here – “to assist the energetic and out of doors life of consumers…” Photographs accompanying the press launch present the CX-50 in nature – on groomed trails and adjoining to timber. Yeah, I do know my pictures have the automotive posed on a gravel lot close to a river, too.

As such, the CX-50 sports activities further black plastic decrease physique cladding. The styling past the plastic is distinct, too – with a bit extra floor clearance and a decrease roofline than the CX-5 – making your complete automotive look longer. I gained’t deny that it’s a good-looking look, particularly with the wheel wells stuffed up with the twenty-inch wheels fitted to this Premium Plus trim.

However I’m undecided it essentially speaks to a rugged out of doors energetic life-style. Past the usual all-wheel drive and the selectable drive mode with an off-road mode, I don’t see a single factor on this automotive that makes it any extra succesful the place the pavement ends than your typical crossover. No skid plates, no all-terrain tires, no locking differentials.

Will the CX-50 purchaser care about this? I’m undecided that they may. As a result of as soon as they get behind the wheel, they’ll discover a comfy, roomy, and above all luxurious household hauler. The trip high quality is great, with minimal wind and highway noise and no harshness transmitted to the cabin from impacting growth joints. The panoramic moonroof does carry nature in only a bit do you have to select.

The turbocharged engine has loads of energy to stand up to hurry with out drama, and whereas the six-speed computerized is down a couple of cogs from some opponents, it shifts easily and feels very nicely matched to each the engine and the character of the CX-50. The driving expertise is mainly an identical to that of the CX-5 – which is to say, nice.

Infotainment is getting higher from Mazda, with a show that’s clearer and extra snappy to reply than in years previous. However it’s nonetheless commanded by a central dial close to the shifter, with a few buttons to toggle for music or nav. Wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are welcome additions.

Let’s contemplate, then, what ought to be the perfect comparability within the entry-luxury compact crossover market – the Lexus NX. Tim took a have a look at the NX 350 final week. Dimensionally, each the NX and this CX-50 are fairly shut inside and outside – the Mazda has a barely longer wheelbase (110.8 inches versus 105.9 for the Lexus) inside roughly the identical size (185.5 inches for Mazda, 183.5 inches on the Lexus). Cargo area is a win for the Mazda as nicely – 31.4 cubic toes behind the rear seats, versus 22.7 cubes on the Lexus.

And but selecting the entry trim of the NX 250 and easily including all-wheel drive will run $41,025 delivered – with out quite a few options (like heated/ventilated seats, the moonroof, and leather-based) the Mazda provides on this $43,170 Turbo Premium Plus bundle. Matching the 2 up exhibits the worth right here, and the standard of the supplies and appointments throughout the Mazda (caveat for the infotainment right here) are not less than each bit the equal of the Lexus.

Mazda is a luxurious model now. This isn’t my father’s Mazda of the GLC period, lined because it was with repurposed mouse fur. I’m certain Toyota isn’t thrilled that they’re serving to to construct (on the Alabama three way partnership facility) such a car that may make cross-shop their very own premium line, however that’s how nice a job Mazda has completed right here.

To be truthful, no quantity of black plastic cladding can ever make this an off-roader – not with the snazzy twenty-inch wheels and low-profile tires fitted right here. That’s okay – the slight nod towards off-road style is like that one good pair of trainers I as soon as purchased, pondering I would get off the sofa and begin operating to lose some weight. Nope. They’ve been relegated to very comfortable lawn-mowing sneakers – and not less than till they turned inexperienced, they appeared good doing so.

With the 2023 CX-50, Mazda is leaning in arduous to court docket those that think about themselves with an energetic and out of doors life-style. Whether or not it succeeds is a query but to be answered.

[Images: © 2022 Chris Tonn]

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