Mazda launches a 2023 CX-50 SUV crossover

| October 15, 2023 | 3 Minute Read
A red 2023 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck parked on some grass with large boulders in the background. Mazda

Mazda’s best-selling vehicle has long been the CX-5 small SUV, but now it has a new challenger in the slightly larger 2023 Mazda CX-50, which offers special features like a select drive mode for off-roading and a first-for-Mazda panoramic sunroof.

The CX-50 is being built at the Mazda Toyota manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. That will allow the CX-50 or any electrified Mazda built there in the future to qualify for federal tax credits, as vehicles built outside the United States are not eligible.

The CX-5 and CX-50 share the same powertrain, with the CX-50 having stronger towing muscle (3,500 lbs.) due to improved engine cooling. Also, the CX-50 is 5.7 inches longer, three inches wider, and its ground clearance is 1.4-inch higher. The CX-5 is nimbler because of its smaller size, but both equipped with Mazda's G Vectoring Control Plus and offer excellent handling, with the CX-50 helping its off-road ride with a rear torsion-beam.

Model Options

Our test-drive boasted the 2.5-liter turbo engine with premium plus package AWD (top trim of 10), offering a new Mi-Drive with drive modes Normal, Sport, Towing and Off-Road to traverse a variety of terrains, with the all-wheel-drive regulating wheel spin of the 20-inch all-season tires. Zircon Sand paint color was our only added option.

Top crash safety scores were earned with help from i-ActiveSense, Mazda’s highly touted suite of driver aids that include a rear cross-traffic alert as well as a driver attention alert when the vehicle senses driver fatigue.

Outside, the CX-50 has an SUV-sleek appearance with cladding (but no skid plates underneath), high-wheel arches, chrome roof rails, wide stance and pugnacious front fascia, which are all part of Mazda’s award-winning Kodo design.

Inside the ergonomic and spacious cabin, the sunroof covers both rows and a terracotta color theme showcases its Mazda pedigree with striped brown leather, heated front seats, Bose® premium audio and Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™.

The 10.25-inch graphically sharp dashboard non-touchscreen is manipulated by a center spine knob to search infotainment features and help display navigation, which comes standard.

Small storage space in the cabin is plentiful; rear cargo space is adequate.


Consumer Reports predicts the 2023 CX-50 will be more reliable than other new cars.

Overall Review

LIKES: Towing power, handling, ride, cabin style, quiet, reliability, spare tire, cargo space

DISLIKES: No complimentary maintenance, no skid plates for off-road, pricey

BOTTOM LINE: The CX-50 is a solid competitor in red-hot small-SUV market

Car fact file


        2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo with Premium Plus AWD          

    Base Price                     $42,775 ($43,170 as tested)
    Curb Weight      3,907 lbs. 
    Wheelbase       110.8 inches
    Length       185.8 inches
    Width       80.8 inches (with mirrors)
    Engine Specs      2.5-liter,4-cylinder SKYACTIV-G                                   
    Horsepower       227 hp @ 5,000 rpm
    Torque       310 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
    Transmission       6-speed automatic, Paddle shifters
    EPA Rating       23 mpg city | 29 mpg hwy
    Range       15.9-gallon tank, regular
    Performance       0-60 in 6.5 seconds

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